Lesson 2 – Your degree of happiness in life is up to you
While I haven’t always recognized it, for many years now I have realized that the life we have is a precious gift.
Once upon a time, I had this idea that other people were responsible for my happiness. I had expected my life to be a real-life fairytale – and it wasn’t… Sometimes it felt like my life was a nightmare… until I began to understand that most of my unhappiness came from the consequences of choices “I” had made – people had tried to warn me, but I hadn’t listened. I wanted to do things “my way.” The rest of my unhappiness came from my unrealistic expectations that life “should be” an idealistic fairytale – my partner should idolize me and treat me like a princess, people should always be nice to me and everything should go well for me.
The blame game
I wasted many years feeling badly done by and blaming others for my unhappy situation. I also used to feel a great deal of annoyance at the people I love most when they didn’t act like I thought they should or whatever. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I spent years regretting and stewing over things and blaming other people for my unhappiness. Until at some point, God began to speak to my heart and I began to recognize the preciousness and fragility of life.
Our precious family & friends
I now know that the people we have around us are precious gifts from God and we have no right to get annoyed when things don’t go our way. We need to have patience at times, we need to have respect at times and sometimes we need to turn a blind eye – we don’t really know where they’ve been, the hardships or sorrow they have faced. They, in fact, like us, are not perfect. We are all struggling to make our way down the path of life – we all struggle sometimes, we all fall sometimes, we are all broken sometimes…
We are all in the same boat
At this point, I pondered these things, and thought, “What right do I have to get annoyed, criticize, judge… any of these people? I have probably annoyed them by the things I do, heck, I’m so far from being perfect myself…” I’m sure God was talking to me and trying to show me how much he puts up with from each of us… and he asks us to show that same compassion and forgiveness to others, that he shows to us.
Love & compassion
I have become so much more aware that oftentimes the very things I used to judge and criticize in others, I have done myself. And God had forgiven me! I find I consider a lot more now, before I think ill of a person. I ask myself if I have done this very thing or something similar? I don’t want God to judge me, therefore, I think more carefully before I criticize anyone else – Jesus said the same measure you use to judge others, he will use to judge you. In fact, I try to put myself in their shoes to see if I can understand why they may have acted in that way. I am becoming much kinder and much slower to judge or criticize others as I get older, because I truly want my gracious God to show grace and mercy to me.
It’s up to me
Well, now I understand that God has given me a precious gift – my life – and that it’s up to me to choose my attitude to life. No-one else is to blame if I am unhappy, no-one else is responsible for my happiness. It’s up to me, and I choose to be happy! I choose to appreciate the good things in life and precious people God has placed in my wonderful life