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.




dartist dartist
56-60, F
13 Responses Jun 13, 2008

Over fours later and my life has moved on a lot. In many ways I am the same woman of four years ago but with some huge life changes. I no longer live in fear of being harmed physically. I am now married to a wonderfully kind and loving man and we have mutual support and respect for one another. <br />
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I now live in Florida which we both love! No more snow and ice unless Mother Nature does a huge about face. Life is simple and everything that we have is well thought out and special. No more buying stuff to fill voids as we both did in our former lives. So freeing for us. Just celebrated our first wedding anniversary and the weekend was chocked full of wonderful events and people that we will always treasure. <br />
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Lots to be grateful for and , even though life was extremely hard for us both, the love that flows between us was and is always the easy part. The laughter that is always just underneath the surface of proper behavior. By whose standards after all?<br />
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In staying the course through a lot of pain and difficulties, life has changed in the most beautiful of ways. This did not happen over night but having gratitude for the good and wading through the bad eventually works out. Sometimes happiness is as simple as breath on one's cheek. Light and faint. Sometimes happiness is as rich as a golden sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Recognizing happiness when it finds us and gifts us is attainable. Get into the habit of giving a gratitude for happiness and more comes one's way. This has become one of my natural laws of living. Peace,D

Thank you for all your sharing and I too am sorry for all your pain. The above comment was amazing. I am so grateful that you helped someone consider something other than suicide. <br />
I too have found great help in looking for things to be grateful for and for all the help I have gotten and learned. My life is much better today, not because circumstances outside me are better but my choice in attitude about life is different. I now write a blog about the things I have learned in hopes of helping others: maybe some can also gain help there.

This actually helped me. Before this I was Searisouly considering suicide no one sees things from my point of view. But I don't see things in others eyes and you helped me see it from someone else's view. You kinda saves my life thanks. If you write things down it really helps because you really let it out

Been a long time since I wrote this story here on EP. Update on life. I am now sharing my life with a wonderful partner! Still no resolution for my injury. I believe that defendants hope I drop dead! That is written seriously here folks. It is a time game and I am resolute to some fairness here. I have lost my home and my income at this point. Living in a rental unit and on state assisted health care. The next step is applying for food stamps and that will be soon in coming! My partner is in the process of his INS green card so that he can work in the states. His ex wants him imprisoned even though he kept her in the marital home for two years after the divorce! Our four children have disowned us. <br />
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So what is there to be happy about? We know that we have done everything with the best of intent! How others act and react remains on their shoulders. No matter what happens we are devoted to one another and will weather this through. Life is not a game. Life is feelings and fair play. I go to bed at night sleeping next to a good and kind man. I have dear friends who have opened up their homes to us. I am rich even though I am financially poor. I appreciate the simple pleasures of life and the kindness of strangers. <br />
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When a person becomes almost destitute, as I have experienced, good and loving people appear and every one of them are a blessing. My gratitude journal continues as does my life. Nothing will ever change that fact!

Thank you for your story. Truly inspiring. Made me realize a lot. Very enlightening. Thank You.

great story

Thank you for your comments. Even now when I am in the middle of so much change and challenges, I remember the good in my life and this sustains me. Direction is clear and moving towards what I want progresses with each new day.

A beautiful and inspiring story. Seeing the good in life and being grateful brings so much more happiness than acquiring things. It not only changes your feelings and how you view things, but your happiness attracts other positive changes as well.

Im so happy for you. Since i wrote im getting better and feeling more positive. Good luck in your future

A lot has happened since I wrote this story. My children are both married. I told my husband that I want a divorce and we are working out the finances now. Money is still a problem and my injury has yet to be resolved legally. A very long process but there will be an end in sight. <br />
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The biggest change in my life is that I have met my soul mate and my best friend. The kindest and most loving man that I have ever known. If not for my injury I probably would have never met this special man. Now I see that all that happens to us in life has its own purpose. Back in 2008 when I wrote this I had no idea that I was on a journey to meet someone so wonderful. <br />
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Loving and being loved has always been very important to me. Years ago I asked my Supreme Being to bring a man like he is into my life and to give me the wisdom to recognize him. For me, the gift of love makes all hardships in life bearable. Both of us have had our share of disappointments in life but they have not made us bitter but open to love. We are two believers in the power of loving. <br />
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My thanks to all of you who have commented on my story. Please keep your faith going no matter how lonely and down you get. We are all connected by the human spirit. Living with gratitude can be hard at times but only by being grateful can we bring more good into our lives. Life is a precious gift and it is up to each one of us as to how we appreciate this gift. May our tears wash the fears out of our lives and give us the strength to go on through adversities. Peace and blessings, D.

wow, what you have witten has made me cry! im feeling very down and see no point in my life at the moment, but i love my dog and cat and your right its great when they greet you like youre the best thing they have ever seen. thats made me smile. thanks

You've definitely inspired me tonight. I am dealing with my own struggles and fears. However, you've given me a new perspective. Thank you for writing your story and I wish you all the best.

Just beautiful.