The other day I was having a conversation with a buddy who was not having a good day. He was looking for a new job, his house needed repairs and the list went on. I listened rather than try to console him in his time of unhappiness. He then paused and asked me two questions: “Are you always this happy?” and “On a scale from 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how would you rate your happiness?” I was kinda shocked by the latter question because no one has ever asked me to rate my happiness. After I thought for a second I said I’m about a 9 to 9.5. His facial expression showed a look of disbelief and then he replied, “Really!”
As we continued to chat, I started explaining some of my beliefs. I honestly believe that a large amount of the grief in our lives is a product of our decisions. At first, that may sound depressing; but think about it a little more deeply, and you’ll find, like I do, that it’s an incredibly empowering thought. If our bad decisions bring us grief, then we have the power to turn our grief into happiness. Think about relationships that you stayed in long past the expiration date, people you continued to hangout with even thought they sucked all the energy out of your life and had no purpose, the job you complained about daily but were too lazy to look for another one and the list goes on. Why is it so hard to move forward? What is holding us back from happiness?
I recently ran across this quote and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it: “I think part of the reason we hold onto something so tight is because we fear something so great won’t happen twice.” If this quote is correct, I have to ask myself a few questions: Where is my faith? Is there a limit to the number of great things that can happen in a lifetime? When I look back at certain points in my life—at some of my past relationships, jobs I stayed in for too long and people who I allowed to stay in my life without a purpose—and I dissect my past actions, I realize that in the moment, I would have believed this quote to be true. But now, with benefit of time and retrospection, I know that in those moments (and in the future ones that will inevitably come), it shouldn’t be about giving into the fear of the unknown; rather, it should about changing your way of thinking. And for me, I choose to be happy!
Yes, I am happy. Yes, I am aware that everyday won’t be a walk in the park. Yes, I choose positive energy over negative energy. Yes, I will always give myself permission to be the best me without apology. Yes, I have a typical family with its ups and downs and we still love each other. Yes, I have great friends. Yes, I know that romantic love is on the horizon for me. Yes, I love life. And yes, I know that great things can happen more than once!!!
How do you rate your happiness? What is holding you back from experiencing true happiness?
“God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but HE did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. If God brings you to it, HE will bring you through it.” ~ Author Unknown