Things have been difficult of late, and I’ve been feeling an overwhelming urge to whine and feel sorry for myself. I don’t like doing this. I try to avoid it to the utmost, as I know that those kinds of feelings are self-perpetuating. “I am sad, therefore, I will act sad, and therefore, by acting sad, I will become sadder, etc. etc, etc.” It is a very easy cycle to be caught in, and, once caught, not an easy cycle to break out of.
This knowledge, of course, does nothing to eliminate my desire to bitch. I can think of dozens of things to bitch about, and some instinct deep within me cries out with a deep-seeded, primordial need to bitch; to whine; to cry out, “Woe is me!” (Woe is I?) and to seek out hugs and cuddles and coddling.
And, while this is appropriate sometimes, too much of it can be habit forming. While I do enjoy coddling those who have problems on occasion, continuous coddling begins to become less of a “feel good” thing and more of an “obligation” thing.
My uncle, who just passed, was a prime example of stoicism in the face of impossible obstacles. The man’s wife died fifteen some years ago. He had a heart attack seven or so years ago, had open heart surgery a couple of times, congestive heart failure frequently, bypass surgery on what seemed to be more than a dozen occasions. He had diabetes, was ninety-five percent blind, had hand surgery that left his hand in a permanent, claw-like position, and had a slow-moving, painful form of cancer that was gradually eating him away.
And yet, he was always smiling, rarely complained, loved listening to classical music, and always answered, “fine,” whenever anyone asked him how he was feeling.
My uncle, in short, never bitched. Moreover, in spite of his troubles, he was usually a very happy man.
So there is some kind of secret there. Perhaps the key to happiness is not being unhappy. A bit simplistic perhaps, but I can’t say that bitching has ever led to happiness, at least for myself. Maybe not being unhappy is worth a shot.
Safe paths, my friends. Bitch if it brings you pleasure. As for myself, I think I’m just going to say that everything is “just fine” instead. :-)