CHOOSING TO BE HAPPY AND HOPEFUL

Choose to be happy despite your circumstances and here's why it works. Happiness is always a choice. Don't let you circumstances or the moods of the people around you, steal your joy. #happiness #choice

HAPPINESS IS ALWAYS OUR CHOICE

We're onto "H" in the "List of More" and today it's about choosing to be happy, not waiting for happiness to magically descend upon us. For far too long I based my happiness on the people around me (if they were happy then I was happy), and on my situation (if things were good then I was happy). It never occured to me that the power of happiness was in my own hands.

WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES DICTATE YOUR EMOTIONS

It took many, many repititions from my husband - where he told me that happiness was my responsibility - before it slowly started to sink in. It's so difficult to change your mindset when there is an entrenched belief that you've held to for decades. I kept telling him that I needed everything and everyone to be happy before I could be, and he kept telling me - "No, you don't - you can choose to be happy despite those things".

The question is "How???" How do I feel happy if someone I love is angry or upset, how do I feel happy if my job isn't great, how do I feel happy if finances are tight, or the weather is horrible, or my plans haven't gone the way I thought they would? How do I separate myself from my circumstances and not allow them to control my happiness levels? That last question was the key to finally beginning to figure out what true happiness is.

DISCOVERING YOUR POWER 

What I've come to learn is that I hold the power that allows me to be happy. I get to choose if I'm going to let my circumstances dictate my mood. It can be easy to say, and it's a lot harder to put into practice, but the more consciously I chose to take responsibility for myself and my reactions and emotions, the easier it became to let a lot of the upsets and turmoil flow over and around me - rather than sticking to me and dragging me down.

I am in charge of how I feel and today I choose happiness!

Once, you stop personalizing everything, you release yourself from the pressure of blaming yourself or trying to fix everything. You allow people and situations to be what they are and you respond from a place that isn't taking responsibility for things that aren't yours to own. It's freedom and it's a heady feeling to be release yourself from it all, and with that freedom and release, happiness sneaks quietly in through the door you've opened and it's because you let it in, rather than closing it out.

HAPPINESS AND HOPE

Happiness opens our hearts, it lifts our heads, and it encourages us to hope for the future. We aren't tied down and confined by our immediate troubles, we can acknowledge them, but when we're positive and separate from them, we can see that this isn't the end. We won't always be stuck in whatever our current mess is, we have hope for better days to come. The old saying "this too shall pass" is a mantra I often quote to myself, because everything eventually passes - the bad times don't last forever.

If we can accept that life has ups and downs, if we can step back and realize that they don't define us, that we are able to make choices and move through whatever difficulty we face, then the future looks brighter. Choosing happiness right now, rather than waiting for a magical moment somewhere down the track - when all the stars are aligned - empowers us and encourages us, and we can face life with a smile. There's something so joyful about seeing someone choose to not play the victim, someone who says "this has happened to me, but it's not who I am - I choose to be defined differently."

WHO YOU ARE IS WHO YOU CHOOSE TO BE

Wouldn't it be awful to have gone through all those difficult life stages, all the sickness, stress, uncertainty, upset, and upheaval - only to have come out of it bitter and beaten? To be full of self pity and sadness, and "poor me" and "why me?" and all the other recriminations. I always feel a sadness in my heart when I see older women who are carrying a wealth of repressed anger and resentment around with them - it hardens them and ages them. I would be so disappointed in myself if I let that happen to me.

The choice is ours - we can choose to let the tough times beat us and live defeated and resentful lives. We can choose to fluctuate with every mood our loved ones are going through, we can blame ourselves, we can get embroiled in the problems of others, we can take responsibilities on that aren't ours to carry. Or.... we can choose happiness, we can be the light and extend care and compassion. We can show empathy without taking on the problem as our own. We can be happy by actively and purposefully choosing to be happy every day - eventually it will be an automatic response and that's my ultimate aim.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you allowing life's circumstances, or the moods of other people to define you? Are you tossed around by the storms of life or do you choose to stand firm and hold onto hope? I'd like to think that all those difficult times have helped hone me into a better and brighter person, and I'd hope the same for you too.

RELATED POSTS


Choose to be happy despite your circumstances and here's why it works. Happiness is always a choice. Don't let you circumstances or the moods of the people around you, steal your joy. #happiness #choice

To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar and I'd love you to share this post by clicking on a share button before you go xx
This post was shared at some of these great link parties
Choose to be happy despite your circumstances and here's why it works. Happiness is always a choice. Don't let you circumstances or the moods of the people around you, steal your joy. #happiness #choice

16 comments

  1. Your husband is a very wise man, Leanne. Everything changes when we accept happiness as our own responsibility. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is indeed Donna - I just wish I'd gotten the idea into my brain sooner - it would have made for a happier life a lot sooner!

      Delete
  2. This is exactly the message I always gave my children - your happiness is up to you. Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I'd been told it a lot sooner - your children are lucky to be hearing it at such a formative time in their lives :)

      Delete
  3. I love this Leanne, your husband is right on the money! Mine used to tell me that if I started the day expecting trouble (when the girls were in their teens specifically) then I would get it - he was usually right. It just goes to show we can manage how we get through the day although some days are harder than others!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's a big part of it Deb, we can't control how the day is going to go, but we can decide how we're going to respond to it - and that makes a huge difference to our emotional and mental outcome from it (slowly learning - I wish I'd figured it out sooner!)

      Delete
  4. Love this - I always say that I choose happiness because it is good for my health!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Sam - and happy people are prettier people - an added bonus!

      Delete
  5. I know there are people that suffer from disorders that make this impossible but I've always been a big believer that the #1 factor when it comes to happiness and contentment is ourselves. Great post #anyhtinggoes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Jeremy - depression and anxiety are killers, but for those of us who are healthy and not struggling, choosing our attitude and our responses to situations can make such a difference to how we view this world we live in, and consequently how happy we are.

      Delete
  6. Always good to know how much we learn about ourselves as time goes on. Good for you, sharing how you are doing this too.

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week's optional prompt is Taking Stock 18/51. Hope you can join in and link up. Denyse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life is just one long lesson isn't it Denyse, when you stop learning and growing then you're just treading water or stagnating - I don't want to do either of those things!

      Delete
  7. Hi Leanne - I believe in discovering contentment and happiness oneself. I don't think one should expect anyone else to hand them over to us. I also try my best not to get affected by what happens in the surrounding space. It'sn't always easy though.
    Good post, as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've allowed myself to be affected by too many people and too many situations Pradeep - but I'm learning that I can control my response and I can choose whether I let things get to me. So my 50's have definitely seen a lot more inner peace and happiness because I'm taking responsibility for my own happiness - it's a much better way to live.

      Delete
  8. I think to expect to be happy ALL the time is not realistic as happiness ebbs and flows and that is quite natural. It IS up to ourselves to create our own happiness though. We can't expect others to make us happy. I do think that the moods and drama that might surround us can influence the level of our happiness or unhappiness. That's why it's important to surround ourselves in people that uplift us rather than those that drag us down! Just my thoughts. xo :-) #TeamLovinLife

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ah yes, you know I'm working on this at the moment. Trying to appreciate what I have, despite being nervous about what's to come... homelessness, starvation... (joking!). In some ways I'm thinking of the 'worse case scenario' and what I can do: put mortgage payments on hold; sell my house; downsize or rent so I can live off the money from my house. So in some ways by trying to make myself feel like I have a choice I can feel more in control and less unhappy!

    ReplyDelete

I love it when you leave a comment and I reply to them all.
If you'd like to have a conversation, feel free to email me any time - leanne.lecras@gmail.com