HELP EMMA'S DREAM'S COME TRUE
The other day, I had the distinct honor of believing for a time that someone very dear to me was considering taking their own life…. again. You see my mother took her own life in March of 1996, Just 6 months before Chris and I were married. People said I would never get over it, that I would always feel devastated, to some extent, by this event. I believed otherwise. How I dealt with that event clearly sent my life in a whole new direction that enabled me to understand that happiness (as well as sadness, misery etc.) is a choice. Something I can create for myself, no matter what is going on around me.
The pursuit of happiness is actually not a pursuit, it’s a choice. In any given instance, each one of us can choose how we feel: happy, sad, angry, excited etc. Actually it is not only that we can, we do this constantly. Feelings don’t just appear… they are made. We make them by calling our beliefs into action. Someone lies to us, we make up that they don’t love us and we decide to be unhappy. Our home is destroyed, yet our family is not, and we decide that family is more important than a house… and we choose happiness. It goes on an on and we do it all the time! The question then becomes how aware of this skill are we, and how much do we want to use it?
Most of us have been systematically taught that feelings are not something that we make, but something that happens to us. I know I was raised that way. Were you? It’s ok, my parents were terrific and they did the best they could, after all, it’s what they were taught!
It’s by the grace of God that I have had the privilege to learn that I have a choice about what I feel, before my daughter was born. It’s been an invaluable learning for me in dealing with her special needs. I like to say I am good at choosing happiness, and maybe that belief in itself makes it so. But I can tell you, as can the people closest to me, that I sometimes don’t choose to feel happy, and sometimes choose to feel downright miserable. But note the language, "I choose to feel….".
Is it really possible to be too obsessed with practicing the use of your “happiness muscles”…. your ability to choose happiness no matter what? To consistently seek out experiences that help you to refine these skills? I don’t think so.
Is it ok to risk it all to “perfect” (whatever that means) the art of choosing happiness for myself?
YES! YES! YES!
What is my or anyone’s quality of life if we are not happy? We can kid ourselves and think that a new car, boat, relationship, job, or opportunity will make us happy. But then our ability to be happy lies outside of us… outside of our control. No thank you! I’ve got this one covered, and I don’t want to depend on you, or the circumstances of my life for my happiness. It’s way too important.
So I am just I am going to say it…. I am a happiness choosing maniac…..I will and do risk a great deal to deepen my abilities in this area of my life, and thanks to my wonderful friend from the other day, and my decision about their actions, I am ready to shout it out from the rooftops! Happiness is THAT important to me. I believe it has transformed me, and can transform our entire world. I’d love it if you’d join me!
Ellen is a counselor, educator and Biomedical and Son-Rise mom extraordinaire. She has many years of experience in public, private, "typical " and special needs educational settings, as well as extensive training as an Option Process® Mentor Counselor through The Option Institute in Sheffield, Massachusetts, sister organization of the Autism Treatment Center of America
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