It is easy to say “happiness is a choice” when you are thriving. Whether it be at work, in relationships, in finances, it is easy to choose happy. But, what about when your world is being shaken and shattered, does happiness really feel like a choice?
I am sure these past 10 months the “new normal” that COVID has undoubtedly caused, has completely rocked many of your world’s in unanticipated ways. I will be the first to admit this past year has been the hardest of my life. Many days happiness and joy did not feel like a choice. In the midst of businesses closing, marriage struggles, deaths, riots and the obscure chaos that we are all facing I have realized ONE thing. Having joy and finding happiness in the struggle is a choice.
By this what I really mean is your thoughts are a choice. What you choose to dwell on everyday IS a choice.
We all must figure out how to USE life instead of letting it use us. It is so much harder than it sounds, I know, but life is truly too short to live in a state of constant suffering. While we should acknowledge suffering and take time to grieve real losses, it is important that we start focusing on what we can control and all the things we are grateful for. Because when we are grateful, being bitter and hostile at the life around us becomes a lot tougher.
Some days I am not the most positive ray of sunshine when I get out of bed (just ask my husband), but something I have made a habit of the past 4 months is a “gratitude journal”. Easy enough right? Maybe you feel at this point in your life this seems impossible, because what do you possibly have to be thankful for? Do you have eyes to read this with- yes? Do you have access to the internet and therefore this blog- yes? Do you know HOW to read- yes? Well looky there! There are 3 simple things to be grateful for!
Instead of writing 3 overarching themes of what I am thankful for- I write 3 specific things from the day before. For example, this morning my 3 points of gratitude were:
- Support from small businesses and other entrepreneurs
- Walks with my dogs
- Working from home on cold or rainy days
Starting my day off like this just sets a tone- “I have so much to be thankful for even on the worst of days!” Therefore, today I choose to be grateful and I choose to be happy.
IF you are going through the tumultuous times right now my intent is NOT to discount how very real and raw that is. There are so many things that women are going through that I cannot even pretend to imagine. My point is to say that life is too short to make it cycle or a place you feel like you cannot escape. My point is to say you are not alone. My point is to say that there is something so much greater than your suffering!
A book that really renewed my outlook is Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen. I would highly recommend every woman to read this book! DISCOVER THE BOOK HERE
In this book, Jennie Allen dives into how Apostle Paul shares that no matter his circumstances he has found a life of being CONTENT. For me this was so hard to understand because I have always thought being content actually meant being complacent. Accepting mediocrity. When in fact, contentment is vital for happiness. It is the opposite of a mediocre life! Now this can be a whole separate discussion, but I want to challenge you today to ask yourself, "Am I WAITING for my circumstances to change to be content?"
So just give gratitude a shot. All you need is paper, a pen and less than 5 minutes and I promise you it might just be the starting point to a life full of joy you did not even know was possible!