Lately I have been devoting quite a bit of time to thinking about my outlook on life. I read recently that, despite what is commonly believed, the way we act actually affects how we feel, and not the other way around. If I desire to be happy, then, such an achievement becomes only a matter of acting happy. Strictly speaking, one could argue that, by this philosophy, joy is only a few forced smiles away. I think, however, that the concept is larger. To be happy requires a positive outlook on life, even regarding things that we may not necessarily view positively at this moment in time. But, through daily reaffirmation, I truly believe we can effect change on our moods - on our internal selves - and become brighter, more beautiful spirits.
The other day I started compiling a list of "rules" - aphorisms, maxims, tenets, call them what you will - by which I would like to start living. Some are more serious than others, but all, I feel, hold some amount of importance. Some of them I do not yet believe, of course, but someday, they will all be truths by which I will continue to endure. My hope is that others will find truth in them as well, and start living beautiful lives.
01. I deserve love and I will find it.
02. People are beautiful.
03. The world is absolutely amazing.
04. Something wonderful happens every day.
05. I am not the only one with vices.
06. My body is beautiful as it is and its only imperfection is that I do not see this.
07. Crying does not make me weak.
08. Telling people I miss them does not make me weak.
09. If I feel like laughing, I should. My sense of humor is marvelous whether or not anyone else shares it.
10. "One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince)
11. Every day is an opportunity to better myself.
12. Everybody deserves a smile.
13. Few people are actually bad. Most just have bad days.
14. Food was made to be eaten.
15. No self-doubt.
16. No inhibitions.
17. There is no room in my heart for regret.
18. Time does not stop, and all bad things eventually pass.
19. Pleasure and sin are not the same thing.
20. "We turn older not with years, but newer every day." (Emily Dickinson)
21. There is no reason to apologize for who I am.
22. Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.
23. I have been happy before and I will be happy again.
24. Every day is the right day to tell people I love them.
25. "I exist as I am, that is enough." (Walt Whitman)
Henry David Thoreau wrote a magnificent truth during the time he spent at Walden Pond. "How vain it is," he remarked, "to sit down and write when you have not stood up to live."
I have officially risen out of my chair, and today is the day I start to live.
(Title quote: e.e. cummings)