Stop Trying So Hard to Be Happy

Happiness is an elusive, dynamic, ever changing gift. Sometimes we know we used to be happy when we notice we aren’t right now. Do you recall moments in childhood, or that first blush of love when you were giddy with joy? Were you aware of it at the time? Did you bask in it? Or did you miss it and think this was just your life from here on out? Did you think, “Oh Good. Finally. I will now be happy for tScreen shot 2015-06-24 at 7.17.48 PMhe rest of my life!”

It doesn’t last. Happiness comes and goes. Fortunately, so does sorrow.

Whatever is going on right now is how your Life is in this moment. You can make decisions and change your attitude about your life circumstances. You can change details and habits. You can stop doing things that sabotage you.

But — You can’t force the good times to stay and you can’t wish away the tough times. All you can do is get on that horse and ride through whatever is going on. Take it all in. Learn from it. Become better because of it.

Bad times help us appreciate the good times even more. As we age we’re better able to live in the moment of happiness because we know it’s fleeting. Take this moment as it is. Happiness is funny. If you look too hard for it, you miss out on Life.

Screen shot 2015-06-24 at 7.49.43 PMI’ve learned that most of us aren’t a very good judge of the present. We are too critical of ourselves, and we try too hard to be perfect. Let me tell you a secret: You are far luckier, happier, healthier and better looking than you realize. Right Now. Yes, You are. You don’t need to look like a celebrity to be beautiful and have value.

I’ve looked back on old photographs and realized how good I had it then. Instead of celebrating the good times, I was anxious about the future, anxious about my weight, anxious about my pets and family. And I missed it.

As I’ve aged I’ve realized, “I don’t look as good as I did at 42! But I look better and have it better right now than I probably will at 82!”

Breathe. Enjoy your life. It’s the only one you get.

Happy Summer!

* PS -I wrote this as I reflected on all those “Selfie Addicts” who think that posting perfectly photo-shopped pictures will make life better. It won’t.  Advice: Make sure you aren’t posting something you’ll have to explain to your 4-year old some day… or your mom!

© 2015 Beth Terry, CSP • Phoenix, AZ • USA   All Rights Reserved

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