Happiness is an Inside Job

Most of us are entering our second or third week of staying at home. For some its been longer and for others its just started. We are also well into Spring yet we are nesting as if its winter. There isn’t any place to run to because this virus is the world-over. Its leveled the playing field in many ways. I keep thinking (and mostly feeling), that when this is all said and done that we will emerge from our homes kinder, with bigger hearts. Time will tell.

So, what to do in the meantime? Where can we find meaning and hope? For many who are bereaved, being alone has been a familiar friend so this time may not be as daunting because we already know aloneness. Yet, it can also highlight our loss. While most of the world is complaining about being stuck at home with their kids, spouses, roommates, the bereaved would give anything for just one more day with our loved ones who are gone. I sure feel this way!

Yet, I wasn’t like this before I was suddenly widowed. On weekends I would run off here or there and within 45 minutes my late husband would enviably text me, “Hurry up and come home. I miss you. You’re chair is waiting for you in our back yard. I love you.” Although I was flattered, I would often get annoyed.

We had a happy marriage. A true love story. I never met anyone like Glenn Before. He loved me from the start and never got tired of the chase. He figured out the secret to a happy life long before we met; family and love meant the most to him. He never wavered from this, ever. This was attractive to me. Glenn had this happiness thing figured out.

Now that he’s been gone 7 years and I’m widowed and we are all in this staying home mode, I keep thinking how Glenn would have just loved this time! Not the horrible virus of course but the staying home part. He would have been in heaven to be with me 24/7 without going out for more than short trips for necessities.

I know that I am not alone with this sentiment. I’ve been reading about it all over social media. The bereaved, the world over, young, old, rich, poor are commenting about it. Just one more day with our loved ones…while the rest of the world can’t take one more day the bereaved would do anything for just one more day.

This takes me back to how I started this blog post, “What can we do?” There is a lot right now that we don’t have control over like this virus, the world economics, the supply of toilet paper! And at the same time, there is a lot we do have control over. The way we feel inside is 100% under our control.

One of my favorite teachers is Caroline Myss. She’s a teacher, a mystic and a healer. She says that happiness is an inside job and it doesn’t matter whose sitting across from you at the dinner table or how much is in your checking account. Happiness is an inside job! This quote has stuck with me for a few decades now. I’ll never forget when I first heard it. I was single mom raising a teenage son, I had just lost my job and didn’t know how I would pay the rent, let alone put food on the table. Life was tough. Yet, I made it through. A new job was just around the corner and I met my late husband, Glenn a short time after that. And then for over a decade my life was filled with prosperity and love.

I draw on this again during this time. Happiness is truly an inside job. No one can take this away from us, not even this horrible COVID-19 virus.

So, what can we do? We can build ourselves and others up inside. Loving kindness, compassion, letting go of the bad and leaving the good. Being gentle with ourselves. Letting go of judgment, attachment. Opening up to the idea that happiness is an inside job that can never be taken away from us by anyone else, ever. That’s what we can do.

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