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Who gets to see you Happy?

Last modified 2014-03-28 22:44

Things were at their worst at home.  I can remember feeling that I didn't want my then husband to see me happy for reasons like: he'd take credit for it, he'd think everything was OK, he'd take it as whatever "sign" he wanted to attribute to it.  For a long time I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me happy.  That's how crazy my life had become because alcoholism pervaded our household.  That’s how warped my thinking was; "Don't let him see you happy.  He might get the wrong impression".

Who gets to see you Happy?

But the most poignant thing happened one night.  I was at Irish Night at a large open air band shell in a beautiful park near my home.  Due to my Irish heritage, this was something that I looked forward to going to every year.  There were musicians and dancers performing Irish music and it was wonderful.  That night I went with my friend, her boyfriend and my two children.  We set up our blanket and chairs on the hill facing the band shell and prepared to enjoy a beautiful summer night.  At one point my friend's boyfriend stood me up, took me in his arms, swinging me around and dancing with me to the music.  It was so much fun that I couldn't help smiling and laughing.  My daughter Kelly was 11 years old at the time.  She looked at my girl friend and said,


"Wow, I've never seen my Mom happy"


I know in her child's mind that she didn't mean she had never seen me happy but her reality was that she couldn't remember a recent time when I was happy.  That was a defining moment for me.  I vowed to let my children see me happy every single day from that day on because I did have a lot of things in my life to be grateful for, especially them.  Just because the situation with their father was horrible didn't mean that everything and everyone in my life had to be negatively affected as well.  I had a lot to be happy about and I made a conscious choice to share that happiness everyday.  One of the pages in my Alanon books described this perfectly - "I will not reserve my deference and respect for outsiders whom I want to please or my pleasant expressions for those I want to impress.  The people I live with are worthy of my best behavior, and will surely respond to the respect and loving kindness which, without meaning to, I may have withheld from them"


List 5 things you are grateful for in this moment -  Share them with someone.


Who have you withheld your happiness from?  Why?


How can you begin to focus on gratitude and sharing it with others?


 

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