Choosing Happiness

11 Jun

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.”

(James M. Barrie)

Such a common quote, and so very true.  Something it never hurts to remember when kids are making you crazy, or you’re stuck in a job you’re tired of and don’t look forward to getting out of bed every day.

I truly believe so much of our happiness is a choice, and part of that is choosing to be happy with the season our life is in, something we spent a lot of time talking about in Bible Study this year too.

“My Stroke of Insight”, which I reviewed as “not-my-favourite” did make a good point.  Jill Bolte Taylor talks about how emotional reactions have a 90-second physical cause.  That means when you get scared or sad or angry or disgusted it takes 90 seconds for the uncontrolled chemical reaction to cycle through your body.  After that time, if you’re still angry or sad or scared it’s because you have made the decision to continue cycling that feeling and those thoughts, NOT because you just can’t help it.

The fact is our minds are powerful weapons in fighting (or maintaining) negative thoughts and emotions.  Thinking about what else I could  be doing with my life or what would make me happier is fine, as long as I use that to make realistic goals for if/when/how to accomplish things, and also take time to be thankful for what I have and to be happy doing whatever it is God has put in front of me for the day, even if that is cleaning the bathroom, getting barfed on, and telling my daughter to clean up her toys and not push her brother underwater in the bath.

This is where I am and it makes me happy, because I choose for it to, not because it is what I always dreamed of and have now achieved, not because I’ve got it all figured out, and not because I’m excellent at it.  I choose to be happy because I have to live every day regardless – what good would it do me or anyone else, mentally AND physically, to be unhappy with my lot?

We all have so much to be thankful for it’s ridiculous!

Our wedding text (Matthew 6:25-34) remains one of my favourites:

“Therefore, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

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6 Responses to “Choosing Happiness”

  1. Reuben Van Laar June 11, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    always a good reminder 😉

  2. Mrs. M. also known as Nancy :) June 11, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    How very true :o)

  3. Mrs. M. also known as Nancy :) June 11, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Very well written and very true !

  4. Lauren Zietsman June 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    I love this post–I truly believe that our minds are incredibly powerful and we can learn to control our thoughts and emotions! and I always tell my husband about that 90-second (except I think I read 30-seconds somewhere) chemical reaction–not always the best choice mid-argument 😉

    • hiddenponies June 12, 2011 at 3:54 am #

      Thank you! I think that’s why I love your blog so much too – I can tell you operate in the same positive way I try to!

  5. Sharon June 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Thanks again for such a wonderful write up!!! It is a GREAT encouragement… and something to strive towards as well!!! Thanks!

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