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How can I be happy?
How can I be happy, I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Sarcoidosis, and chronic headaches. Pain is a constant in my life. In fact, after over 3 years of being in pain, I have forgotten what it is like, not to be in pain. My joints are sore, head throbbing, and walking is difficult. I have been through a divorce, and as a result of my inability to have a full-time job, I had a financial crisis.
Writing this I wonder how I could have the idea of writing about how to be happy. My life seems so bleak, dismal, depressing. I never thought I would have a life like that. Even though I have had MS for 25 years, I thought it would be OK.
Yesterday’s happy story
Yesterday, I met an 83-year-old woman, whose husband has dementia. On the face of it, you would think that she has a tough life too. But joy and happiness radiated from her. She looked 10 years younger than her years. I asked her what was her secret to happiness. She told me that every Sunday, her children, and grandchildren come to her house to have breakfast. Her eyes sparkled as she told me. It was obvious that her family brought her joy. Now, she had shown me how she brought joy into her life.
Do I do the same thing?
Every day I search for something that will bring me delight. The key is that the source of happiness doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. It can be something simple. A sunny day, a beautiful flower, or a tasty meal. I am fortunate to have a supportive and loving partner, and she brings joy to my life every day. The thing is that I see many things, every day that can bring a smile to my face. I search for them and take the joy when I can.
Can everyone do this?
I was listening to a podcast where Tim Ferriss was interviewing Eric Ripert (a chef) and he made a very interesting observation. The human mind can only feel one emotion at a time. Be it anger, fear, despair, or joy, happiness or love. So if you have a negative emotion, everything will be tainted by this. But if you have a positive emotion, then that will be the dominant feeling in your life. At first, it will be difficult, but it will gather momentum, and you will find joy all around you.
Sad days will happen, it is inevitable if you have chronic pain or disability. The frustration of not being able to do the things that were normal for me will become overwhelming. Focusing on the things that bring a smile to my face will help. I will once again be happy.
Do you find it easy to be happy? What adversity have you overcome? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you.