Posted by: susanideus | May 11, 2008

Choose Happiness

Live simply. 
Love generously.
Care deeply.

Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

This quote (author unknown) came to me as part of an email.  Why do I find it significant?

I’ve been expressing discontent about the way I’m living of late.  I expressed to a friend that I felt like I was becoming petty and mean-spirited in response to being around those attributes so much of the time.  On reflection, that seemed to me to be a cop-out — no, not seemed to be — it absolutely is.  I am not required to respond in kind and I, and only I, am responsible for my attitude. 

“Live simply” — I need to work on this.  Not that my life is that complicated.  I don’t travel for work anymore.  Basically, we have an empty-nest household (not rushing you out, Jo!).  I feel the lack of simplicity in all of the “stuff” we’ve accumulated and in the management of what time I do have to use. 

The stuff problem is ongoing.  Last weekend, I began clearing out clothes from my closet.  Pulled down a lot and donated them but still have too many.  My needs are simpler than they used to be.  It occurred to me that I was hanging on to them with a pessimist mentality — I might need them…what if I wasn’t able to replace them.  Get a grip, Susan!  And, the other stuff?  Well, I missed Becca’s yard sale but once Jo moves out and I get things out of storage, there will be some major sorting and unloading.  That’s it — unloading as in not being weighed down.

The time issue is harder.  We drive too far to work but we don’t want to live in the city.  I’m tired when I get home.  I think I just need to find a way to push past that.  Don’t “they” say one needs less sleep with age.  Pretty soon, I can stay up all night.  LOL

“Love generously” — oh, I do hope I do this.  I know I do on my better days, but there are the selfish days too.  This is a matter of intent too.  If I want to, I will.  I always feel better when my attention, and my love, is directed outward.

“Care deeply” — see above paragraph.  Seriously, I need to renew some passions in my life.  I find it easy to care about people.  Causes I sometimes find easier to leave for others.  Living green, the upcoming elections, the economy, health issues, retirement issues — it’s time to be more active.  Admittedly, the election thing is getting discouraging, but that was another whole post.  There’s a whole world out there that needs attention.  There are things I can do right here, right now.

“Speak kindly” — ouch, who’s been riding in my car during rush hour or listening to the gossip at work???  Here’s this matter of intent again.  I am not a puppet or a ventriloquist’s dummy.  I control what words come out.  Again, I don’t have to respond in kind.  I was taught in Sunday School many years ago that the words we speak reflect what is in our heart.  Some self searching may be in order here.

Leave the rest to God” — to a hopefully recovering control freak, this is tough.  From the time I can remember, my prayers were a lot about me giving suggestions to God as to how things should turn out.  No matter that I was speaking to GOD.  He gave me my intelligence, after all, so why should I not share my wisdom with Him?  It’s good that God has a great sense of humor or He/She might have written me off long ago.  Learning to let go is a work in progress for me…

My daughter Becca tells me that sometimes I’m too hard on myself, too quick to be critical of me.  In certain instances, she may be right.  But, here I’m talking about making choices.  Because when it comes right down to it, happiness is a choice.  I really believe this!  Call it attitude adjustment if you want, but it’s all the same.  We cannot always change our circumstances or the people we are forced to deal with — but we can certainly change how we respond.



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