Some people wonder how happiness can be a choice, but for me, it is.
I look at situations – examine how I could respond. I look at the situation closer and think about the consequences of each response. And I choose happy instead of the others. I save my battle – my emotion – for another day – for another event that requires my fight.
And by choosing happy – I choose to give myself happy.
I choose to laugh instead of cry.
I chose to share instead of close up.
I choose to understand instead of be upset.
I choose to love instead of hate.
I choose …. happy.
I remember someone once telling me to choose happy – and I recall thinking it was a crazy thing. No one “chooses” happy. Happy is. BE happy. Just be. Accept life – right?
But you accept it by accepting your part in it. You accept it by saying – today – I can choose to take everything wrong – or I can choose to just let shit roll off.
I can choose to get upset at my kids and every little thing they do wrong.
Or I can laugh my ass off as they be who they are – focusing instead on the most important things.
I can choose to guide. Or I can fight the current upstream and be frustrated.
Choosing to be happy is interesting.
It means choosing to accept myself. It means understanding that I am a weird mix of things. I can simultaneously want and not want something. Last week, I told a friend. I’m upset. I don’t want to ruin your day, so I’m going to push you away to protect you. But, I need you to pull me in. I need you to not let me do it. I need people – not alone.
I stated what I needed. I risked by putting my needs out there. But by doing so, I chose happy and laughter over frustration and sadness. I got friendship instead of alone time.
While I may make choosing happy sound easy, it is sometimes the hardest thing I do in a day. Sitting there, listening to something I don’t want to listen to – feeling things I don’t want to feel. They are all barriers to happy – barriers I have to mentally and emotionally overcome to see positive – to see a sunbeam in an otherwise cloudy day.
And some days, it is easier than others. Some days, happy feels elusive. Those are the days I need to take care of me. I need to recharge. I need to step back. I need to understand that to clear off the clouds, I need a quick storm instead of sun. I may rain onto myself, but when it’s done. I feel better – I feel like I can start anew. I can grow instead of shrink. And I start again on my journey.
And sometimes, I need a guide. I need a friend or a mentor or someone with an outside opinion to help me look at the situation and see that things are not as bad as they seem. Or that I’m looking at things wrong. Or point out a different perspective. Only then do I feel the familiar path under my feet. And happy in my heart.