386: Choose Happiness
I make no apologies for my life, for my happiness, not anymore anyway. For quite a while I believed that on some level my talking about happiness may seem insincere. I have known nothing short of a life of such blessings. I have a family that loves me and friends who support me in all things. I have a roof over my head and a body that is strong and healthy.
Many of my entrepreneurial peers have find a path that is calm and joyous after having gone through incredible hardships. Neale Donald Walshe was homeless and destitute when he finally was able to start a Conversation with God. Eric Zimmer of the One You Feed told me a story of his early life, strung out on drugs living in a van. Those who have already found success helping others did so after overcoming tremendous obstacles. They had tough lives.
It wasn’t until a few years back that I had a meditation that provided me with guidance. In that meditation I asked Bart quite simply,
“Do I have the right to speak of happiness when I have had such a life of utter joy?”
He was quick to point out,
“Who says your life has been so trouble free? Have you not seen members of your family die. Was your cousin not viciously murdered for being different. Did you not lose your best friend prematurely in a car accident? Did you yourself not escape death at one time as well”
“Your life is blessed because you choose to see it that way. You aren’t being an ostrich and putting your head in the sand. You recognize sadness. You feel pain, deep pain. You realize it is necessary to experience in order to live the blessed life you admittedly live”
You have every right, if not more so, to speak of a life of joy because despite the hardships you have faced you have chosen to see them as blessings. You have chosen to extract the good from each of those instances while still acknowledging the sadness and grief. Every moment of your life you feel, experience and grow. You extract the joy from every moment, whether it be joyous or not. You recognize who you are and why you are here. Most of all you choose not to become a victim”
Even before you took human form you knew that the parents you have would be beneficial. Your soul made choices that would serve you well. Yet to your credit you are aware that your soul may have chosen a path but it was your ability to link your humanness to your higher self in order to see that benefit.”
Simply, as your parents point out, your life has not been easy but it has been joyous due to the decisions you chose to make.
Bart’s words were comforting. In no uncertain terms he let me know that I didn’t need to experience any more pain to feel justified for the life I have. My vision of the world is the reason for my world and indeed my reason for being here.
much about happiness and purpose. It is, after all, my life. Yet the very tenet of my life seems to come under attack in several articles that I have read.
Choosing happiness is unrealistic many say, even the positive ones. They bandy about words like realist and fairness. They state that to oversimplify the process of joy is condemn many to unhappiness because they feel they do not have the ability or circumstance to choose a different way.
I don’t think that Bart was just talking to me when he explained why my life is happy. As with many things he says I believe the goal is to impart them to this world and assist those who see and feel the words as useful.
There is pain, suffering and disease. I know it well. I have seen it first hand and experienced it on occasion as well. We all have.
To choose to be happy is not blasphemous. You don’t besmirch the deaths and tragedies of others by choosing to embrace life and love. If anything, you honor those who have faced hardship by embracing their memory and choosing a lighter path. What better way to honor someone than to say,
“By knowing you I know love, joy and peace.”
That sentiment is in regards to others. What about you? You don’t diminish the impact of sadness by choosing light. In fact, you are using it for exactly that purpose; to express and acknowledge the duality of life.
Those suffering from mental illness may have physiological hurdles to overcome in finding joy. Brain chemistry may indeed make it difficult for them to experience happiness. It is not impossible though. Science is fact carved in time. The things we know now are substantially greater than our past. Yet that was the case with the past as well. Scientists believed that their breakthroughs were the end of the road, a cure in some cases. The things we knew as fact in our past are now up for debate as we learn more. The human mind is infinite. We don’t fully know how happiness will be created in the future for those people suffering from depression.
So where do we go with this knowledge, the understanding that we can indeed choose happiness? Anywhere. Anywhere and everywhere. It’s up to you to revel in your ability to laugh and laugh uproariously.
I have a friend who becomes so embarrassed when I break out into full on laughing when we are out and about. He feels it is not appropriate to upset the silence of those around us “out in public” by laughing so fully. I am quick to tell him that I am not being disrespectful to anyone around us. If anything I am respecting them by filling the air with joy.
I used to think he was an anomaly though, that the world loves to laugh fully and smile broadly. However, upon closer inspection I find that is not the case. In my runs and drives around town I see people fully immersed in business, in calls, in texts. All the while they are stoic, unsmiling, going somewhere doing something in the future, not even remotely in the moment.
So why has exhibiting joy become the rarity? Do you want that to be the case? How are you out in public? Are you lively and full, laughing and smiling? When something amazes you are you wide-eyed andexpressive.
“No way! That is so cool.”
Or do you squelch the awe of your inner child, looking on with a raised eyebrow, silently nodding in approval?
What of that inner child? Pop culture has us referencing him or her with some frequency but never in a way that truly captures the wonder and excitement that a child expresses. Is it possible that you would feel happier if you chose to express your joy as opposed to keeping a low profile, staying the consummate adult?
Let me help you out with that answer. Your life is the result of every choice you make in every moment. Since you are the one in charge of your mind and your thoughts then indeed not only is it you that makes those choices, but only you. are the one to simply choose happiness. Naysayers be damned. Until someone has the proof that my thoughts are inconsequential to my happiness then I will continue to choose light and lightness. To choose Love over fear. To choose excitement over stolidness.
I would encourage you to do they same. To create a life of joy you need the ingredients of laughter, smiling and unabashed love, untethered by conformity or worry of looking odd. For me, I will take breaking the silence with laughter as opposed to plodding through life unmoved and conforming to the notion that sticking out is frowned upon. I encourage you to join me in that regard. The next time you find something really funny, don’t simply giggle under your breath. Let it out. When you are amazed by something in this incredible world then let it be known. Gasp, wide-eyed exclaiming your disbelief the whole time.
Live your life fully.
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