By Andrew Thorn, Special for USDR
Last night our house was full of family and friends. They came to help us celebrate one of life’s special events. Our home was alive and full of noise. Some were swimming, some were playing the piano and singing, some were visiting and some were watching the game.
As I sat in my chair and attempted to take it all in, I thought about the many things that are going on right now in the lives of those present. None of us are immune to the challenges of the day. Each of us is facing some test that is different than anything we have ever faced before. We are all working to stay ahead of the trials that life is constantly throwing our way.
As I looked around I did not see worry or despair on any of their faces. I saw the face of hope. That made me realize how good life is. The problems we face make our sweet moments even sweeter because they give us perspective. We know what true joy is, because along the way we have felt sorrow.
It’s Your Choice
I am convinced that the way we experience life is a product of our own imagination. We invent it. We do not have the power to choose everything that happens to us, but we are certainly free to choose how we respond to it. We can be miserable if we want, or we can be happy. I choose to live life after the manner of happiness. This means that I will be happy during the good times and the bad times. Regardless of what happens, I will be happy.
Living in this way does not make the bad times go away, it just makes them bearable. No matter how successful or happy we become, adversity will always raise its developing head. If we greet it with a smile, then it becomes one of our greatest sources of growth. If we kick at it, it can potentially consume every ounce of energy that we have.
What Do You See?
The other day, as we made our way home, we noticed the beautiful rock formations that mark the entrance to our little town. The sun was shining just right and its rays defined the rugged beauty of the harsh desert landscape in a way that I don’t ever recall seeing before. Stacy and I noticed it at the same moment and said, “Look at that!”
I immediately thought of the numerous times I have driven through this beautiful entry without seeing its beauty. It is always there, but I must look to see it. Sometimes, I am too concerned about other things so I forget to look and I miss the show.
The same is true of life. Happiness is always right here. We just have to look for it. When we do, its brightening rays flood our lives. When I find myself feeling a bit troubled, I think about the following questions. They help me adjust my vision so that I am able to see the shining light of happiness in my life.
Which way are you looking? Do you see the beauty in your life, or are you being consumed by its trials? How is it that one can be happy in the midst of adversity? So many of us invest our time and money trying to discover the secrets of happiness. We struggle while trying to figure out what makes us feel happy. We often look in the wrong direction and even compare what we have with what someone else may have. Consequently, many of us miss the shining rays that brighten our personal experiences.
Fortunately, happiness is usually all around us, and it is not as difficult to see as it may seem. We just have to look for it. There is beauty and joy all around, and there is also ugliness and sorrow. It has always been this way, and it will always be this way.
You are ultimately responsible for what you see. When you find yourself in the midst of challenging circumstances, I invite you to pause and become an observer of your own life. Just give yourself permission to reflect for a moment. Then, use that moment to consider what you are learning and what you will learn as you pass through the challenges that you know are real. It is your choice. How you choose will influence your impact on others and that will define your legacy. Live with your legacy in mind.