I would like to share part of a Facebook status that a friend posted.
The lesson I’m learning everyday is that happiness is a choice. Indeed it can be a tricky lesson to fully grasp, I’ll admit. Life is ripe with countless difficult experiences…yet struggle is optional! I’m learning that deep in our disappointment lives an opportunity for growth, wisdom, and spiritual expansion.
You know what that means to me? That means that if I look hard enough, I can find the BLESSING in every LESSON. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Isn’t it empowering to know that if I chose to, I could see the good in EVERYTHING? I can see a lesson in death, life, lack, abundance, ups, and downs because it ALL has a divine purpose. It is ALL God.
And, yes…if it’s all God, then it must be all good.
I absolutely LOVED this status and it has greatly influenced me to write this blog post. People tell me all the time that they are so shocked when they read about my life events in my blog because I seem to be so happy in social media and in real life. I always chuckle when I hear this because although I’m typically giddy and cheerful, to the point of being child-like, I am actually very moody in real life. LOL
While there are some people who have a naturally sunny disposition, it really takes a conscious effort to CHOOSE to be happy. There have been many times in my life where I decided to feel sorry for myself — sitting alone in the dark silence, binge eating my troubles away, crying myself to sleep, and convincing myself that life would never get better. And then there were times when I decided I would take my life back — focusing on the blessings, smiling at strangers, helping people who had fewer resources than I did, and forcing myself to only think positive thoughts and thank God for all of my blessings.
I had a very strange experience at a salon I found on Groupon. An older lady was applying a keratin treatment to my hair and among many other weird things she said to me, she mentioned that she wished she was as pretty as I am because then her life would be void of any worries. At the time I just wanted her to be quiet and finish my hair because my scalp was burning from the formaldehyde and her rough handling, but I later thought about her statement and became uneasy. When did perceived beauty allow anyone to live a life with absolutely no worries? Why do people think because I show my dimples (or my duck face) on Instagram photos that I’m exempt from encountering hardships?
If being beautiful equates to never experiencing difficult times, then clearly I am fugly.
I have been stressed.
I have been depressed.
I have been defeated.
I have felt fat and ugly.
I have convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough.
I have been betrayed by friends.
I have been envious of friends.
I have been broke.
I have had bad credit.
I have been deceived.
I have had my heart broken.
I have been physically abused.
I have been sexually abused.
I have been emotionally abused.
I have not loved myself enough.
I have been abandoned by my mother.
I have an alcoholic father.
I have been bullied.
I have attempted suicide.
I have fought the devil for my sanity.
I have fought the devil for my marriage.
I have had bad hair days.
See? Life doesn’t spare any of us. Even the ones who seemingly have the most favor still have obstacles to face. But instead of sending out Paperless Post invitations to my pity party and wallowing in sorrow, I have to remind myself everyday to be happy. Instead of complaining about the cost of things, I remind myself that I have the means to pay for it. Instead of being upset about disloyal people, I remember the people who are in my corner. Instead of counting the ways my husband gets on my nerves, I think about all the reasons that I love him. And if you’re having trouble with seeing the good in a situation, ask God to help you open your eyes and show you.
-July 28, 2014