My ten year-old son arrived home from school the other day in an uncharacteristically foul mood. Every aspect of his being – from his countenance and physical demeanor to the energy radiating from his eyes – revealed the abject misery that he was feeling. All he would say, however, was that he had had a “bad day”. He went straight to his bedroom, and (also uncharacteristically) spent the next twenty minutes alone in retreat. I have no doubt that the first ten of those minutes were spent wallowing in his sorrow, but at some point, a shift occurred. At some point he resolved within himself to cease indulging the darkness and run, unhesitatingly toward the light. At some point he decided to throw himself into creation.
And after the short period of solitude, he emerged from his sanctuary smiling.
I am so impressed by his ability to console himself, and his self-aware knowledge of what would bring him back from the edge. I confess this is a skill which often eludes me, when faced with my own dark moods. My son, at the age of ten, understands that the seeds of his own happiness are within himself, and that he need only sow them in order to restore the balance.
We each possess these seeds within us, often buried deep, although not sown. For my son on this day, they were manifest in Lego, for me it is often singing or cooking. For you it might be drawing or writing or gardening or any number of activities that serve to feed your soul in those moments when it is in dire need of nourishment.
The trick is remembering that they are there, the seeds of your own happy-ness, and that you have access to them and the ability to bring yourself back from that edge at any given moment. At some point when you are again ready to step into the light.
What seeds are you sowing today? Are they feeding your happy-ness?