Happiness: Is it really a choice?

26 01 2013

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“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Abraham Lincoln

Happiness. We all want it. We all strive for it. When asked what we want for our kids when they become adults, the most common answer is “I want them to be happy”. But how do we find happiness? What is true happiness?

As a teen, I looked for love by partying, drinking, using drugs. I thought I was “happy”, but in reality I was broken inside.

In my 20’s, my then-fiancé (now husband) and I travelled throughout Canada and the UK. We moved every 6 months. My attitude was that if this place didn’t make me happy, maybe the next place would.

In my late 20’s and early 30’s, I had three children. Looking into their sweet, perfect faces definitely brought a love and happiness I didn’t know existed. And to this day, when I stop to really look at them (I mean really look at them), I am overwhelmed with a love that I didn’t know I could possess.

Throughout the whole process of searching for love and happiness, I tried to find it within myself. But looking within was painfully difficult. Unfortunately, I didn’t like what I saw.

Did I ever find true love and happiness within myself, or through the places I visited, or the activities and situations I experienced? Nope. I kept looking. And not until I experience the love of God, did I actually understand what happiness and love really meant. Does it mean I’m “happy” all time? No. But it does mean that I know, no matter what happens to me or around me, I am not alone. I have chosen to accept Christ’s free offer of love. And that makes me happy.

Happiness is a choice. God is gracious enough to allow us to make that choice ourselves. When I chose to rely on Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I found true love…and true happiness.

Do you think happiness is a choice?

“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy
and to do good while they live.”
Eccl 3:12 NIV

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7 responses

15 02 2013
Chris Woodman

I do believe our thoughts are so important and that we have to renew our minds to the mind of Christ. We can become like Paul content in all our circumstances when we have the assurance that if God be for us then who will stand against us. This is a process and isn’t learned in a day. So really what I am saying is YES happiness is a choice:)

25 03 2013
lindajgoodall

Awesome, Chris! And it’s true that finding happiness is a process and not learned in a day. Every day we have to wake up and make the choice to be happy.

25 03 2013
Carrie C.

I absolutely believe that happiness is a choice! And YES!! God gives us that choice :) It’s easier to choose happiness when you have God in your heart…it’s almost a “being more thankful” for things and more appreciative…you see the beauty of life, even in the low moments you can see that candle flickering in the darkness!
Blessings!

25 03 2013
lindajgoodall

I love the way you put that, Carrie. “Even in the low moments you can see that candle flickering in the darkness”. So true!

26 07 2013
manythemiles82

At last year’s Women of Faith conference, one of the speakers (I really wish I could remember her name) talked about the difference in happiness and joy. Happiness is fleeting. Feelings are fickle and sometimes deceptive. Joy runs deep, especially when that joy is in Christ. Even if we’re surface-level going through a rough time, the current of joy and peace runs deeply within us when we’ve surrendered to Christ and know He is with us through it all.

I really liked that and the closer I’ve gotten in my relationship with Christ, the wider that current of joy deep within me flows. :)

26 07 2013
lindajgoodall

That is so true! Happiness can be a reflection of emotions, but real, true joy is deep rooted. And yet, we as a society strive to be “happy”. We should be concentrating on our inner joy.

Thank you for sharing!!

31 07 2013
Being Comfortable In The Pain | Linda Goodall

[…] that is filled with happiness. Of course, happiness is a choice.  (Read my blog on that here: http://lindagoodall.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/happiness-is-it-really-a-choice/  ). I sometimes have to fight myself to make that choice, but I continue to work on […]

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