Friday, September 19, 2014

It's Your Choice

I think I have told you all before that I like to spend the first few minutes of my mornings reading motivational quotes. Sometimes they are about running (especially on those dark, early mornings when I can't seem to make myself put on those dang running shoes).  But, sometimes they are just about life. I thought I would share the one that really spoke to me this morning:

This is such a hard lesson to learn, but something that I have spent a lot of time working on. 

You know, not that long ago life was very hard for me. It felt like the world had dumped a really heavy weight on my shoulders and I found myself drowning in the "unfairness" of it all. I spent many days (and many wine-soaked nights) wallowing in my bad luck. But, I started noticing that there were days where I wasn't so sad.  There were days or brief periods of days or even large groups of days together when I was really happy. Now, nothing in my situation had changed. The world had definitely still dumped that heavy load on me.  But during those times, I was happy, truly happy. And, in thinking on that, I realized it was because in those moments, I was choosing to be happy. Just as much as in those wallow-y periods I was choosing misery. 

Think about that. We have the power to CHOOSE how we feel. There is nothing that anyone can say to you or that the world can throw at you that can take away your power to choose how you react to it. Only you can give away that power by giving into your circumstances.  

Now, I am not saying that there aren't some really crappy things out there that might happen to you where you aren't every bit justified in choosing to be sad. Life is hard and we go through sad times and I don't want to discount the importance of that emotion. I'm also not saying, and I want to be very clear on this, that if you have a mental illness that is causing you to have those deep down dark feelings that the answer is as simple as choosing to be happy. No, if that is the case I only ask that you choose to try. Try by seeking help for your illness. 

But what I am trying to tell you is that in our day to day lives, we have a choice. I'm going to repeat that: we have a choice. We can choose our response. We can choose happiness over sadness. We can choose understanding over anger. We can choose tolerance over fear.  We can choose light instead of the dark. We are not powerless to our emotions, we are powerful. Use that power to make yourself happy. It's your choice. 

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