Getting to Happiness on a Difficult Day

Today, either you’re celebrating or you’re heartbroken. There seems to be no middle ground. I’ve strictly avoided politics on this site (and will continue to do so), because I believe happiness can be the core of your being, regardless of who wins or loses a single election. Yes, it fluctuates with the outcome, but it never diminishes permanently. 

However, on this day, I feel a need and responsibility to do what I can for those who are hurting. Never in all the years that I’ve been working to promote and increase happiness in the world have I had a day like today — a day where so, so, so many people reached out and cried, “Help!”

If you are not one of them, then I ask you, as a favor to me, please reach out in kindness to those who are. Happiness is like health, equality and education — it’s better for everyone when we all have it.

If you are heartsick, mystified, feeling betrayed, then I will share with you my Count to Five — the five things I counted this morning that make me happy in this very moment:

  1. Nothing is permanent. This country has had leadership that some have loved and others have hated for as long as we’ve been in existence and it always swings back to the other side in due time. That’s how we stay in balance while always moving forward,
  2. We have no idea what the ultimate outcome will be. Yes, a lot of very ugly things were said, but that was for a different goal — to get the job. Now, the goal is to do the job, and for all we know, positions that were feared most will be the ones abandoned first. Unlike any other figure in my lifetime, this is one we can most predict to be unpredictable.
  3. The people you love are still the people you love and they love you. Hug them extra tight.
  4. We are starting a national dialogue about things we had long ignored. New bonds are being formed. New passions ignited. Maybe the first _________ President (fill in the blank) will be one who was inspired to get involved by last night’s outcome.
  5. We are safe. We’re not refugees, aren’t being bombed, no one will come to our homes in the middle of the night and slaughter us for who we voted for. Democracy marches on. We still have a say in our governance. We still have the power to change the things we cannot accept. We can still fight for one another’s rights. That’s an incredible gift! And we can still honor those who bled and died for this truth by never taking it for granted.

It’s okay to feel the pain. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to give yourself a few hours or days to wallow in it.

Then…Count to Five.

And to those who say that focusing on restoring personal happiness at a time like this is frivolous, selfish or wasted, I defer to the founder of Taoism: 


In love, peace, happiness and democracy,

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