The Happiness of Growing Up
One of my most cherished beliefs is that we are meant to be happy. I believe that most of us aren’t born there, but have to achieve our happiness as part of our growing up. I believe that all of us have as our primary task the act of becoming a grown up.
I gotta tell ya, when I was growing up, I didn’t see a lot of grown up behavior. Many of my adults acted like, to use the phrase of a good friend, teenagers with resources. What that meant for me was that I thought being a grown up meant being a square. No fun. Only responsibilities; grim, boring responsibilities. Let me outta there!
Why am I responsible for myself? How do I choose? What makes me happy?
What I learned as I started to grow up was surprising. I learned that being a grown up is hugely liberating. I feel free to make decisions that support me. I feel free to choose my relationships, to nurture the good ones and to leave the bad ones. I feel free to take care of myself, and you, in that order. I feel free to really enjoy life, to play with all my heart when I play, to work with all my attention when I’m working, to be present, to be mindful, to take me seriously, and to laugh at myself all at the same time.
Being a grown up is fun.
Being a grown up is more fun than fighting it. Misery is fighting it. Complaining is fighting it. Wallowing in whatever is fighting it. Focusing on what’s wrong is fighting it.
When I choose to be a grown up I choose easy. I don’t need to do everything, I can choose. I can choose to refresh my spirit. I can choose to be close to you. I can choose to like my life. I can choose to like the weather. Yowza!
When I choose to be a grown up I choose competent. I choose to be strong, to flow with life, tantrum-free, anxiety-free, misery-free. I catch myself moving toward those old habits and divert myself with good Creative Questions.
Why would I choose easy? Why would I choose to flow? Why would I choose to be capable?
When I choose to be a grown up I choose to be happy. I understand that happiness is my core being. I understand that my suffering is like barnacles on a ship’s hull; on the ship, but not of the ship. I can choose to remove my suffering regardless of my circumstances.
When I choose to be a grown up I take care of business now. I don’t need to do it perfectly, I just need to do it. When I choose to be a grown up I know that “this too shall pass.” I never have to tolerate the exact same thing for long. I get good at appreciating the wonders of my life; my loved ones, my environment, my luxuries. I appreciate minutia; the turn of a leaf, my beloved little cat’s fur in the sunlight, the cush of my pillow under my jaw.
As I choose to be a grown up it is easier and easier to feel happy. This is the happiness that flows from inside, endlessly, eternally. It is my connection to the cosmos, like star-juice, and lets me rejoice in being alive.
How have I changed from thinking that being a grown up was super lame to knowing it’s the most liberating choice I can make?
© Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 11252014