Happy Endings

I am skimming through the available movies on TV. There are not many when I exclude the ones that include rape, torture, murder, crashing cars or blowing up everything. So I pick up another historical romance knowing that while it may be predictable, it won’t be gory and it will have a happy ending.

 

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago, I wanted to give myself the best chance I could for recovery. I knew if I died, life would go on and that my own life was complete in many ways but I wanted to live.

I asked myself what I could do to help my recovery and I remembered that book by Norman Cousins. Anatomy of an Illness. It was published in 1979 and Cousins, a well-known journalist and intellectual, claimed that he’d used a cheerful attitude and laughter to help heal his life-threatening illness. He loved Marx Brothers films and used them, along with other choice movies to make himself laugh. He said that ten minutes of belly laughing would give him at least two pain free hours.

Because I was a New Thought teacher, I believed that maintaining a cheerful attitude would be a key contribution that I could make toward my recovery. I decided to only use only books, TV stories and movies that made me laugh or at least had happy endings. I wanted my health challenge to have a happy ending so it made sense to put only happy endings into my mind.

My doctor’s orders including staying cheerful as much as I could and so I decided that was the part of my treatment I could participate in. I entertained myself with cheerful stories along with saying my daily prayer treatments. I tried to talk to people who weren’t frightened and who expected the best. I tried to stay  away completely from worrying about the outcome of my illness. If I started worrying, I would remind myself that I had done my spiritual mind treatment that morning and so had some of my friends. Therefore, God was in charge of my case  and I had nothing to worry about.

During the time I was receiving chemotherapy, I lived in my daughter and son in law’s home because it was easier for everyone. I went for chemo treatment five days a week for six months. The type of treatment I got took three to five hours and I turned to my first true love – historical romances. As a girl, I was enamored by Jane Austen and the Bronte girls.

Now I know that the sales of modern historical romance paperbacks is huge. I have my favorite writers and I also reread the older ones by Victorian writers. It is a cheerful, harmless habit and I have the time.

Now that I am cancer free long enough to be labeled a “survivor”, I suppose I could start reading Russian literature again if I wanted to. I used to love Dostoevsky and 20th Century Existentialist writers but somehow, I have lost my taste for anything except cheerful stories.

As a by-product of my current choices, I know more about English history than I ever expected-especially the Regency period. Of course I don’t believe all that stuff the English thought about the French and I don’t believe that escape  literature is any substitute for historical truth but the heroines are more or less grounded in their times. They are fantasy heroines in fantasy times. OK. So is the modern thriller.

Why not fill your mind with joy and happiness? We know that our minds are like computers and what we put in is what we get. Instead of garbage in, garbage out, for a slogan around my house, it “Love and kisses, love and kisses everywhere.

 

Ask Yourself

What kind of light entertainment do you enjoy?

 

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3 Comments on “Happy Endings”

  1. Dr. Jane, thank you for your wise thoughts. It is such a blessing to be let inside of your process. I celebrate your journey and path. Hooray for cheerful stories and happy endings. I like the affirmation that I am living happier ever after. Keep reading (and telling) happy stories. Hugs, Patti Christensen

  2. Funny movies and life. Some days at work i have so much fun i feel guilty being paid. (but not ‘that’ guilty) Because I know I am a good reason others are enjoying themselves too.

  3. June Claypool says:

    I buy fancy travel magazines at the library for 25 cents and travel vicariously.


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