This afternoon I received an unexpected phone call from an old friend. Even before I had reluctantly answered the call, my mind was racing ahead of me, predicting the kind of conversation I was about to have. For the next fifteen minutes, I listened to my friend spout venom at the world. I knew it would be a couple of minutes before he would finally breathe or pause to ask ‘How are you doing?’
Some people I know choose to perpetuate a cycle of sadness. I mean they cling to their roles as victim or martyr long after their negative experiences have ended. They whine and cry and bring people down with their negativity and cynicism all the while choosing to wallow in self-pity and misery instead of letting go, breathing and choosing to move on. I hate having to smile and patronize these kinds of people. Making them ‘feel happy’ isn’t my responsibility. We all have our burdens to bear. Trials and tribulations can be challenging and life-altering but they can also make us stronger. Unfortunately that’s a mindset that not many people possess. Many choose to stay stuck in a devilish limbo; bitter, angry, cynical and unconcerned about how their pessimism affects those around them.
Many people believe that happiness is a thing of chance – a result of the right wheels turning at the right time. It’s so easy to be happy when things are going right, when everything seems to be working your way, but when we have that narrow notion of happiness, we limit it to an offshoot of luck which if you ask me, it absolutely isn’t.
You see, happiness doesn’t just happen. It isn’t a well packed product one can avail when one needs it. Sometimes we have extremely good days and there are also days when we wish we hadn’t even gotten out of bed. It is on days like the latter that real happiness is harnessed or manifest. Do you know people who can smile even though their world is falling apart? I know people like that and I love being around them when I’m having a bad day myself. You see, being around these people has taught me that happiness doesn’t just happen – happiness is a choice. Your choice. No matter what your circumstance, we have the freedom to choose how we respond and react to all that transpires.
We’re all emotional beings. We go through so many different kinds of experiences that we respond to in so many different kinds of ways. Our feelings and how we deal with them shape us into the kind of people we eventually become. Some of us are born happy, the rest of us have to work towards it. I know happiness can sometimes seem out of reach, like reaching for a bubble or trying to catch a snowflake but I strongly believe that if the thing we value aren’t things, we can really be happy no matter what comes our way.
Happiness is a choice, I believe that wholeheartedly. Not the fuzzy, air head kind of happy. I’m talking about the kind of happiness that comes from grounded thoughts, peace of mind and genuine contentment – the kind of happiness that comes from logic perspective and an open mind and heart.
I hope my friend reads this post, it’s sure to pop up on his timeline. Maybe reading what I think will convince him to give happiness a try. At the end of the day, it really is a choice that he himself must make. As for me, I’m going to do something thing now that makes me extremely happy – I’m about to silence my phone, pour myself a glass of Merlot and listen to the haunting voice of Bonnie Raitt. Simple pleasures people, that’s the key.