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Happy? Who? Me?

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: We just got back from vacation. We haven't done anything as a family that hasn't involved working, or a meal, in five years. But in this awful financial climate, our timing couldn't have been worse.

happy woman and sad woman

"Must be nice," and "Don't you know it's a recession?" have been the responses to my relaxed demeanor more than once this week. Is it okay to be happy when the collective mood right now is bleak? I don't really have the answer. It should, theoretically, always be good to be happy.

But what if feeling good makes other people feel bad?

I've always had a problem with happiness. I don't come by it naturally. I'm more of a "waiting for the other shoe to drop" kind of gal. So it's interesting to have worked hard to have a family life that makes me smile, work that satisfies, and the courage to carve out a little time to relax and actually let myself feel good about it.

And yet, I don't even like putting these thoughts in print. As ugly as it is to admit, I have felt jealous of others in my life and it's a terrible feeling. I would hate to be the source of that for anyone. So much so that in an attempt to protect others from feeling threatened by me in any way, my favorite and only brand of wit is self-deprecation. But it's hard to make nothing of a trip to a gorgeous tropical island and a general sense of well-being.

Just as I was considering all this, someone sent me this quote from Marianne Williamson, often wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be... Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

I'm not sure about all the god stuff, but these are good thoughts during challenging times. During any times really.


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