Choosing sides


“Well there’s a dark and troubled side to life
There’s a bright and a sunny side, too
Though we meet with the darkness and strife, 
The sunny side we also may view”  From “Keep on the Sunny Side” 
“That crazy needs to stay on the other side of the room from this kind of crazy.” Me, in conversation with Blues, circa 2012

Happiness is hard work.  Life doesn’t turn into the finale from Hair in which everyone sings and dances to “Let the Sunshine In” simply out of personal desire. I spent a significant part of my life unhappy, both because of my choices and because of my nature.  My journey towards my present state of happiness took effort, emotion, time, and, yes, lots of money.  So I fight to stay happy. 

Blues says I am a chameleon. I can blend into my surroundings.  I adapt to different situations. He says these qualities make me likable and appealing to all kinds of people.  He also says it renders me rather passive and complacent.  I argue that I may be non-confrontational but that, first and foremost, I will focus on survival.  Analogies aside, I will stop being congenial and approachable as needed for my own safety. 

I have lost a few friends in recent years. Once I would have loyally hung in there through someone’s failed attempts at recovery or someone’s refusal to take personal responsibility to seek healing. I would have rationalized or ignored my own feelings and fears.  Eventually I would be dragged down with my loved one, my own battles exacerbated, intensified, and deepened, theirs never fully resolved. Thankfully, and with great pain, I learned to value myself over others. I accepted that I could walk away from unhealthy behaviors and situations and still be a person of integrity. I took responsibility for my own illness and chose to be healed. 

The birth of my daughter cemented my commitment to happiness. My child is a constant reminder of all the beauty and joy in the universe. Through a hug from her little arms or the lullabies sung in her thin little voice, she is the embodiment of grateful mindfulness that I aspire to and also enjoy.  She teaches me that a life of happiness is truly living. 

Happiness can be ephemeral, fleeting, and tenuous.  Daily life has its complications. I cannot control anything but my own response to what happens. So I choose happiness. 
Advertisements

One thought on “Choosing sides

  1. This is awesome. I understand what you mean – its been a battle for me as well, a choice to be happy, to search out others who are happy. I have had to walk away from people who seem to attract and thrive in drama. I think the hard part for me has been that in order to say “yes” to happiness and love, I've had to find the strength to say “no” to many things, people, situations. “No” was scary and hard at first but now I appreciate the power and liberating effect that “no” has.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s