Day 114: From Kindness to Happiness
“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think.” – Buddha
“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.” – Ralph Marston
This post is dedicated to a dear friend who actually chuckled when I asked him if he was happy. I asked him why he found the question funny. I don’t think I ever got a straight answer from him. I suspect that he is not happy and does not know how to be happy. I certainly can relate and understand, because I used to believe that happiness was unachievable and a made up concept that only happened in romantic comedies and fairy tales.
So…Is happiness possible? I believe it is. As the above quotes mention, it really comes down to choice.
At any given moment, we have a choice. We can choose happiness in the moment. We can choose to be happy, just as we can choose to be miserable. Happiness is possible if that’s what we want. I know some of you might be thinking, of course I want to be happy, but I never seem to be. Or maybe I have moments, but just moments and not a state of happiness. My answer to that is this: life is really just a string of moments. If we choose to be happy in the moment, eventually those moments will string together and we will have had a lifetime of happiness. At least that is what I’m choosing to believe.
Of course, many of us may not have been taught how to choose happiness, how to be happy or even know where to start. Perhaps we grew up in a family that was full of angst, fear, anger, and a general feeling of unhappiness. If that was your childhood, that is unfortunate, but we can learn now. We can do anything we put our minds and energy to. It is a pure waste of time and life to limit ourselves. Find books, a mentor, a therapist, or seek out a person who seems to have figured out how to have happiness and learn from them. We get one life. We each hold the power within to create our own happiness. By looking within and finding the things that make each of us uniquely happy, is a start.
My path to happiness began with the choice to seek out kindness, to pray for it, ask for it, find it, create it, and eventually live it. At first it was difficult because I was battling 30+ years of thoughts and beliefs that had molded me into a person that looked for and saw the things that were going wrong. I now know that it is impossible to find happiness when full of worry, fear, and living for others. I am still a work in progress, however, each day that I choose to be kind and loving towards myself, it becomes easier to be kind to others and to every person I encounter. Kindness is becoming a way of life and in turn has created a path to happiness for me.
Choose Happiness Because You Can!
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Gregor2802