Monday, July 9, 2012

Happiness


Happiness. It's a word that has comes up a lot in life. I feel as though I'm a truly happy person and always have been. Is my life perfect? Heavens no. Is my life easy? I wish! Even on a truly horrendous day, I still find things to be thankful for and find happiness in them. Now, I've always considered myself a glass-half-full kind of person. Things don't go one way, you just move onto the next. Let the bad days roll off your back, keep smiling, and say a little prayer.

No one has a perfect life. Not a single person. What may look like a mole hill to one, may be a mountain to the person who has to climb it. I know I've had some tough times in my life, just like the next person. Some people are even shocked when they discover my path of life, but I've never known anything different. It's not fair, but I know I was never alone in my journey.

Someone very close to me once sent me an email asking for advice on being happy. They had said that I was one of the happiest people they had ever met and knowing what my past has been (a friend recently told me that she's shocked I'm not medicated having been through some of the trials- to which I got a good laugh) they wanted to know how I do it.


For me it's simple. On one hand, I'm happy by nature. On the other, I choose to be. I'm a firm believer that happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy. I'd rather go through life with a smile on my face (even when it's at its weakest) than a scowl with a bad attitude.

Count your blessings. I'm an even firmer believer of prayer. When there's nothing left in life, you always have prayer. The Lord gave you your path for a reason, he will walk you through it. No matter what has gone wrong, there are still always things to be thankful for; family, friends, a job, somewhere to live, your health, etc. When things are really bad, get into more detail, really think about all that you have; the smell of fresh cut grass, getting to sleep in just 5 more minutes, that you don't have to wash your hair in the morning, the taste of a juicy nectarine. There is so much around us we take for granted, find your blessings there.

It could always be worse. This one is my least favorite reasons to be happy, but it works at my lowest. You could have lost everything, your only shot at it, the world could end tomorrow, you could have lost a limb or two, it could have happened on a "fat" day. This is when the glass-is-half-full mentality comes in to do some work. There's always something that can be done, even if it's only to nurse your wounds. Things are never as bad as they seem, and life will keep on moving. Eventually, this horrible, no good, very bad day will only be a memory filled with 1000s of great memories in between.
Comparing yourself to others can be the quickest killer of cheerfulness. There will always be someone prettier, skinnier, younger, smarter, richer, etc. Trust me, they have their battles too. Be happy for them and focus on yourself, count your blessings, and work hard to attain your goals. Don't look at others with envy, but with admiration. What do they have that you want? How did they get it? You can do it too! Work harder, network, go back to school, save your money to get it. Find your own path, and see what really matters to you.

Don't let the small things get you down. Find the humor in it. Find the great story to retell years from now. Know when to quit, when to move on, and when to let go. Forgive yourself and others. Dwell on it long enough to work it through, and then put it behind you without ever looking back.

Such truth to the quote above, it's one of my favorites. Spend time with those you love, serve those around you. The smallest gesture can give such joy to others and yourself. Compliments others, volunteer for charities, babysit for parents who need a break. Nothing gives bigger smiles than young children full of delirious happiness. Doing something for others is the quickest way to jump start your day and put a smile on your face.

I'm not sure where I'm really going with this, but it's a post I've wanted to write for a while. As a child, all I wanted in life was to be happy and then one day I realized I already was and woke up even happier. Not everyday is sunshine and rainbows, but I start each day with a smile and some excitement for what's to come.

I know this was a long post, and thank you for reading. I hope each of you are happy and would love to have your input on what makes you so! Please leave a comment with what makes you happy and something you're thankful for. 

Today, I am happy with my freshly painted nails, pink lipstick, and a lunch full of summer fruits. I'm thankful for my family, friends, and a job I enjoy.

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