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While blog-hopping as part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I was reading Chicky’s post on Happiness Jar (link), when a thought struck me. Before that let me tell you what a Happiness Jar is. Vidya has written in detail about one she has in her house and also where she got the idea from (link). It is literally a jar where family members put in notes about any little thing that makes them happy. It is a way of remembering and appreciating everyday things that might otherwise be lost to time. Something wonderful to do, don’t you think?

In her post, Chicky suggests that going through the contents of the Happiness Jar is a ‘brilliant technique to shift our emotional state from sad to happy’. To quote her further,

I don’t remember now where I read this (it was some book), but our mind can hold only one thought at any given point of time. If it’s a sad thought, we become sad. If it’s a happy thought, we automatically become happy. And this “Happiness Jar” can be that perfect vehicle for transporting us from the state of unhappiness to happiness.”

Reading the above made me pause and think, and then shake my head in the negative. Nope, this wouldn’t work for me at all. I could have not one but many Happiness Jars at home filled to overflowing with little notes about the happy moments in my life for all the good it would do me in transporting myself from one state of mind to the other. Strange, but true.

In the first place I wouldn’t (literally and figuratively) touch such a jar (if I had one) while in a sad state of mind. You see when I am unhappy, the last thing I want to do is think happy thoughts, or even read about them in a bid to uplift my mood.  To me, that would be akin to applying a fresh coat of paint over a wall that is dirty, patchy and has paint peeling all over. In such situations, what we normally do will be scrape away the old peeling paint, clean the wall as best as we can and THEN paint it.

If I am sad, instead of thinking happy thoughts in a bid to get me out of the mood, I delve and dive deeper inside to find out why I am feeling the way I do and try and scrape THAT reason away. You then automatically return to your happy state. Sometimes of course, though you might pin-point the reason for your sadness, you may be unable to remove the cause, because the solution is not in your hands. In such cases, just the knowing the cause is of utmost help. Awareness has always been (and is) the key to my well-being and happiness, not sweet memories of good times.

Besides, I have my own personal theory. I feel I MUST allow myself to be sad just as I allow myself to be happy. What is the big rush, anyway? My way is to let the sadness have its way with me for as long as it wants, at its own pace, in its own way and leave when it is ready to. Flushing it out prematurely or forcefully by making myself remember good times is never on my cards. If the good times come to mind on their own, well and good, if not, I just let it be.

One fine day when my mind is ready, it opens up and starts remembering good things on its own, without any effort on my part. It might even want to go take a look at the Happiness Jar (in case I own one). That is when I know sadness has departed, defeated.

Come to think of it, I almost sound like those people who refuse to take medicines for illnesses, letting nature take its course and all that jazz. And I am beginning to think it is pretty good that my way is not everyone’s way of doing it. But, sigh, it happens to be mine. As they say, whatever floats one’s boat, right?

This blog is part of Ultimate Blog Challenge July 2013.