Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happiness is a Choice

When I was young and we moved around a lot, my emotions were something of a roller coaster. Childhood emotions are generally very up and down anyway, but when your definition of home changes about yearly, even more so, I think.

After a move that had been particularly hard on me, my mother sat me down for a heart-to-heart chat. I was probably eleven or twelve. Maybe thirteen. And I must have been in a serious funk, because even back then it was hard to get me down and keep me there.

But I have never forgotten what my mother said to me that day. She told me that regardless of circumstances, surroundings, or the actions of other people, the only person who had total control of my happiness is ME. Happiness is a choice, and it is up to me to decide to be happy or not.

Since then, I’ve moved a whole bunch more times. Been through relationships and heartache and lots and lots of life. I’ve had my heart broken and rebuilt and remodeled and revised, and lived in several states and gone to lots of schools and experienced both happiness and disappointment. My mother’s words of wisdom have stayed with me through it all.

I choose to be happy.  

I have a family now, and children who are on a roller coaster themselves, and it’s time for me to pass on that same advice.

So here it is:

There are a lot of things and parts of life that are out of your control. Especially as a kid. Things happen, families move, bullies exist and there will always be someone who seems to know just the right thing to say in order to momentarily rip out your heart. You’ll like boys/girls and they might not like you back. Friends will say mean things and hurt your feelings. There will always be someone you miss. Always. There are a lot of reasons why you might choose to be unhappy, and those reasons will never go away. They will likely change, but there will forever be something.

Happiness is a choice. It is up to you to decide to rise above the bad and focus on the good. It’s up to you to take control of your well being. It is up to you to choose to be happy.

I hope I’ve taught you well. That’s all.  


Michelle D. Argyle said...

This is so, so wonderful! And well-put too. I agree all the way that it's a choice. Unfortunately, I've also dealt with depression in my life, and I've discovered the tragedy of actual chemical imbalances that make that choice sometimes impossible, no how hard you try. After being through all that, though, I've discovered that the choice part is what will be the difference between a person who completely gives in to the depression and the person who fights it. There is hope in fighting it, not so much in giving into it. It might be a weak fight, but it's there. It also helps to be surrounded by people keeping a lookout for each other.

I'm in a situation right now where it has been really difficult to keep going and decide to be happy. It's nothing life-threatening that I'm going through, but it has been difficult all the same. Thanks for this reminder!

Kim Webb Reid said...

Well said, Nichole. Good reminder that the bad never goes away, so we'll miss the good if we're waiting for a time when there will be no negative distractions.

Rachelle Christensen said...

Awesome! Thank you!

ilima said...

Amen. Nice post.