By Angie G.
Happy. Many of us see it as being a destination. A place we can get to after going through some trial or tribulation; where we strive to return after someone, even ourselves, has taken us off course. We also believe that it’s a reward that we receive after overcoming some challenge or adversity; a prize we get for being good or doing well. But, “happy” is not a place and it isn’t a reward. Happiness is a choice. We don’t need to chase it; arrive somewhere to receive it; or move someone or something out of our way to get to it. It isn’t behind Door #3 and it doesn’t arrive in a package tied with a pretty red bow. It doesn’t magically show up after that graduation or promotion, and it doesn’t appear after we say “I do.” Happiness is right here, right now. We are choosing it, or we are not. And we make that choice by how we react to our thoughts about the stuff that happens to us as we go through life.
We are all mostly on automatic pilot when it comes to our thoughts about the circumstances that show up in our lives, but we get to choose our feelings about them. We choose to be frustrated when another driver cuts us off in traffic. We choose to be annoyed when the person ahead of us in line at the grocery store has 20 items instead of the “15 items or less” posted at the register. We choose to be angry when a friend or lover fails to deliver on a promise. We choose to feel sad or defeated when we don’t get immediate results from a project that we have invested time and effort into. We believe that we have no control over how we feel, so we blame other people and we blame circumstances for making us feel the way that we do. But, it’s NEVER them, it’s us. No person or thing is the boss of our feelings. We are.
So, if we want to be happy, we must choose how we feel. And while it is true that there are certain circumstances in which we would find it difficult, if not impossible, to make that choice, we are fortunate that those circumstances are not a constant occurrence in our daily lives.
We can’t “get to happy.” Happy is a state of being that is available to us in every moment; if we are willing to allow it in. That may not always be easy. It takes practice and commitment, but so does everything else worth having.