I walk towards the grocery store. I stop and hug my friend, “Cookie.” She is always helping others and today she is collecting food for those in need this Thanksgiving. I make my rounds through the store and stop to drop off groceries with her as I exit.

A while later I receive this text, “You are the most generous person on the planet, love you Colleen.”

I often think that what I most miss about being truly and completely happy is generosity. It was so easy for me to give emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually and otherwise. These past few years have hindered that generosity because the unhappiness has tapped me out emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually and otherwise.

I was really fortunate to have always had ‘joie de vivre.’ I always knew that it was a gift to know the kind of joy that kept me in a continuous smile.

My friend “Cookie’s” text reminded me not only of what I miss most about myself. It reminded me of why it is so crucial that we all strive for happiness. It is the place that permits us the most generosity.

I miss that continuous smile.

Unhappiness prevents this type of generosity because we aren’t comfortable enough in our own skin to gift it. We don’t feel good about ourselves so all of our emotions are used up – none left for others. We become stressed and run down and physically used up – no time left for others. There are financial fears which become used up – no finances left for others. We become searchers who are confused and used up – no joy leftover for others.

Happy is comfortable. It’s a warm, blanket on a cold winter’s day.

Unhappy is uncomfortable. No matter how many different blankets that you try, none seem warm enough.

In spite of this, I now am feeling thankful for unhappiness.

It is true that happiness enabled me to be incredibly generous with others. I extended my arms in many directions and there was most definitely a joy in that. I would say that I was moving ‘others forward.’

Unhappiness forced me to withdraw my arms temporarily and become so uncomfortable with myself that I had to look inward. It forced me to make ‘myself move forward.’

In happy times, not matter how much I gave, no matter how good it made me feel…It did not make me grow as a person. It made me feel better as a person. I knew that every person I touched taught me something, but to really evolve sometimes we need to feel pain not just watch pain.

In unhappy times I have grown in internal humanity rather than external humanity.

I am really fortunate to have experienced this level of unhappiness. I now know that it is a gift to become this uncomfortable in life. It has taught me to be generous with myself. This new empathy will one day provide me additional arms to extend in new directions towards others.

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

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