The key to happiness is to learn to love your life, every bit of it.
The times in your life that are without any negative influence are rare, and you cannot let your happiness depend on it. You might postpone your happiness until you finish your deadlines, lose weight, feel healthier, are in a relationship, find your dream job, until the weather gets better or whatever excuse you come up with. Or, you can try to be happy today; in the situation you are right now, even if that situation sucks. It is an active choice to be content with where you are in life, without exceptions. This choice doesn’t come natural to most of us.
The mere existence of hardships give you the choice to either embrace them and grow from them to the very best you can, or to complain about them and use them as an excuse to be unhappy. Being in a shitty job might suck, but it does provide you with certain privileges: the ability to pay your rent, the ability to feed your children, the ability to learn how to deal with difficult colleagues. Being heartbroken might suck, but it does mean that you experienced love, that you opened up your heart and experienced a certain level of intimacy that some only dream of. It will hurt for sure, but it is only there because it means good things happened as well. Suffering from sickness can make you learn what it means to be vulnerable and dependent. It might teach you to prioritize the things in your life that truly matter. Whatever you are going to and however hard it might feel, I can assure you that it is bringing you good things as well.
There are many things to be grateful for in your life. Start acknowledging them. Do you have any idea how lucky you are to be alive today? To be of service to others? To be able to see and hear? To have had an education? To have Internet access? Trying to be thankful for what you have will help you gain perspective on your overall situation.
I don’t want to give you the idea that I have it all figured out. That would be a disillusion. The bottom line is that being happy and being grateful for everything in your life is a hard lesson to learn. Sometimes I am not sure if I am even making any progress in this area at all. When you are in too deep, you can fail sometimes to see the overall picture. You often don’t see your own progress and development until way after facing hard times in your life. But in the end, the struggles are just as meaningful as the good times.
Being happy starts with a realization of how you want to see things, before actually seeing them like that 24/7. Accepting that gratitude will set you free, accepting that you need to actively choose to love your life with everything that comes with it is a first step. Only after knowing where you want to go, you can start to actively live it.
In order to be happy, you will have to embrace the difficulties as well. They will always be there, so you better start to learn to deal with them today. One day you might realize that the absence of the ugly doesn’t define your happiness.
November 14, 2013 at 17:57
Hey lovely! I’ve got a challenge for you in my blog in case you run out of ideas what to post :–)
November 15, 2013 at 01:02
totally struggling with this one at the moment – for me it’s remembering that I can be happy now, and to not put my life on hold until we move house.
totally relevant and thought provoking.
November 16, 2013 at 02:05
I know! We all have our own ‘houses’ as excuses. It is tempting to think like that (I know!!) but I also realise more and more how that’s not going to work for me on the long term – otherwise i’ll never be happy :)
November 15, 2013 at 17:44
I really like this post. And i agree with you, 100%.
a few years ago, i was feeling pretty down and just couldn’t get out of it. Then i decided to start writing a happy diary. Every night, i’d record three things that made me smile that day. Simple things, like someone smiling at me, someone taeching me something new that day,… Stuff like that. Making a point of writing every night made me realise that life can be good if you try, sometimes, harder than on other days. And now that i am in a better place, i still do it almost every night. And you know,it does make me feel better, it makes me stop and live in a moment. And that feels good.
Have a lovely weekend.
November 16, 2013 at 02:05
That’s such a great idea! I might nee dot do this as well, it is such a good habit to have. I am positive that it makes a major difference :)
November 15, 2013 at 21:44
This is so important for me to remember at the moment especially. You write so eloquently here, I really understand what you mean.
November 16, 2013 at 02:06
Thank you :) And I am happy that other people recognise what I am talking about ; I think it is a topic many of us struggle with
November 16, 2013 at 01:56
Thank you for posting this :)
Life is sometimes hard but there are things to be thankful for in every circumstance…..I need to think and dwell on that more…..thanks for making my day and my weekend a little bit brighter :)
November 16, 2013 at 02:07
I’m happy I could! And I am still learning… I wish I could live by everything I know in theory (but that are hard to actually carry out all the time)
December 6, 2013 at 02:39
I’m glad I found and read this post. This is all stuff I know deep down but it is so easy to forget. So easy to get wrapped up in the moment, especially when it’s a bad moment and not find the positives but to dwell on the negatives. When there is good moments I sometimes tend to take them for granted and still not see them because we are caught up in the negatives. You made me remember. Thank you :)