Choosing Happiness

8 Nov

image Happiness.

What is that? What does that mean? Is it just something lucky people stumble upon? Is it unattainable for some people? Is it this lofty goal that we should work our whole lives for while it remains just out of reach? Is it something you create out of nothing?

Actually, I believe it is something you create out of something.

I don’t believe happiness just falls out of the sky if you wish for it hard enough. (They don’t say “nothing changes if nothing changes” for no reason.) I don’t believe that it is unattainable at all. I do believe it should be a goal…. but if it doesn’t seem to be within your reach, then maybe you need to start reaching in another direction.

I have been doing a lot of self-reflection, with the help of a couple of people I trust, about my own personal happiness in recent months. I have come to some conclusions.

1. I get to choose to let go of those things that actively make me unhappy. That don’t make me a better person. That don’t fulfill me in some way. I get to walk away from those things. Sometimes that means a career change. Sometimes it means letting go of a toxic marriage or relationship. Sometimes it means moving to a new town. Sometimes it means making healthier choices for your body. Whatever that means for you, do it. Do it today. That won’t be easy. But, I promise you, it will be worth it.

2. I get to choose to follow my dreams. Whatever those dreams may be. No one gets to tell you that your dreams are too big or too far away or that they will be too much work. You set goals and you reach them. Even if it takes a million tiny steps to reach the mountaintop. So, save the money and buy your dream house. Backpack through Europe. Climb that corporate ladder. Quit your job and find a rewarding opportunity to work from home. Run a marathon. Write the book. Sing the song. Whatever it is that you dream about… that you say, “I would only do that if…..” No more ‘if”! Whatever that means for you, do it. Do it today. Looking down from the top of the mountain, will totally be worth it.

3. I get to choose to feel good about myself. I’m not a supermodel. I’m not a size 4. I’m not the richest or the most accomplished. I’m not even close to any of those things. But, you know what? None of that actually matters. I am constantly working toward becoming the best possible version of myself. I am working on making myself healthier. I am striving to create an amazing life. I am choosing to “Be better everyday.” I am learning to own and love who I am, after so many years of trying to figure her out. So, whoever you are, own it. Love it. Do it today. It won’t be easy. (I literally say positive things to myself in the mirror everyday.) But, it is more worth it each and every day.

4. I get to choose to tell the voice in my head, or the one that comes from someone else, to “shut up!” You know the one. Mine tells me I’m not worthy of being happy. She tells me that I’m letting people down. She tells me that everyone else’s happiness is more important than my own. She makes me doubt myself. She makes me feel guilty. She makes me feel inadequate. And, unfortunately, she gains her power through the words and opinions of other people. Other people who have made me feel unworthy. Other people who have made me less important. Other people who have doubted me. Other people who have blamed me. But she’s wrong, and so are they. So, whatever that awful voice in your head, or someone else’s is saying, ignore it. Choose to listen to the voice that is telling you that you are worth it. That you are beautiful. That you are important. (The One I hear reminds me whose and who I am.) Do it today. Learning to love yourself will definitely be worth it.

5. I get to choose my happiness. I get to Choose. My. Happiness. (I thought that one was worth repeating.) Choosing my happiness doesn’t make me selfish. Choosing my happiness doesn’t make me a bad mom. Choosing my happiness doesn’t make me less in any way. In fact, being happy means that there is more of me to give. I have seen my positive relationships grow stronger since deciding to choose my happiness. It actually makes me a better mom. I am more present and a much better role model for my children since deciding to choose my happiness. And, it makes me more. More free. More giving. More dedicated. More.

Choosing my happiness doesn’t mean that I’m done. I’m not done being sad. I’m not done being angry. I’m not done being frustrated or overwhelmed. I’m not done crying over that one thing I can’t have, yet. But, it does mean that I know there is sunlight even during those storms. Because I choose to shine.

If you feel stuck. If you aren’t happy. If you know that there has to be more out there somewhere for you. Then, choose to be happy. Figure out what that means for you. Let go of things or people that are dragging you down. Follow your dreams. Find ways to build your confidence. Listen for those positive voices. Choose your happiness. You are worth it!

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