Is Happiness That Elusive?
Let me give this a try and see where it goes. Life has been a bit of a downer for me lately. Marriage on it's last legs. Finances in a bad way due to an injury last November and no work since then. I am a self employed artist so no worker's comp. Surgery due to injury and months of therapy. Cervical blocks at the Pain Clinic. For those of you who have never had to have these, they are no fun! The facility where I was injured has not been co-operative at all. Little support from my husband through all of this. No hugs or encouragement from him. Separate bedrooms for almost fourteen years. Not my choice. So my life sounds pretty awful doesn't it?
However, today I am pretty happy. If not for my injury, I would have not realized how empty my marriage has been. Now I am taking steps to eventually start a new life and hopefully find a partner that shares mutual love and understanding. My injury has started me thinking that it is possible for a career change that might be more financially stable for me in the long run. Through my therapy I have found a group of caring friends and support. I have come to also realize that I am much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. Since I have been unable to paint much, I have taken the time to appreciate the good things in life around me.
I found Ep by accident just searching the internet for support and I have developed some wonderful friends here. If I hadn't been injured, I would never have had the time to do this. I have had the time to spend with my children and friends and also to do a lot of thinking about what kind of future I want for myself. In some ways, my injury has changed my life and my focus. November 15, 2007 was the day that my life started to go down a new path. I do not know where this path will take me yet, but I am enjoying the journey most days.
Now I realize that we are all searching for happiness. There have been nights when I have cried myself to sleep worrying about bills and health and the lack of love in my life here. So why am I happy today? Because I found a solution for a dying friend who wants to see her childhood memories put into a dvd for her family. Because my flowerbeds are glorious and filled with so many beautiful colors and fragrances. Because my children have good partners and are healthy. Because my dog and cats greeted me at the door when I came home from therapy like I was the best thing in their lives. And because a friend on Ep reminded me that happiness is a choice to have in my life.
I know that many of you are facing much more serious obstacles in your lives. I do not in any way want you to think that I am making light of your struggles. It is true that we all have our own crosses to bear. Through all of this in my life, I believe that happiness is possible and that by choosing to feel happy, I will bring positive energy and happy people into my life. Like I have told my children, learn to appreciate the good things in your life and you will always be able to find a bit of happiness on the darkest days.
One practice that I have found so helpful in bringing happiness into my life is simply this. Every night before I go to sleep, I write down at least five things that I am grateful for in my day. Some days it is as simple as how good that first cup of coffee tasted in the morning or how beautiful the sunrise was over the trees across the road. Strangely, the more nights that I do this, the more things I find to be happy for. This is a small thing but it is working in my life. Perhaps some of you might consider doing the same thing. There is power in gratitude. I certainly do not have all the answers as to why some of us have so many difficulties in our lives but another lesson I have learned in my life is that all of us has a rough road to travel at times. None of us leaves this world without our share of scars. Some on the outside, but so many more on the inside.
If what I have written helps, then this is what is important to me and one of the things I will write tonight before I go to sleep is that I am thankful to have written this story. Peace.