I am a firm believer that happiness is a choice. Everyday we have a million thoughts flow through our heads and we are in control of what thoughts we let affect our attitude. I’m not naive, I know there are situations and things that happen to us that make it seem impossible to be happy. In fact, we feel so much sorrow and misery sometimes we feel like we can never know happiness. I think that knowing this sorrow and misery is knowing happiness. Without knowing the bad we can never truly appreciate the good. I know we don’t always feel happy, and I think that’s okay. The point I want to make is that despite the sorrow we need to choose to hold happiness with it. That sounds like a paradox, I know. It sort of is. Here’s my thinking. There’s a rough time in your life, a trial that you just feel like you can’t overcome. You feel the pain and sorrow of your situation and you wonder when things will get better, when you can get back to enjoying your life. Well, who said you can’t enjoy your life through the trial, through the pain? I think you can. You can choose to look on the bright side of life. Sounds a tad too optimistic, right? I thought so too. But it does work, trust me.
A year or so ago my family was going through some tough times. My aunt had cancer, my abuela had open heart surgery and lost her feet, my mom had so many allergies and problems that she could hardly eat. On top of the stresses of school and just daily life it was a lot to take in. I felt at times like there was no hope. “Why is everything bad happening to my family? Why do I have to deal with this? Why do I have to be the strong one?” We all have those moments. The only way I got through it was by praying to my Heavenly Father and asking Him to fill me with His love and to reassure me that everything would work out in the end and that I’d be strong enough to make it through. With His help I was able to see all of the blessings in my life which helped me to choose to feel the happiness over the sorrow. I still carried the sorrow in my heart, but I also had happiness right along with it.
I don’t know if what I’m saying makes sense. Still, I felt like I should share the message that you can always have happiness no matter what. It’s a choice you make to see the good in life and to count your blessings. In the Book of Mormon there is a part in the book of Alma that deal with the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites. Times were hard for the Nephites, the people of God. The Lamanites were trying to oppress them and take away their freedom. War was all around them. Their loved ones were losing their lives. Yet, amidst all of these tribulations, the Nephites chose happiness. They chose to find the joy in life.
“But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni, yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of judge.” Alma 50:23
My hope is that we can all chose happiness during times of war in our lives, like the Nephites did. May we always see the good in life.
This is just my insight. If you want to find out more about Latter-day Saints and what we believe please visit mormon.org or lds.org.
(This article has also been published here.)