Something extraordinary happened a few years ago. One day, I woke up early after a very late the night. I stepped on the scale and saw a number that was not pretty. After I carried the overflowing laundry basket downstairs and started one of many loads for the day, I emptied the dishwasher and looked around at my neglected house. Nearly every area of my life needed improvement, but then I realized that in spite of all of it, I felt fantastic. I was choosing happiness.
Choosing happiness when life wasn’t perfect
At first it seemed strange that I could feel so good being so “behind”. Then I realized even though my life wasn’t where I want it to be, I knew how to get there. I knew the steps to success and choosing happiness was the starting point. So many people think happiness is random and depends upon the events of the day. It doesn’t.
Happy versus perfect
If I’m so happy, why isn’t everything perfect? I joyfully consumed foods during two family birthday celebrations I usually avoid because I know they add weight to my body. I chose fun rather than cleaning, and I stepped away from a spiritual routine that was beginning to feel stifling and revamped it. In all cases, it was just a pleasant side trip in the journey of life, and that may be the greatest revelation of all.
Success and happiness
You see, in my younger years, I wanted a huge house and tons and tons of money and a huge walk in closet full of clothes and trips and cars and stuff and stuff and more stuff. I thought those were the trappings of success and, in turn, the trappings of being happy. Guess what? They’re not. Don’t get me wrong. I love having a nice home, ample money, good clothes, traveling, cars that run well and some of the other stuff of life. The point is that none of these things will ever make me happy. They provide a temporary thrill, but that wears thin quickly. I know some very wealthy people and some very poor people who are happy. I also know some wealthy people and some poor people who are unhappy, depressed and thoroughly miserable. It’s not the money or the stuff that makes anyone happy, it’s the decision to be happy that is important.
How can you be happy with all the horrible things going on in the world?
Right now in my country and around the world, there is injustice, racism, sexism, slavery and a host of other ills. There is also kindness, understanding and courage. In my country, the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental right, but many choose to live in anger, blame and judgement. I live in a country where education is free up through high school. Many people never have that opportunity. I can choose my profession, what clothes I wear and who I will marry or if I will marry. I can vote, travel unattended. make my own money, and be whoever I want to be. In our world, especially as a woman, that is no small thing. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but it’s a good place to start.
Why I continue to choose happiness
Since that first realization of choosing happiness over frustration and resentment, I do my best to remember that choosing happiness is a gift. I do it for all the women who cannot choose so easily. I choose to remember and honor those who wish they could be in my situation. If you happen to hear me whine or complain, please remind me of what I wrote here. I also hope that you will choose happiness whenever you can and if you need help with that, refer to the list below of ways to choose happiness. While I don’t base my happiness on other’s actions, it certainly would make me smile if you sign up for our fun and supportive email community. If you have questions about that, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for being you and have a great dayLike what you see here? Click here for ways to support the Moving Toward Better mission.