JKLTip Focus your energy on vitality, something you can control throughout life’s many ups and downs
This is one of the most important lessons I learned in my mental health journey to date. This premise reminds me of the sesame street song, one of these things is not like the other. Joy, happiness, vitality, they are all important, but one does not belong.
Joy, happiness, and vitality are like the three amigos we want around as much as possible. But, can you guess which one does not belong?
Happiness is a sense of well being, or contentment, the feeling of wanting to smile. Hence the term happy face.
Joy is an emotion that can be defined as the feeling of pleasure, or happiness. Think of the term a joyous occasion.
Sometimes we will be filled with joy, and sometimes we will feel happy. But, sometimes we will feel sad and sometimes we will feel angry. There will be moments we are filled with frustration, anxiety, or surprise, all of which are important in their own way. Our emotions come and go, but vitality, vitality is different.
Vitality is not necessarily an emotion that has to come and go. The greater your vitality, the greater your capacity for a meaningful and purposeful existence. Regardless of life circumstances, beyond emotions, we can live with vitality. We can be sad, frustrated and angry while channeling it toward building strength in our philosophy of life.
Our Beautiful Example
Our Daughter’s life will be a story she can tell someday so I won’t go into detail. She faces a lot of strong emotions on the daily. When I think of the idea of taking her to the fair, I think of a great little analogy of what I hope for her to learn in life.
She probably whined that the drive was too long, only to become overjoyed when she saw the bright lights as we pulled up. It’s likely that she hated waiting in the long lines, but laughed hysterically once she finally was on the ride. In all likelihood she was a bit too hungry by the time she got her french fries, so she tossed them on the floor.
But the cotton candy put a smile back on that face. In the end, she was overtired and angry that it was time to go home, so she threw a crying fit. But while she went to bed like a devil child, she woke up the thankful, funny angel she is, after a good night’s rest.
A trip to the fair can be filled with ups and downs for kids. Its is literally a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The amazing thing is, the entire time she can live and learn with the right support and patience. This goes for all of us. We can battle the ebb and flow, the ups and downs, all the while building our character.
Don’t worry about angry, happy, sad, depressed, anxious, excited, surprised. Focus on building vitality one experience at a time, for you and for those around you, and life will be extraordinary.