Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Choosing Happiness

On a daily basis, I try to choose happiness. Choosing happiness is such a little act that makes a world of difference in how I live my life. It frees me from dwelling on the negative and leaves me felling a bit more peaceful, hopeful even.

Last evening, I had a discussion with a family member about a life event that’s made me adjust my sails a bit. I’ve said before, but it’s worth mentioning again that I’m a very private person, even among my own family. I have a tendency to need to work things through on my own before I’ve arrived at a place where I’m comfortable discussing such events with grandparents, aunts, and other extended family; often times I never do. One of the major downfalls of small town life is that news spreads quickly, often before I’m ready to share, as was the case of recent events. This particular family member and I have very different outlooks on life, very different beliefs, and usually find very little common ground on which to stand. The major difference between us, you ask? It’s that I choose happiness.

Unexpected, unplanned events happen in life. Sometimes the mountain seems higher than I think I can climb. Dark clouds roll in, lingering longer that seems necessary. The waters churn, toss, and makes me completely lose my sense of direction. Despite all of that, I choose to believe that I will be ok in the end. That the unexpected events lead to new understandings. That the climb to the top of the mountain may be high but the view will be nothing short of spectacular. That the dark clouds will eventually give way to sunny skies and maybe even a rainbow. That the waters will calm and I’ll be able to find my way again.

The conversation last night entailed my family member focusing on what I had lost, while I focused on what I’ve gained. Again, I am choosing happiness.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t get weighed down by the enormity of such situations or live life blindly aware of possible scenario’s that may occur. Instead it means that I look for the best in the situation, the best in myself to rise above the negativity, the best in others to find a little piece of them that they can believe in too. I’ve been through some tough situations in my life and will undoubtedly go through plenty more. But by choosing happiness I know that on the other side of those situations lies an understanding or beauty I couldn’t have known or appreciated until I went through the difficult time.

Do you choose happiness?