Happiness can be a difficult emotion to hold within our grasp. Unfortunately, life has a way of stealing our happiness when we least expect it. We may be filled with joy one moment, only to be robbed of it the next by circumstances, the words of others, or overriding negative feelings about ourselves. Abraham Lincoln is famously quoted as saying, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be". There is a great degree of truth in that very simple statement. Regardless of our situations, or the number of twists and turns that life will inevitably bring, we can always choose to make the decision to be happy.
It would be fair to say that I find myself happy the majority of the time. There are moments when I am not, but especially lately, they have been few and far between. I, like many others, sometimes find that disappointments or regrets over the past, memories of those who have passed from this world, and other thoughts, bombard my mind and result in feelings of sadness. It is then that I have to consciously make the decision to choose happiness as the preferential emotion. Needlessly dwelling over the past and that which cannot be changed does not serve me, or anyone presently in my life, in a positive manner. Quite the contrary, happiness is indeed contagious, and an incredible gift to bestow upon another human being.
I have come to realize that opportunities to experience happiness are abundant in life. They range from the most momentous of occasions to the simplest moments. I have felt happiness on a grand scale when my children were born, and I feel it in the sound of their laughter today. A perfectly beautiful day can bring forth a wonderful feeling of contentment, as can the sound of a gently falling rain. Both can result in calmness and serenity, which, in turn, causes happiness to emerge, and the cycle continues. Plainly stated, positive feelings result in even more positive feelings. The decision to seek out and find happiness in the everyday occurrences of life promotes an overall sense of well-being and peace of mind. Difficult times are inevitable, and pain and heartache will come our way over the course of our existence. However, any one of us can choose to be happy despite the challenges we face. My greatest hope would be that, when my time comes to leave this world, I am remembered for the happiness within me, and the happiness I brought to others.