Happiness is really a beautiful emotion within a man. Grumpiness can sap the goodness out of his life. Joe Rutland offers some observations around both subjects.
Happiness comes in many different shades for men. It can be the thrill of cheering on your children, favorite sports team or having a delicious date with that special someone. It also can be simply sitting outside in the sun, relaxing, breathing, and undertaking whatever you are led to do.
Then there’s the “other” side of the coin. Grumpiness can equate to emotions of feeling sad, mad, angry, fearful, lonely, don’t give a damn, etc., all the time. This is grumpiness at its core.
I’ve often heard that happiness is an inside job. Well, OK. Can the same thing be said about grumpiness?
After all, as a man, I have to “work my ass off all the time” to get ahead. This is the mantra of many men’s lives: “Work hard. Just work and all things will come to you. Success, money, abundance, love … just work, work, work and never breathe.”
I’m calling bullshit on a piece of this.
What if the art of happiness also included a little less work and more fun and play?
What works best for one person will work differently for another.
Happiness and grumpiness do not mix well together. Kind of like mixing a sweet fragrance of lavender with Icy Hot. That doesn’t work.
How can a man tap into more happiness every day?
“But, but, but” … no buts. So, sit on your butt and let’s examine this happiness-grumpiness scenario.
It’s never a healthy idea to spend hour after hour in front of a computer screen and get locked and loaded. Well, you may get locked into the work zone and loaded from how much caffeine you’re taking in just to stay awake and work more.
Yes, I know that there are many solid people who do enjoy their work and love to work all the time. If this is true for you, then great. Go work all the time. Enjoy yourself.
Let me ask you this, though. Are you happy? Do you even have a feeling of happiness within you?
I’ve been in the situation where I have worked three jobs at one time to get my head above financial waters. I understand. My entire work career has been filled with overworked and underpaid situations. I’ve walked that road too many times. Does this make me a happy camper? Not always. Yet it lies within my own thinking and emotions to have a work-life balance.
Happiness is certainly a beautiful thing. Don’t you want more happiness, my man, in your life? Sure you do! What messages are coming up within yourself right now? “Joe, you don’t understand dude. I have to work hard. I have to always work. My kids depend on it. I’ve got to pay child support, a mortgage, my kids’ tuition, my apartment rent, and many other responsibilities. It’s what I have to do.”
I get that. Delayed happiness can lead to immediate grumpiness. When I am not emotionally balanced, I can guarantee you that I’m more likely to go tell someone to “fuck off” than I am to say it more diplomatically.
Happiness is not overrated.
Actually, it is a beautiful emotion to knit within the fabric of a man’s life. Tell me. You have heard of the term “man cave,” I presume? This is the all-loving sanctuary of the male species – married or not – that becomes safe haven (where a man can work on his hobbies, sit on the couch in front of his 60-inch TV and watch sports without ANY interruption).
Can happiness be an everyday occurrence? Yes, I do believe this is so. It sure as hell beats 24-hour constipated grumpiness.
One suggestion might be to increase the gratitude quotient in life. Try this out for a few days. Look around your home and environment in your city or town. Specifically look for things that can bring you joy. It might be looking up into the blue sky (or seeing snow on the ground, as is the case in some parts of America these days). It also can be taking some time, looking into your lover’s eyes and appreciating them for who they are … your best friend.
Animal lovers can definitely find time to give Derek or Fluffy some petting time. Tell me that you could not find some gratitude for these things in your life.
Another suggestion around tapping into happiness is lessening the stress triggers in your life. Everyone – and I mean everyone – has a pile of stuff that we can focus on and find our spirits sagging. This is not gratitude or happiness at work. There is more energy drawn toward what really is painful and not happy. Mind you, I’m not denying that “things” need to be taken care of and I’m not saying to go all-out around being irresponsible. No. What I am saying is that if, for a brief moment, you are able to do something positive and affirming in your life … whatever it is … then that spirit of happiness has a chance to grow more within yourself.
Take time and identify what keeps you from fully engaging in happiness. I’m well aware that too much work can have harmful physical repercussions on a body. It really can. Taking care of one’s self is a battle. For many men, being “macho” is what is preached, taught and transmitted through societal peers. “Be a man” is an oft-used phrase. What the hell does that mean? To some, it means to suck it up and keep on going. No matter what the circumstances. Don’t let happiness even near your heart’s front door. Happiness is for other people. Not me. Again, that’s B.S.
Happiness is for everyone. Grumpiness is never healthy.
Exhibit A: That face on Grumpy Cat. You have seen it.
Grumpy Cat reminds me of myself at many times through my life. Looking into the mirror at my own face and seeing grumpiness … ah crap, it’s not a pretty sight. Worse than that, not being aware that grumpiness is what I am feeling or sharing with others is sad.
I really am striving to live a life minus major-league grumpiness 24/7. It’s a hell of a thing to be swamped in negativity, dark energy, low self-esteem, beating one’s self up over the slightest errors. There is zero room for happiness to seep through the cracks of a man’s heart, tap into the spiritual side within, and let the three words “I love you” touch a man’s wounded areas.
Too much work does not make you a man. Being a million-dollar happiness giver all the time doesn’t, either. There is a balance zone, if you will, where happiness takes center stage while grumpiness lessens.
Does this fit for you?
How about taking the next week and spending a few minutes each day letting the feeling of happiness into your life. Just a few minutes. No, I know. Work needs to be done. Family obligations are always there.
Maybe you and I, as men, should listen to Otis Redding’s words and … well … try a little tenderness.
Photo: aha42 | tehaha/Flickr