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Chance or Choice?

Happiness is a choice and not just left to chance? That’s not what I learned growing up or even up until my adulthood. What I was taught is that if I do the right things and follow the rules I might get lucky. If I just color inside the lines and work hard I will get the happiness that I deserve. It’s always been a requirement to do x, y, and z or to walk the straight line with your head down to reach success. I honestly thought it was luck or chance or something completely out of my control. Turns out that I was wrong and so was all the people in my life from birth to now that told me I would find happiness once I graduated college or got married or had kids or found the perfect job or my purpose or God. Sure, those things can add to your happiness, but ultimately happiness won’t ever be attained through who is in your life or what you have in your life.

It has taken me 37 years to figure out that everything I have been told was just frankly a line of shit. I am finally seeing that the energy of those around me greatly affects my own energy. When I was surrounded only by people who complained and never had good things to say about anyone or anything I was also negative seeing those perspectives as my own. Energy is contagious whether it be bad or good. I remember my ex saying “We have bad luck.” It was constantly the universe not giving us what we were entitled to. To the point that I wasn’t even grateful when I got a front parking spot at Walmart. Instead I was saying “Oh look now I’m using up all my good luck for this week.” with a sigh and a slight laugh. Once I started to be around people that are more positive and look for good even in the hard I realized it became very difficult for me to always be the “Debbie downer” or “negative Nancy” all the time. It was unsettling at first that these positive people were just…happy. No offense but there wasn’t anything different about their lives, hell some of them were having problems with relationships or family or kids, but somehow they still had this point of view that was overwhelmingly optimistic. I found it odd that I was never challenged to rethink my perspective by the negative people in my life, but suddenly these positive people were challenging me to rethink everything around me and to start looking for good.

This past year should’ve broken me, and a couple of years I would’ve allowed it to without too much of a fight. There aren’t many people who are able to handle going through a tumultuous divorce, self harm and suicidal ideation, hospitalization of their child for 20 weeks, work through their own trauma and abuse, work full time, and raise three kids with no family nearby, their dad moving away and forgoing responsibility to them financially , physically and emotionally, start a healthy relationship, battle through court hearings, mediation, and custody disputes, and coordinate all the chaos that comes with three kids as a single(ish) parent doing most of the to and from on their own. Hell, honestly pick two and have them coincide and even with support I’m sure it would be difficult. Yet somehow I’m still here standing and not just surviving with caffeine, chaos, cuss words, and crazy meds, but have thrived.

It isn’t over, life is full of surprises. I could get bulldozed by life at any point, but I’m sure of one thing I’m going to fight and I will get back up. Again. Again. And yes, again. I don’t quit when it gets hard. I survived this year with A LOT of therapy. I survived with positive people in my corner challenging me to find the silver lining of every situation. I had the people around me that were supposed to be cheering for me. I didn’t have people wallowing with me in my dark moments. Sometimes I was angry and sad and just needed to scream and cry and say how unfair it was. It was. I could have those moments but I didn’t live there for long. I have an amazing job, a healthy relationship with a positive and supportive person {who is beyond patient} and a great therapist. I have three kids who are working on themselves and who are all accomplishing their goals while they heal. I have an amazing bonus kid who calls me just to check in. A dad and a brother who always come through when I need them regardless if they are busy and live 600 miles away. I have managed to get a promotion and a raise. I have started a blog and established a Facebook and Instagram page that have gained a following. I am realizing my dreams and allowing myself to go for them. I am loving myself more and finding my own path to happiness.

I’m learning that happiness doesn’t happen to you, you make happiness happen in your life. I’m learning that how I spend each day is how my life as a whole will be spent. I am my own obstacle between the life I have and the life I ultimately want. It’s not going to just happen and it’s time I stop waiting around for something amazing to just come my way and bring the amazing to myself. The head game is as important as the physical actions. With mental illness it’s a little more difficult to learn to be present, not overthink, and to enjoy the now. My anxiety is next level some days and it seems that no matter how much I try my brain is bound and determined to over analyze every single thing going on. As important as it is to challenge the facts of the thoughts and conclusions I come to, sometimes I have to be ok with having an off day or being in my emotions. I’m not perfect so that standard is not my goal.

I would be naive if I said my goal was to be happy everyday of my life. It’s unrealistic and just not ever going to be a reality. My goal is to be content with where I am right now. I want to be able to sit with my feelings whether those are good or bad and allow myself to acknowledge them, but let them go not allow them the power over my entire day. I am competing against the me I was yesterday and trying to improve each day. I choose to stay positive and continue to allow my happiness to be the driving factor towards why I do or don’t do things. I choose gratitude for the good and am open to learn from what the bad has to teach me. That’s why I chose to do the #100happydays challenge. I want to focus on my happiness as I know if I’m happy I can speak that into others. ☮️❤️😊~M

9 responses to “Chance or Choice?”

  1. I stopped by after seeing you liked one of my recent posts. It sounds like you are in a much better place in spite of what life has thrown at you. An old friend used to advise her teen clients
    “don’t cede your power.” Your power is how you react to situations; don’t let others determine your reaction for you. It sounds like you have come to that kind of posture.

    I love the do it twice slogan when told what not to do. You decide to do or not do. You decide to be happy. You decide to rightfully call your children’s sire (let’s not call him dad) a totally jerk for abdicating his responsibility.

    And, yes you decide to channel your inner bad ass. You are a tough minded person, but I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s quote, “when walking through hell, the best solution is to keep walking.” Keep walking. Keith

    1. Thank you Keith! I will keep walking! It’s the only way forward after all! My favorite lesson from the last year is that you must learn to respond, not react. When we respond we do so with rationality and facts, but when we react it is from irrationality, emotions & feelings. A big lesson for me was to learn to respond & not react in all situations. ☮️❤️😊

      1. This is well said. Respond not react. I think I will borrow that phrase as it is so simple, yet so profound. Thanks, Keith

  2. I’ve always said happiness is slow You can’t chase it down You have to stop and wait for it to catch up. I love this post
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    Laugh for a minute See what it cures

    1. Thanks! ❤️

  3. Happiness for me is mere a state of mind.

    1. In my opinion you choose to have that mindset it’s not automatic or due to chance. ❤️

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