The Inspiration That Heals

If I'm going to be a life enthusiast- a chaser of happiness- I've determined I need a few ground rules. Like no raining on parades, perhaps. I've trained myself to look for the deep things, while holding little patience for surface things. What does that mean? It means I can be terribly judge-y when it comes to self-help and positive self-talk.

I'm like, substance, people! Substance! Have some depth! And please, for the love of everything, stop signing your random thoughts "-rumi." We can tell. Harrumph and garrumph. And humbug.

See, for a long time, I thought real happiness is only that which has depth. I thought "shallow" was a dirty word. I figured I'd better put as much distance between myself and the word as possible. It's what all the smart cool-kids on the playground do.

Life is not really just a playground, but I've got mud on my clothes now, which is what happens when you jump in the arena and find out how difficult one day or even one hour of living into your life can be. Or when you hear about all the different challenges facing one human, and how they've struggled to overcome, and you practice empathy and listening well.

I've still got a dormant skeptic within. I know, because I often still shudder when something I'd call pink and flowery gets posted on media. You know. Where the message has dubious promises for those who follow the steps. (Never mind about your starting position.)

I may not be able to get rid of the skeptic, but maybe little by little I can change my mind through my heart. I don't want to resent others' enthusiasm because it looks different than my own. I believe there's a cure for this called: Be and let be. Or maybe better said to myself: Everyone can have their own favorite slice of pie. Don't tell other people the pie is bad for them, or the sugar will destroy their gut health, just because you don't like the pie. Let them find their own bliss and make their own choices. You are not responsible!

(Whew! That's a load off. I wonder how many other unnecessary burdens I'm hauling around for humanity?)

There are millions of different perspectives on life, and if what I might deem a bit of nonsense gets you through a day, then it isn't nonsense after all. It's medicine. Maybe not the brand or dosage that is right for me, but it is the perfect brand for you, and you have a right to it without criticism.

What is my brand of need? I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

Here's the kind of inspiration that heals me: Share the words that fuel my inner fire. Call out to me to persevere when things are hard, to let go when things aren't right for me, and to fight harder when hopelessness or fear comes knocking. Remind me of the goodness of resting. Tell me how to send shame and scarcity packing. Tell me to get up and make something for the sake of my own joy. And the most important: let me never forget how loved, valuable, and worthy I am to participate in these few small moments- this blink of an eye- on earth.

Jamie Bagley