We are told fairy tales when we were children that always ended the same way, “And they lived happily ever after.” It was like we were being programmed to believe that everyone lived happily ever after, which we know as adults is not completely true. So we expend hour after hour seeking the elusive idea of what happiness is all about. We work, we wed, we have children, we buy things, we go places, we pray and we even serve in order to be happy.
We have a piece of art in our bedroom featuring this saying. I hung it in that room to remind me that happiness is not something we seek, or do, or have, happiness is a choice. And some days that choice is easier to make than others. When things are not going as expected or expectations are not being met it can be hard to ‘be’ happy. It is exactly at those times when we have to choose to be happy no matter the circumstances. Happiness is a mindset not a temporary state. It needs to be a choice we make continually each and every day even when we are not in life where we hoped to be.
Some of us choose to be curmudgeons. We want to point out all the bad, remind everyone of the awful things happening in life, and we need everyone to know how we are stuck or unhappy or a victim of what life has done to us. These people take great pride in being ‘realists’ or ‘practical’ about what life is all about. It is by these people that I am reminded that happiness is a choice. I know cancer victims who are content in life and bring joy everywhere they go, even though their own days are numbered. It takes courage to choose to be happy no matter what. It takes stamina and faith and the ability to see the gifts and blessings each day brings. No life is perfect yet we can still be perfectly happy with our life. Looking at the end of ever fairy tale from this perspective it is possible that everyone lives happily ever after, that is if they choose to be happy.