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Archive for January, 2008

We attended a memorial service for Kirk’s cousin last Saturday. Arnold was someone who was really special. Despite countless surgeries and physical problems and pain, he had the warmest and brightest spirit imaginable.At the services, many people got up to make comments regarding the person that each of them wanted to remember in their individual ways. He was uniquely special to each of them. However, there was one recurring theme – Arnold gave of himself to everyone with no expectation of receiving anything in return.He was remembered fondly as helping people to repair their homes after the earthquake, doing drywall for them and never willing to accept a dime for his work. He loved his family and was so proud of them. He helped his neighbors and friends from his church and always did everything possible to share himself with all of them in so many different ways. And every time that I would see him, he always had a smile on his face, a big hug for me and a new joke to share.

As I listened to what everyone had to say, I became acutely aware that Arnold helped to create happiness in my life and obviously from what I was hearing, the lives of so many other people. I was sorry that I never realized that sooner. Had I done so, I would most certainly have told him how special he was. My greatest joy was the fact that I did finally realize how he and so many other people that I know bring much happiness to me. What a wonderful legacy he left for all of us.

I have decided that I need to focus my thoughts on each of the other very special people that I have in my life and find ways to recognize each of them for the happiness that they bring to me. And I thought that perhaps in my sharing this story with you, you may want to do the same thing with regard to the special people that you know. It is another way to create happiness in your own life.

I feel so very fortunate to reflect upon my “special people” and to realize how many of them that I have in my life. I also know that I do not wish to find myself in the same position that I was in yesterday, realizing that I had never taken the time to tell Arnold how special he was. And I want for each of you to know how wonderful it makes us feel when we tell others how much we appreciate them and what a wonderful difference they make in our lives. For each time you tell someone else how happy you are to have them in your life, you are making them happy to know that they make a difference. And hopefully those special people will go on to tell others in their lives how they make them happy.

 


Wow, I just realized that if we all passed on our appreciation for the special people in our lives and then they passed it on to their special people and so on and so on, it sure could make a fabulous difference for all of us. And just think how much happiness we would be creating for not only ourselves but also for so many other people.So Arnold, I just want you to know that your life has had meaning for me and for others in ways that I am sure that you never could have imagined and we all thank you for making all of our lives so much better for your having been here. We won’t forget you.If you have any questions or comments about this column, please contact me at letlifehappen@gmail.com

 

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Yes, you read that correctly. We create happiness. I know that you were probably taught the same thing that I was; that we “find” happiness. Well, I don’t believe that we “find” anything. I believe that we create circumstances and make choices in our lives that lead to our being happy. I do know true happiness in my life and really want for others who may wish to manifest happiness in their lives to learn how to do so from my experiences. This really is a journey and one that I feel so fortunate to have been able to make. For all of the tough times, the rewards are so much greater to me than I could ever have imagined.If I were to ask you what makes you happy, there is a very good chance that you would respond that you don’t know. The reason for that is that many people have never experienced true happiness in anything in their lives. Happiness seems to be so elusive because there is no manual that explains how to get it. Happiness is a feeling. You may have had fleeting glimpses of it but unless it is truly a part of your daily life, you are really missing out on this great gift.I am sure that you have heard that money can’t buy happiness. This is definitely true. Happiness is not found in possessions or in excessive behavior of any kind or in the attention of an adoring partner. It is not achieved by obtaining college degrees or winning awards or by becoming the president of a company. Happiness comes from within and therefore, is something that any person can manifest and live on a daily basis, if you are willing to make that choice. If you want happiness in your life and would like some help in creating it for yourself, I would suggest that you read on. If you don’t believe what you have read thus far, then you would be wasting your time to continue.For those of you who are still with me, I must say that I believe that you have to have a fundamental belief in God, in a higher power, in a universal force, in unconditional love, whatever you wish to call it, if you are to be happy. The reason is that if you do, you will believe in the fundamental good in others as we all come from that same source. Therefore, we are all equal and we are all able to create happiness just as we are all able to create anything else in life that we wish.Let’s start with something relatively simple. Do something nice for yourself. Sometime today you most surely said something nice to someone else, you gave someone a hug, you did someone a favor, etc. If you did, give yourself a moment to focus on that deed and congratulate yourself for being a good person. Be happy about it. Be grateful that you had the opportunity to do so. If you haven’t, the day is not over. You still have time. You have the opportunity to do or say something that makes a positive difference in someone else’s life. When you do something nice for someone, you make them happy for that moment and that makes a happy moment for you. Oh, yes, it is just that easy. It doesn’t make one bit of difference about what you were wearing at the time or if you were having a bad hair day or if you had lots of money in your pocket. You gave of yourself and that is what it is all about.Now how do you think that you would feel if you did something else for someone today? Maybe someone needs you to lend an ear. You don’t have to have the answers to another person’s problems – as a matter of fact, you can’t have the answers for someone else as you aren’t able to know their experiences or the lessons that another person needs to learn. Or if you care about someone else, say some prayers for them and while you are at it, say a few for yourself. It makes all the difference in the world. For I have found that the more that I do to help others in their lives, the happier it makes me. And at the end of the day, I recognize the fact that as I have made a choice to create happy moments in other lives, I have created for myself a foundation upon which I can continue to build a happy life for myself, one day at a time.

Oh, and thank you so much for reading what I have just written. I hope that it has been of some help to you. It has been of great help to me because I was able to focus on something other than the fact that the cancer is back and knowing that I am using my experiences to help others to create happiness makes me happy!

If you have any questions or comments about this column, please contact me at letlifehappen@gmail.com.

 

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