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Choosing Happiness Even When Things Are Difficult

I am a smiley kind of person; I can't help it. I love people and I automatically smile when I meet someone's eyes.

I stopped at a gas station today and ran in to grab a water. I smiled at the cashier and greeted him cheerfully. He responded, "Wow - you must have a really easy life to be that happy." 

Um, no. In the last 8 weeks, my beloved dog died and we went through two failed adoptions. So no; it's been anything but easy. 

What I am is aware that I - and I alone - control the quality of the moments in my life. What I am is aware that I choose how I react in every situation. 

I choose to be happy because that's how I want to be. Does life suck sometimes? Yep, totally. Do I feel sad about it sometimes? Yep. Do I get sick of the staggering amount of meanness in the world? Most definitely; I truly wish I could wave some sort of magic wand and banish cruelty from the face of the Earth. 

Choosing to be happy despite all that doesn't mean that you don't acknowledge that sadness, cruelty, and difficulty exists. It means that you have decided to take full responsibility for the quality of your life and the things you put your focus on. When you do that, you can actively choose to believe that maybe things are difficult because they aren't the right things for you, and maybe - just maybe - you are being led to the right people and experiences through a series of seeming misadventures. 

The thing is that whatever you put your focus on grows, so when you constantly focus on the bad, the sad, and the wrong, you end up seeing more of that everywhere. It's like when you are looking to buy a new car, and suddenly it seems like that particular car is everywhere on the road. Did hoards of people all decide to buy that car at the same time? Not likely. What happened is that you put your focus on that car as one you might want to purchase, and you suddenly notice it all over the place - you're subconsciously looking for it. 

It's the same with anything you put your focus on. If you focus on the bad, all you see is more bad everywhere. If you train your mind to focus on the good, you'll see more moments of hope, kindness, and love. 

What kind of life do you want? How do you want to feel each day? Focus on that. 

And go ahead; smile at people. It makes them wonder what you're doing right with your life (or what you are up to - either way, it's fun).