Saying, “happiness is a choice,” sounds good but sometimes choosing to be happy can be pretty hard.
As we journey through life things pile up, rough childhoods, abusive relationships, lost friendships, broken hearts, awful jobs...
Each experience chips away at our happiness and our trust, often leaving us feeling hurt, angry, sad and a whole litany of emotions that we toss in our bag and carry around.
For many of us, the bag becomes like a cloak and we use it as a shield to protect ourselves from more pain. The longer we hide behind that cloak the less happy we become, not saying that we don’t have moments of happiness but it becomes more and more difficult to sustain. The old pain lingers in the shadows waiting for our vulnerable times to seep back in, drag us down and steal our happy.
Choosing to be happy becomes a whole lot easier when we set the bag down and walk away.
WHAT??? Without my bag/cloak how will I protect myself?
The bigger question is; “What purpose do the items in our bag serve?” Try this, sit down and take them out one by one. Touch it, feel it, really look at what it is that you are allowing to get in the way of being happy today?
How long are you willing to allow these memories to hold you hostage and keep you a prisoner to yesterday? We’ve been carrying some of this “stuff” a long fricking time! There is NOTHING we can do to change the past. EVER! Why would we continue to allow these people or situations to have power in our life? Have we not given them enough of us, long enough?
So, how do we shake out the bag and take back our happiness? How do we begin to really choose happy? First, we have to realize carrying the bag around is literally sucking the happy out of our life. It is time to move on.
Here are three things that are imperative in clearing out the detritus.
- Acceptance. It doesn’t mean what happened was okay, it means we cannot change it.
- Forgiveness. This isn’t for them, it's for you. Without forgiveness you will never move on. Begin to forgive and work on it everyday until you truly feel it.
- Let it go. Being stuck in yesterday thwarts our happiness today.
This seems like pretty heavy stuff to get to happiness being a choice!
It can be, but once you clear out the wreckage of the past it opens a superhighway to the present and happiness lives in the present.
The trick is in not letting things build up, keeping the house clean so to speak. So, when someone cuts you off on the freeway it’s really no big deal, it’s one minute out of your life, let it go, choose happy. When the kids are acting like tyrants find a reason to laugh, choose happy. When someone is being a jerk, realize you have no idea what might be going on in their life and you’re choosing to be happy may help lift them higher too. Happiness begets kindness.
There are always going to be moments that trip up our happy, happy isn’t a 24/7 thing. However, don’t let those moments suck you under, they are moments, do not make them lifetimes.
Acceptance. Forgiveness. Let Go. It is an ongoing, never-ending process.
Stop, take a breath, find one thing to be grateful for. Bring yourself back into the present moment. Smile, be kind and choose happy.
Have a Happyful Day.
RHRN ~ Suzanne