Happiness is a manifestation of our choices. Often times we hear wellness gurus and motivational speakers use the phrase ‘you have to choose to be happy’. If you are like me your initial thought is well that’s a silly thing to say. I’m not sitting here trying to be unhappy. Life happens and it’s happening to me. My circumstances and situations are making me unhappy. We tend to make ourselves victims or martyr’s of life. When in fact our state of happiness and wellness are direct results of our choices. From the smallest of them to the big decisions.
From my experience and relationships with others around me and that includes all different type of relationships friendship, romantic, work, parental and others. People are not willing to be honest with themselves about who they are and what they really want out of life as well as the relationships around them and why. Without answers to the previous questions you will always lack conviction and understanding of your circumstances and situations. I’m not saying that happiness only boils down to a series of steps on how to or what not to but on the input or surface level it does. Take for example I continue to do something that makes me unhappy or uncomfortable but I keep doing it and telling myself that it’s fine and I’m happy about it, or I believe it’s the right thing so therefore I should do it. Eventually what begins to happen is an abscuring of emotions and self compassion. I will eventually begin to experience feelings of anger, hurt and resentment towards this thing and eventually that unhappiness trickles over to different areas of my life. Then I will begin to make similar decisions in different areas. Wherein if at first I was honest with myself perhaps acknowledging that this isn’t something I want to do because it makes me unhappy and I would rather not. Then perhaps from there you would go on to explore that conversation some more. If it makes me unhappy why am I doing it? The answer could be out of duty, fear, it’s the responsible thing to do in this situation, or I’m being selfish. It could be a variety of things. The point is, at this point now you can make a conscious choice and decision about what you are doing and why. Rather than mooning over your choices and avoiding making concious decisions about them, you become present and active in making decisions about your circumstances. The high numbers of alcohol and drug abuse cases in North America is a tell tale sign of a society that refuses to engage in life choices on a real level. We fight invisible demons rather than battle with the enemy of the self. Suppessing emotions and running away from the responsibility of accountability to self and society. I am not suggesting we view ourselves as an enemy because that in itself is detrimental to our wellbeing. But the self becomes the enemy when we refuse to engage and be honest with ourselves. Sometimes being honest with your true self may mean having to let go off things and people that you’ve convinced yourself you cannot live without but in actuality if you are willing to fight an honest battle you know you need to let go off them. It can also mean walking away from a position you have worked for convincing yourself it will be worth it in the end.
When in actuality you are miserable, and not because you need to put effort into achieving something but miserable because of the actual work. You have to be honest and ask yourself how will that be different ten years from now. I believe my true take away here is to be bold and brutally honest with you. Make choices that are healthy and good for you while being mindful and kind to yourself and others around you. Those choices are a subconscious building up of your happiness. It’s not necessarily choosing to ignore a negative or bad situation in the moment it goes beyond that. There is a build up that is determinant of whether or not you will be able to make the choice to handle negative situations properly in a day to day situation.