Tuesday, April 6, 2010

{Happifying Droplets}

I've done a fair amount of thinking about how we remain (or become) happy when, in reality, we're painfully unhappy.  I think I've discovered a simple visual analogy to help us (definitely me included!)

Let me give you a gift:  it is a glass.  {Imagine it to look like anything you please.  Mine is fairly simple--much like the one you see to the left.  But yours can be as elaborate as you wish.  It can be tall or short, fat or skinny, a mug, or a vase.  It can even be any color as long as it's translucent enough to see through.}

Do you have your glass ready?  Now imagine yourself placing two flowers inside.  {You can choose any flower you like--preferably one of your favorites.  They can even be two different kinds of flowers if you like.}

Now take a pitcher and imagine yourself pouring crystal clear water into your glass.  Fill it about 1/3 of the way full.
Let the analogy begin!
The glass represents you. 
The flowers represent joy and happiness that you hold.  Now these flowers are magical.  They will never ever long as you keep them properly watered.
The water represents the things in life (whether experienced or created) that bring you joy and happiness.

We are all born with a certain amount of happiness...thankfully, we never start out dry!  However, as life progresses, plans are changed and dreams are shattered.  If we don't keep our supply of water at least somewhat full, our flowers start to wither.  We have all passed through these times.  The trick, I guess, is to add as much water as we provide for ourselves as many happifying experiences as possible to keep our water high!

It can be challenging however.  Remember the pitcher at the beginning of the visualization?  That was only used to give you your starting amount.  We are given a mere dropper to keep our water high.

Drop by drop we fill our cups with the things that make our joy and happiness flourish.

But what do we do when our water dwindles and we feel ourselves sinking into despair?  There is no simple answer, but I have been striving to implement the "drop by happy drop" method and, miraculously, it seems to be working.

Look for the good.  And every time you find it, imagine yourself dropping another beautiful, crystal droplet into your cup.  Imagine your flowers perking up a little bit more with every drop.

There will be moments when you will feel your dropper can't keep up with the water flowing from it.  Your glass may even be brimming with happifying droplets.  At other times, you may only be able to squeeze out three precious drops a day.  But be grateful.  Those drops add up.
I repeat, look for those happifying droplets everywhere you go.  Look to the sky and be grateful for the sun.  Let your child's laughter add a drop.  Let a warm embrace add two maybe even three drops to your cup.  Provide drops for yourself by taking a few moments to wind down with something you enjoy--every day!  And most importantly, let the Savior add hundreds at the end of your day when you have done your best and you feel His words, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."

And on the days {or minutes} when everything seems to go wrong, find something good no matter how small.  I will illustrate with a personal example from last night.  Patrick was on his way home and the boys were helping me with dinner.  We had a pan of scrambled eggs going, along with a skillet of buttermilk pancakes, and a saucepan filled with syrup.  It all started with the pancakes....they were too runny.  As I hurried to get another cup of flour, I heard a deafening sizzling crackle, and looked over to see the syrup erupting from the saucepan, not unlike a volcano.  Sparks were glistening and I screamed, causing my boys to start crying.  I felt like crying myself.  My day had not been easy, but I had been adding drop by little drop and felt as happy as a small tulip just sprouting.  But I felt like a giant had just squashed me when I realized I would be spending the next hour cleaning up the sugary, sticky goo.  Some of my droplets were definitely used up right then and there, but I didn't let too many escape before I looked outside and saw the sun.  "At least it's still shining," I told myself.  That's all it took.

Now I realize that in theory this sounds wonderful, but in practice, is it possible?  If the visualization does the trick, perfect!  If not, you may be more like me and need something concrete in addition to visual.  I found myself a glass and found some of those clear gems you can get at the dollar store.  These will be my happifying droplets.  Every time the Lord sees fit to grant me a tender mercy, I will place a gem into my glass.

Your Happy Challenge for this week is to perform this visualization either imagined or real for one week.  Let me know if it worked for you, and I'll report back as well.

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