Thursday, February 24, 2011

Choosing Happiness

      I do not know who wrote this, but I have read it often and value it's meaning:  "You Choose... whether to give up at the first obstacle or give it your all, to speak up or stay silent, to change what you don't like or let it change you.  With every word, every step you take, you define who you are-----and create your future."
As usual, when I go to Curves I have my workout buddy; we have lots of good conversation and today was no exception.  We discussed many things, but the one thing that stuck out in my mind as we were sitting in her driveway talking (after our workout) was something I had actually mentioned to her a while back.  I listen to Dennis Prager almost everyday on talk radio(sometimes hearing his whole 3 hrs and sometimes just catching bits & pieces as I move through my house); he has one hour every Friday morning at 10am called "The Happiness Hour" and he states (which, now,  I do believe) that we have the moral responsibility to be happy.  We have the opportunity throughout our day to choose happiness or choose to be miserable or depressed or angry, and I don't know about you but I think "happiness" sounds much more pleasant to be around! 

  And in talking about happiness maybe we have to define what "our" happiness might look like.  My "happiness" may look much different than yours.  For instance, if I am happy I am more outgoing which might include being more talkative (sometimes more talkative if I've taken Excedrin for a headache or had a Diet Dr. Pepper that I get at McDonald's drive-thru!!*S*)  Your "happiness" may be more quiet or just peaceful.  Whatever our "happiness" looks like on the outside it matters most what it feels like on the inside and the feeling you convey to others.  (I mean, how much fun is it being around a grumpy person?  or a depressed person?  And sad to say that I used to be one of those depressed people which I now regret but am grateful to have learned from that experience)
I am a visual person so I like to keep things around me to remind me to stay happy.   I have books, music, talk radio, photographs of my family, my really nice camera( that my thoughtful husband gave to me for one of my birthdays stating that he thought I was good at taking pictures after I had complained about the amount of money it must have cost!  How ungrateful was I?) , and other different objects as well as scented lotions (I also respond to scents and sounds; how unpredictable am I?*s*)   And last but not least, I have my scriptures which when reading daily gives me such a boost as well as insight and new ideas on how to live my life in a more happy way.  Anyway, the point is that I personally need reminders and things to make me smile; I love funny cards, humorous sayings mixed in with the serious because don't we all have enough serious things going on around us?
  All of this goes right along with the principle of Thought that I wrote about yesterday.  We choose; it's up to us; no one can do it for us and even if they could where would our learning come from?   In 2 Nephi (Book of Mormon) Chapter 31, verse 16 it reads, " And now my beloved brethren, know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved."  I have written in the margin next to this verse, "Enjoy to the end".  I think I wrote this at a time in my life when I was feeling depressed and the feeling of "enjoy" jumped out at me because I wasn't "enjoying at the moment"; I was just enduring and hanging on for dear life (diisclaimer here: I had moments of clarity and was by no means ready to be committed to an insane assylum!*S*  Maybe this is another "blog" subject?).   What would "enduring" mean in the end if we had been miserable people who no one wanted to be around?  How, when we are emoting depression to others, are we leading others to Christ?  In following the example of Christ are we miserable?  Did he teach us to be miserable?  Did he teach us by example to be miserable as we were going through difficult times?  I think not.  We have the choice:  What will it be today?

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