There is something to be said about trying to be happy, being happy and even wondering how to get back to happy. In this season gratitude, being happy is one of those things which is different–so different among and between other people.
That loose idea of being happy, the beautiful thing about it is, it doesn’t have to be the same thing for everyone. Neither should it have to be.
Why should it be?
The one thing about being happy, the root is always going to be gratitude. It is always going to have it’s stake in focusing on what you have versus what you want. In that, with that, happiness comes because you are present in this moment. Whatever moment that is. This can be your child walking, your favorite song on the radio, a touch from someone your love or–in my case–finishing a novel.
The idea of being happy, the want to be happy, starts by being focused! It starts by taking stock of what you are, who you are and when you add in faith? Whose you are! There is so much of what makes up this travel we call life which can make you happy. Even with that phrase, make you happy, grants you no control over your life or what could contribute to it.
What makes you happy? Think about that.
What makes you happy?
There are things in this life which it can sway whether or not you can focus on your own life or the evidence of your own efforts in it. What do I mean? Happiness needs to be beyond a mood. It is an emotion, yes. Is it a great thing to look around and be untroubled or unworried? Yes. Do the storms of life come often to knock you off your square? More often than not. Do those things manipulate your focus and mood? Yes!
The trick is how to handle that. How do you sway and not break? How do you regain your happiness when you believe all is lost? How do you remain grateful when there is nothing to remind you to be such?
Here is what has helped me (and it has taken me almost 40 years to get to this point):
You are enough. All by yourself. Even if there be no one else to look within you to call out the greatness–you call out the greatness until you believe it. Your life was so precious and so amazing, God needed you on the planet.
Focus on what you can change. What you can change, change! This can be as simple as getting more sleep. Doing more things that you like to do. A simple thing: going outside more–Vitamin D3 is the proven to improve mood. When I am sad, especially during sunny days, I like to sit in the sun. Or I open all the shades in my house and let the light it. I let the light in.
Forgive. Gratitude is not independent of grief or sadness. Sometimes it is born of it. Sometimes it is forged because of it. Unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, hurt and trauma—those things rob you of gratitude. They weigh your heart and your spirit. Those weights tell you that you are unworthy and happiness is never going to be your portion. But these are lies: unforgiveness locks you in a room with no light; bitterness tells you that if you stay in this room with no light you’ll be safe and there is no reason to go out; Jealousy, hurt and trauma are the trifecta that sabotage gratefulness. This trifecta tells you that love is to be weak. Hurt tells you to be distrustful. Trauma untreated tells you that everything is always going to hurt. When you forgive, the door opens. The light comes in. The light shows you exactly where you are and who you are. And how to escape from where you are. Once you notice where you are, and can change it–therein lies your freedom.
From that freedom–gratitude and happiness.
Days from where we are to be most grateful, keep this in mind. Make your freedom now. That is indeed something to be happy about.
[images from howtobehappy.guru, joshuanhook.com, study.com]