Decide to Be Happy
I felt an urgent need to write to you tonight. There is so much sorrow in the world. Everywhere you turn there is bad news. But right in this moment, I want you to make a firm decision. I want you to decide to be happy!
There was a time in my life where I believed that happiness was somewhere in the near future. I will be happy "if" and I will be happy "when" (you fill in the blank). I was always waiting for happiness to show up. I could never celebrate the moment because as soon as I experienced a tiny moment of happiness, my mind would immediately say, "Yeah, but what about...?" And the happiness I was feeling in that moment would quickly dissolve into discontent.
I am here to tell you, Beloved, that this is no way to live! What I know now that I didn't know then is that LIFE is literally made up of moments. Each moment we take a breath and are able to see the beauty of the world around us is a gift. A gracious gift. But like most blessings, we eventually move to a place of overlooking them and taking them for granted.
My life-changing moment came in January 2010. The doctor looked at me and said, "We will give you this drug. Let's hope it works." Hope was something that I was intimately familiar with. Hope and I had been acquainted for a long time.
"I hope this works out."
"I hope I get it.
"I hope everything will be OK."
"I hope it won't be as bad as I think."
Hope, hope, and more hope. Hope piled on top of hope. It was in that moment that I realized I had spent my whole life hoping and never living. Some people wish their lives away.. I was hoping my life away.
Hope is not all bad. But what I need to tell you is that hope is only a starting point. It is the beginning. And it should never be a place of longing and lingering.
At some point, you have to make a firm decision. You have to DECIDE.
Deciding is different from hoping. Deciding is about believing and taking action on that belief. Deciding is about eliminating options. Deciding makes things real.
It took me several weeks, but I finally made my resolution firm. I kicked hope out and embraced the power of DECISION. I decided that "I will LIVE and declare the works of the Lord."
I have also seen the opposite happen. Some people make a firm decision to give up. And that is not a good thing. But what I want you to see in this example is how deciding helps reality show up. Hoping is the gateway into the decision point. You get to choose which road you will take.
Which leads me to my main point, Beloved. You are as happy as you decide to be. In the middle of my illness in 2010, I had to search hard for the small graces that blessed my life. Instead of throwing a pity party about my illness, I started thanking God about all of the little graces that were showing up every day. A warm bed. Food to eat. People who care about me. Time to be alone and recover.
This turned into a habit of daily acknowledging the little graces in my life...and deciding to be happy about them.
So, Beloved, I am here to proclaim to you tonight that you have a choice. You can choose to be stuck in the valley of "hope" or you can make a DECISION. You can decide to be thankful for the small graces, or you can decide to give up because things are not going your way. The main point here is that YOU get to DECIDE.
And the road that you choose to travel will be the result of your decision.
I am believing that you will choose the better road. And decide to be happy.
I'm cheering for you.
P.S. I did a really cool interview with the author of the book "Kept: One Woman's Helter-Skelter Journey through Life." Check out the live video on my Facebook page - The Art of Unique.