Right Now.

main-qimg-4cd9d0abdd61a3f86eb8db248571686d-cRight now. This very second. Someone is thinking of you, grateful for you – just as you are. Now take a deep breath and let that truth wash over you.

I recently satiated on one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies (next to Shawshank, Almost Famous, Postcards From the Edge).

No matter how many times I watch these lines come to life, it ignites that part of me I sometimes forget exists:

“Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you — the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass”  – Juno (screenplay by Diablo Cody)

Hard to believe – what with my being a professional pole swinger in the 80’s and all – but when it comes to fathers – I got nothing. Nada. Bupkis. It used to really piss me off, but I’m good now.

Spend enough time in the therapy chair and even hard-core narcissists get weary of cliché.

Somewhere in the cigarette smoke-filled milieu of graduating the stripper scene in my twenties and navigating my thirties with the moxie only a born salesman can attain, I pierced the Daddy Issues umbrella. It was enough to move on from being a victim of my mother’s poor choices, to my own mid-life conundrums.  I’ve been a walking lesson to myself for decades now without any help from the family fallback card.

Therapy should come with a hole-punch card.

Welcome to treatment! Ex-stripper? Daddy issues? Self-esteem in the shitter? Punch. Punch. Punch. Only two more and your next issue is free!

How cool would it be if we could all take a pill and wake up one day, look in the mirror and see what our loved ones see. We’d all wake up where our real life bleeds over from our dreams. The fantasy life we spend so much time wishing ourselves different from who we are would be reality. We’d have that perfect body, hair, skin, waist size, career, bank account, family, spouse… whatever.

Know what’s perfect? The knowledge that nothing is. The most beautiful part of being human is knowing that we are.

And human beings are flawed. We make mistakes, fall on our asses, throw people under the bus, avoid personal responsibility, live in denial, project our issues, betray trust, and break rules.

And that’s just with the people we love.

But not all hope is lost, so open that garage door and turn off the engine, buddy.

We also have infinite measures of being able to forgive, lend a hand, support each other, share our good fortune, own our mistakes, learn from them, pull ourselves back up, teach each other, and provide compassion – not to mention unconditional love.

Right now. This very second. Someone is thinking of you, grateful for you – just as you are – as dysfunctional as you are. They know you are perfectly flawed. And love you.

So now that you’ve been reminded of your greatness – it’s a good time to cut yourself some slack.

Christine Macdonald

Shift to Bliss

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Remember when we were kids playing in the sprinklers on a warm, sunny day? How about when we sang our favorite tune at the top of our lungs when we first learned to drive a car? Or the first time your lips met with that special someone? Whatever the vehicle, Love is always walking in our lives. And to Love, to give Love, to experience something you Love – Love in all forms – is pure bliss.
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In moments of pure bliss, something uncontrollable happens inside us. It comes from a place deep within the walls of our hearts and dances around our spirit like a feather in the wind. A soul-awakening, if you will, full of gratitude, acceptance, happiness and adoration.
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So why do some people seem to have more of this Bliss Drug than others? Are they luckier in love, have more money than us, or are they just in a state of perpetual ignorance, because how can anyone be that happy?
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Having struggled with clinical depression for years (things are peachy now, thank Goodness), I wish I could just tell you that when it comes to serious depression – the only way to find your Happy is to ride a bike, go on a walk, or eat more broccoli.
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But we know better.
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I don’t presume to know more than that of your average, everyday Hot Mess, so I won’t get in to the whole “it’s a brain chemistry thing”. But it is and the faster you get medical attention, the better. If you find yourself not wanting to get out of bed for days (weeks) on end (“isolating”), aren’t eating much, or eating (or drinking) too much, please call your doctor and reach out. IT DOES GET BETTER.
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So back to those pesky Blissed-out people. Seriously, what’s their deal?
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Keep in mind, I am medicated for depression and I’m just a middle-aged writer who used to work the stripper pole for a living – but I think part of finding our Happy is a matter of choice. Attitude. Gratitude. Choice.
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No matter how life ruffles our feathers, kicks our asses when we are down or laughs in our faces when we try – the one thing for sure is certain. The rollercoaster never ends. Kids, husbands, wives, work, school, money issues, health matters… do I need to go on?
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One of my resolutions this year is to Honor My Truth. Being 100% honest with yourself is not as easy as it sounds when you have a brain like mine. My head is always in the clouds, remember? I’ve made some poor choices lately – not being honest with myself – in thinking I was able to handle the cause-and-effects of my decisions. In honoring my truth, I had to make some changes to get my heart and soul back on track. Who was I kidding? I don’t have the right wardrobe for Denial.

As a ripple effect to honoring my truth something amazing has been happening. I’m starting to feel better about myself, which is having me change the way I look at things. Suddenly work isn’t so draining, my love life, not so bleak, and my health is improving as I begin to exercise more and live a healthier lifestyle.

Choosing Happy isn’t so hard when you put yourself first. And when you put yourself first, others who do the same seem to surround you. People notice a shift in your attitude. You are lighter. Dare we say, Blissful?

Love in abundance is a beautiful thing and you don’t need to have a romantic partner to experience it (I’m currently single and excited for life’s possibilities). Pure Bliss can happen when we shift our attitudes and remind ourselves that Love really is around us. Remember those sprinklers and singing your heart out in the car? That was all you and only you – experiencing the magic of what happens when we open our hearts and minds.

For me – remembering to honor my truth and have faith in myself – that if I live my life with Love and Compassion – is what’s helping me from jumping off the rollercoaster on those really low days.

What about you? What helps you keep a positive attitude? Your comments may just change someone’s day.

Christine Macdonald