Go to bed. Be quiet. Get Serious. Stop laughing. Work now, play later. Sit up straight. Don’t play with your food. Don’t wear plaid with polka dots. Rules. Got to love them.
From the very moment we are born into this world, we are given these Rules. By the time we are fully grown, we are oh, so serious. We lose our Peter Pan nature in exchange for … well, I’m not sure what the exchange is. Fitting in, maybe? Not standing out? Not rocking the boat?
By the time I was 27, I was very properly serious. I took my upbringing very seriously. I took my pain very seriously. I took my heartaches, my body image, my “craft”, my “dreams”, my relationships – all very seriously. In fact, there was not an iota of my life that i was not “serious” about. I was “serious” about healing my depression too. I was just serious about all of it.
Yet, I believe that Life leaves us clues to find our way out of the debacle we’ve created for ourselves. And for me…. it came in the shadow of Peter Pan. I was in love with Peter Pan from the moment I first read his story. I loved his Neverland. I wanted to live there. I even named my ipod after Neverland….
Seriousness has a way of hardening us – hardening our hearts, aging our faces with a stoney expression, dulling every sound, every vision, every moment with a certain numbness. I had no awareness that my own spiral of sadness, of anxiety, of despair that I would never, ever be successful, much less peaceful was being fed by such a tightfisted mindset, until one day, Mr Bird looked at me with those big soulful blue eyes, and said: “When did you lose your Joy?”
Like Pixie dust, his words magically infiltrated the tiny cracks of my heart. Like little seeds, his words swirled through my mind as I slept, when I woke, as I was going about my day. I had forgotten my Happy Thought. And so, I had lost my ability to believe in Magic, and … my ability to Fly.
Could it be so simple? To laugh in the midst of despair. Could it be so powerful? To listen to dance tunes when life seems overwhelming? I tried it on for size … this happy thinking. Why not? Seriousness was not working.
Day by day… letting go of the seriousness. I went right into the Heart of the feeling of despair, of anxiousness, and in the midst of it all – thought about the Happiest things I could possibly imagine. Often future memories. I no longer wanted to know why i was unhappy, or why things happened to me, all I cared about was finding ONE happy thought. It took a great deal of practice. But, day by day, I felt myself soften. I felt more peaceful than I had in a decade.
And here I am. Now. Talking to you from such a different Life Story than the one I had. Here I am. Reaching out to you. Reminding you to find your Happy Thought. Cling to it with the neccessity that your life depends upon it, and every life you touch.
You will find your Magic again. You will Fly. And you will be and have all that you imagine. Just let go of all that seriousness.
(* You can find that cheerful reminder to Laugh in the Shop!)
With so much love,