Earlier last week I watched the delicious documentary, Public Speaking, spotlighting American writer, Fran Lebowitz.
Fran is one of those unique individuals who people either love, or think she’s an arrogant, rude, elitist New Yorker.
Yes, without a doubt Fran speaks her mind with a candidness that’s one-of-a-kind. Her social commentary on American life is to say the least, sardonic, and BRILLIANTLY sardonic. She is definitely not for those people who like things sugarcoated because I'm almost certain Fran drinks her coffee strong, black, and without any sweetener.
Personally, I love her because I appreciate her directness and un-censorship.
But to be honest, I don’t always agree with Fran’s take on things, yet she has one of those personalities that is so enthralling, you can’t turn away from her; regardless of her personal views. Her speaking voice is so identifiable because it sounds like a gravelly Wilma Flintstone who chain smokes. Fran also speaks with a certain rhythm - in Morse code.
One of the questions in the documentary that was asked of Fran was, “Do you prefer being in the company of happy or embittered people?”
Fran’s answer was, “As soon as I meet some happy people I will let you know.”
She also said, “Happiness to me is really a sensation, it is not a condition. So that when people say, are you happy? Yes, I have been happy, but for moments. But the idea that happiness is a condition of life is truly an absurd idea.”
Well, after laughing my ass off at her so-Fran delivery, I had to admit that I did not fully agree with her.
So here’s my own take on happiness….
I can sincerely say that overall I am a happy person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel other emotions.
I don’t think it’s possible to ONLY feel happy all the time because as human beings, we feel a gamut of emotions throughout any given day. And like with any contra-happy emotion, such as, annoyance, sorrow, despair or fear, they are not static, they come and go. And I think it’s important to allow ourselves to feel and embrace these emotions because they are there to teach us something. Denying them does not make them go away.
I do think it’s possible to remain a happy person in spite of feeling other emotions.
Happiness is a choice.
And I will give you a brief personal example.
Back in 2003, when I had to file for bankruptcy, my life was in utter shambles because my whole existence fell apart. I had no physical security during this time because everything was taken away from me. I literally had ZERO.
Needless to say, HAPPY was not an emotion I was feeling or even thought about.
But I have to tell you, if it weren’t for going bankrupt, I don’t think I would have ever realized all the things I had to be grateful for in my life, in spite of not having any financial security because I was one of those people who always overlooked those things. I knew I had a great life, but I took it for granted.
Therefore, when I was stripped of everything physical and left barren, that was when I had the opportunity to actually see the wealth in my life.
To have nothing, but to have everything.
So I made a choice to be happy.
And gradually after I changed my outlook, my financial life took a change as well.
Being happy takes constant consciousness because sometimes I have to remember to stand back from the drama of life and focus on the things I am happy for.
This is where I disagree with Fran.
“But the idea that happiness is a condition of life is truly an absurd idea.”
True, the condition of life might not always be happy. But I do not believe that I don’t have a choice to discover happiness, in spite life’s condition.
The choice is mine. I just have to be aware of it.
And allow happy.
Happy Monday everyone!