Life has its ups and downs. There is no question in that. As we age, we learn to tolerate the downs. Or better yet, we learn from our mistakes, make better choices and maybe, just maybe, we stop letting the negative times ruin our moments of joy.
It is not always easy, but I try to revel in the good moments. I didn’t always and I look back now and regret that. I let my dark moments cloud my happiness, even when they were over. I would lament, cry, think bitter thoughts and so forth. I hung onto the past like it was something of value. I clung to some past bad event and made it part of my present. In doing that, all I did was miss opportunities to smile. Sure, not every day was a box of chocolates, but a lot of days were good. And had I opened my eyes more, I could have seen the blue sky, the smile of a stranger, the wonder of a child. Had I stepped back from my sadness of the past, I could have moved into my present.
As I was thinking about what to write today, I came across this photo I took sometime over the last couple of weeks with my iPhone, which I then edited different ways in Hipstamatic. It was just a little moment where my cat, Simba, was in awe of something.
I had my phone close and was able to capture his gaze. It made me giggle with joy. One, because he really looked quite adorable. But two, because I loved the look on his face. My big fluffy kitty was reminding me that the world is full of wonder. He was showing me I just need to look around to see it.
So thank you my Simba Cat. I will continue to choose joy. I will try to slough off the negative and not dwell in the past. Each day is a new opportunity and I will not waste it. My ultimate goal is to be an example of the type of person Jean Paul Richter mentions.
“There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go.”
That is a big goal to say the least, but it is worth a try. What do I have to lose really? Sadness? Negativity? I am good with that! So I urge you, if you are down and hanging on to past pains, try to let them go. Even if it is just for a few minutes a day. Move forward and find hope in new moments. They may be small, but they will build on each other. So one day you let go of the past for 10 minutes. The next week it may be 15 or 20. The point is to control your happiness and future, by letting go of the past. Open your eyes to the wonder of the world, just like my Simba cat.
And if you need more inspiration, find things that motivate you. One thing that makes me feel alive is music, especially violin music. A few years ago, I came across this song by Casting Crowns. Even when it is not Christmas, this song speaks to my soul. When it is on, I lay back and just feel it in my bones. I feel pure life. I am sure I look silly like Simba in a trance of joy when I am listening too it. However, I don’t really care because I utterly at peace:)