“At certain moments, always Unforeseen, I become happy…..I look at the strangers near as if I had known them all my life….everything fills me with affection…..It may be an hour before the mood passes, but latterly I seem to understand that I enter upon it that moment I cease to hate. ——–William Butler Yates********* What a lovely feeling he describes! I just sold a home to the nicest, young family this week. Eveytime I would take them out to see houses as we would greet each other their adorable little girl would walk right up and hug me. It was the sweetest thing ever! Like clockwork, as we would part, everyone would say goodbye but she would follow it up with the most loving hug and she really didn’t know me all that well! It took me off guard and melted my heart! Just precious. When I started reading this quote, I immediately thought of little Ella and how good it feels to have those connections with people you barely know. Then as I got to the end of the passage, he says “I seem to understand that I enter upon it (the feelings of love and compassion) the moment I cease to hate.” What? Hate? I don’t hate anyone, yet he says that is what keeps us from experiencing connections of happiness with others or randomly throughout the day? That doesn’t make sense for people like you and me—-or does it—-????Without even knowing it, Ella commands love and happiness from everyone she encounters because she reaches out and just pours it on you. Experiences like that are difficult to miss. You can’t not smile at people like Ella! But I’m wondering how many other moments of happiness and affection we might be missing around others who are more reserved because we are busy disliking OURSELVES. No, most of us don’t hate others, but we sure are critical of ourselves. I’m not saying we “hate” ourselves, I’m just saying we, or at least I, can get very wrapped up or concerned with thoughts of “Do I look ok?” Or “Why did I wear this dumb outfit-it makes my butt look so big!!!!” Or “I can’t believe I skipped my run today and slept in!” Or “If I go over my Points today, I’m gonna scream” And as all of this dialog is going on in our heads throughout the day are we missing the opportunities around us to experience the peace, joy and affection that Yeats speaks of?Let’s try to spend less time this weekend looking within and criticizing or “fixing” and let’s look out at the world and see if we can find more opportunities to feel that happiness and connection. Don’t you think if we do that, it will be easier to make healthier choices? There is no doubt, we do better when we feel better. Plan your work, then work your plan and let the rest go. Use the extra time to seek out those moments of happiness and Unforeseen affection that we have been missing.