Happiness is a decision

Happiness is a decision. Those were the powerful words given to me one night long ago while I was in the midst of my own despair. That was 26 years ago. The words just came into my head and I have been both railing against them and evangelising them ever since.

To some, the words are an insult, a pithy trite platitude. Even dangerous. Those battling depression may see the words as judgement or blame that they are the cause of their own situation and desperate sadness. I too have felt that way and for many years ignored the advice that was given to me on that night.

The words were given to me in a pragmatic way that my personality could work with. Like me, the words are a little blunt and don’t sugar-coat things. Lacking in tact and diplomacy even. This is true but even so over time and in many situations the words have whispered in my consciousness and in there I have found power in them.

The words give me power by reminding me that I am not a victim of any situation. They remind me that I don’t have to wait for someone else or some external force to grant me a sacred gift. They remind me that I have the power to uncurl and look for the path back to the light.

Sometimes the path is hard to find, impossible even. But if you are even looking slightly, even if you crack your eyes open just a little to search for any light in the darkness. It has been my experience that in doing just that, even with just a faint hope that happiness can be my decision then something begins to change.

Change is hope that things can get better.

Often we need the help of others, friends, doctors, strangers, to lead us back to our path. Deciding on happiness can be just the change we need to see opportunities for help and change and also to give us the strength to be humble and vulnerable and ask for it when we need it.

Happiness is a decision. Words of power.

The words can just help us to stop, even if just for a second, the destructive thoughts swirling within us and pause. And in that pause while our mind questions and argues our eyes might idly notice the dust swirls moving in a sunbeam and we might notice the beauty. Once we begin to notice beauty and good we see more of it. Once we begin to count our blessings instead of our problems we recognise more blessings. Once we decide to be happy we will find more ways to invite joy and appreciation into ourselves and will quite literally, lift our spirits.

Megan Ruffino
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