How I Got Happy by Giving a Damn About Everyone

**JOY** **JOY**  **JOY**

Lately, I’ve been feeling like a laser gun firing happiness at people. I don’t know about everyone else, but this is how it’s felt from my end.

I feel liked I’ve transformed into a different person in the last week and a bit, and it all started when my friend told me that I stand out, which got me researching about auras and how they work. My friend told me that I’m the kind of person that people notice when I walk into a room, walk down the street, or just get in people’s general vicinity. And before he’d even told me that, just two weeks ago, a completely different, non-mutual friend had had to let me know (because it was so out-of-the-ordinary) during a lindy event that she had known when I had entered the room and walked past her from behind, even though she hadn’t seen me, and even though I hadn’t been to that dance in more than a month. She’d “felt” my arrival. At the time, I’d simply thought it was interesting. But from other comments from other people in the past, and from talking with others about it in the attempt to confirm whether or not this is in fact really the case, I’ve come to accept the fact that I really and truly do have a very strong presence.

The event that really made me believe was a Canada Line train ride I and my friends took, where we were talking and laughing the whole way. There was a little boy on that ride, standing beside us with his bike, with his dad, and I’d seen him looking at me, but I’d thought he was looking at our entire group because we were pretty loud.

“Nope,” my friends confirmed. “He was staring at you the entire time. And kids don’t lie.”

Older people will do things to act like they’re not looking, but kids will openly stare.

I used to be super-negative and frustrated about my dancing because I thought that my experiences were my own and mine to suffer alone. I thought that I was just another person that no one noticed and could just ignore. Now that I’ve learned that I have a particularly powerful aura, I’ve become a lot more positive and happier, and not even on purpose. It’s like, the knowledge that I can impact so many others without even knowing it has made me a nicer, friendlier, happier person that I can honestly say I like, because it feels good to radiate this positive energy that makes everyone feel happier.

That very evening, following my experience with the kid on the train, was the first time I felt this radiant joy filling my entire being. I had left my friends so I could attend a monthly fusion dance, where I could feel happiness simply exploding from my body. And it felt like everyone I talked to, danced with, or communicated with that night couldn’t help but get a little infected by that energy. i saw so many big, genuine smiles that night, got so many sincere positive comments, and got asked to dance like crazy, even when I was working the door for an hour, where it is unusual to get asked to dance at all. I couldn’t have had a bad dance if I had tried, because every dance feels awesome when you are that happy. This was reflected in pretty much every lead I danced with making a comment a cut above the generic, “That was awesome.”

I posted on Facebook about the event later that week (I’ve been posting dance updates on Facebook rather than on my blog for a really long time now, because I’ve been too lazy to write actual blog posts about my experiences):

“I have taken to smiling when I partner dance. Not fake, plastic smiles, but big, genuine smiles.

A lead mentioned I must be happy because I was smiling while we were dancing (when I responded to his question about why blues had fallen in priority — due to its ability to make me miserable), and I responded, “I’ve decided to smile when I partner dance because it makes me happier and my leads happy.” In fact, I hadn’t ever consciously decided on doing such a thing, but I guess I had subconsciously.

I bumped into a lead friend at the Canada Line platform yesterday and had a conversation with him about presence and auras. He had been my very first dance at FUSE on Friday, and he told me he could feel my bubbly and happy energy, and that the dance was awesome even though it was his first one and he hadn’t even warmed up, and he had a terrific time all night, filled with positive energy. I have no idea if it had anything at all to do with me, but if I can help make someone else’s dance night awesome, then so much the better.

I had to stop dancing blues because it was making me too unhappy, and me miserable is the complete opposite extreme of me happy. And if you’ve seen me at my happiest, then you can imagine what misery means to me.”

In response, a friend commented:
“I agree with the random lead from Friday. I think you might have been my first dance at Fuse too – I hadn’t expected to lead so early on – but you were super happy and smiling and it was a really wonderful dance. Thank you!”

I know three people that shine with the happiest of auras that make everyone happier when they are around — I can’t help but feel happy just by seeing them. I am not one of these special, vitally important people, but, it’s knowing that I can be that kind of person sometimes that has made me change.

The thing is, I don’t think I have changed for myself, but for the knowledge of my ability to affect others’ happiness. It’s okay for me to be miserable if I’m being miserable by myself, but I don’t want to bring others down with me.

So it’s not like I go around pretending to be happy and putting a fake smile on face, thinking I’m some kind of super-hero that spreads happiness.

^ not me.

^ = not me.

Rather, I feel like I am becoming a genuinely happier person, grateful to know I have friends who genuinely like me (including those genuinely happy people), and happy to have survived my bout with negativity.

My friend told me he purposely prevents himself from reaching those highest states of happiness — of pure joy and unbelievable happiness — because he knows they will always be followed with a crash that is just as strong.

I’ve experienced and will probably continue to experience both sides of the coin, but I’m not going to be cautious with my happiness. If I’m going to be happy, I’m going to experience happiness to its fullest.

Because happiness is life’s greatest gift, and I’ll be damned if I let my fear of the crash deny me the experience.

It’s like my dancing — two weeks ago, my dancing the entire week was garbage, and this week, it has — no exaggeration — been the best it’s ever been. I’ve had so many of my biggest click moments in the last week — things I have been working toward from the very start and could just never get — come at me all at once. I could have stopped dancing after that draining and miserable week, deciding to take a break to recuperate, but I just kept dancing through it, and the happiness of this week erased last week away.

Happiness is greater than — is stronger than — misery. And to me, feeling happiness in such a pure, unadulterated form is worth it.

We live in a society where people feel guarded with their happiness, because we are afraid that others will take it away. This is justified. Some people see a happy couple and feel spiteful and hateful and think about all the reasons why they shouldn’t be together, because, deep down, they are jealous of their happiness. Some feel sad or depressed because they don’t have this kind of happiness themselves. But the genuinely happy people see these people and feel happy for them and their happiness. Yes, this is a weak example that has holes in its logic, but I don’t really feel like racking my brain for a better example right now, so this will have to do.

True happiness is having so much of it that you want to share it with everybody. Guarded happiness will never feel as good.

I was so angry in my last post (Too Much Hate: Can We Really Dance Like No One’s Watching?), because I couldn’t understand how people could go out of their way to steal people’s happiness. I understand people not going out of their way to make others happy, but to make it your business to take innocent happiness away is just about the wrongest thing you can do.

It’s funny, because I just typed in, “How I Got Happy” into Google to see what was already out there on the topic, and got back a book called A$$hole: How I Got Rich & Happy by Not Giving a Damn About Anyone & How You Can, Too.

And that’s how I got the title to this post.

Finding that title was like a click moment: I wasn’t happy when I didn’t give a damn about anyone. And when I posted my last article, I really hadn’t given a damn, about anyone.

But now I do give a damn about others — because I’ve felt misery so purely and intensely so many times and so often now that I can’t even count the number of times I have been reduced to tears or to blinking tears back in public, all dance scene induced. And if I can’t prevent people from feeling this kind of misery, then I would at least like to contribute to getting them as close to the dancer’s high as they possibly can, so they can at least get a taste of the “happy” extreme.

It’s this — this giving a damn — that has allowed me to feel happier than I’ve ever been.

I’m not saying that this is your route to happiness, but it was mine.

Happy dancing is the best dancing of all!

Happy dancing is the best dancing of all!



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Filed under Dance attitudes, Dance Tips

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