I used to get frustrated with my husband, Ken, for cutting our homemade bread and leaving the crumbs all over the cutting board, drifting down to the counter. Not long ago I was sighing and cleaning up the mess, asking myself, “Why can’t he just take a minute and wipe the crumbs away when he’s done cutting the bread? It’s a small task!” And on and on it went.
Just then I heard a voice in my head say: “Let nothing keep you from your happiness!”
It stopped me in my tracks. I realized that I was feeling unhappy and frustrated over something that did not matter at all! “Besides,” I heard myself say, “If he weren’t here to leave the crumbs, you would be so sad and would probably give anything to have the crumbs on the counter again.”
Later that day, the poem below came to mind.
That simple experience has sent me down a new path. Now, when I’m faced with frustration, disappointment or critical feeling, I try hard to remember to say to myself: “Let nothing keep you from your happiness!” The results have been remarkable. My happiness quotient has risen dramatically.
I invite you to try it for yourself. When you get angry or frustrated with someone, think about the cost of those feelings, that stress, in your body. Is it worth it? Perhaps just taking a breath and looking at the situation differently might help. You might even ask yourself: “What’s the most important thing here?”
Chances are, you are not going to change the other person. Yes, there are times to be assertive, to not let others run over you. And, if you can keep your cool while doing it, everyone wins.
Let Nothing Keep You from Your Happiness
Let nothing keep you from your happiness.
No unmet expectation
No irritation at things not done
No “you should haves” or “why didn’t you,”
I can get angry at the rain
Or I can imagine the flowers that are emerging.
I can be frightened by the bee that crosses my path
Or enjoy the sweet nectar of its honey.
Instead of allowing others to take my happiness
I can now replace frustration with gratitude,
Focusing not on what isn’t, but on what is.
When I lose it because you didn’t meet my needs,
I am the one who suffers.
When I give you the impossible task
of creating my happiness,
I lose my precious connection with you.
Let nothing take away your happiness.
You deserve to step into the light
Heart full, arms open.
The happiness you long for is here now.
—Marti Glenn, December, 2019
This article was written by Marti Glenn, Ph.D., Ryzio Clinical Director