They say happiness is a choice, and up until now, I have never believed that.
But let me tell you why my mind has changed.
Life knocks you on your ass sometimes. Yeah, I said it. Life will pull you from the highest point in your life to the depths of hell and say, "Well, deal with it." But as long as you're alive and breathing, you always have a chance to be happy. You always have a choice to live in the here and now and appreciate all your circumstances, because they are yours and you own them. There is always a chance to grow and evolve from them. They don't own you, they just make you who you are. Happiness is a choice because it's a feeling. And our feelings, we control those.
Happiness is about gratitude. It's about fully appreciating what you have, as opposed to looking the opposite direction and comparing what you have to what your neighbor has. And I will openly admit that it is an extremely hard task; being grateful. We live in a time and place where people choose to display their highlight reels on social media for everyone to see. Which is fine, don't get me wrong, I use social media myself, but it absolutely has its flaws.
Comparison in general, can really dampen your joy. We pick out things we don't like about ourselves or our lives and compare them to other people or their things. And from there it's just a constant cycle. We want something we can't have, or we want to be something that we aren't. We compare ourselves to our neighbor, while our neighbor is comparing themselves to us.
It's sad really, how we grow up this way. It's a constant need to "improve" or be "better." We think the more successful we are, the more money we have, the better body we have, the happier we will be. But at what price? When will it ever be 'enough?'
It's OK to want to better yourself, but when it comes to sacrificing your happiness, it becomes something more than just wanting to "better yourself." It becomes self destructive. It becomes self loathing and wanting to be anything other than what you really are.
Happiness is self acceptance. It's learning to comprehend that God has placed you here for a reason, without all the extra junk society wants you to add in. It's not about your reputation to other people, or the amount of makeup you wear, or your weight, even. It's about loving the body and soul you inhabit because you have the privilege to inhabit it in the first place. It's about accepting the fact that you're never going to be a 'perfect' human being, because what really is perfect anyways?
Happiness is about embracing the good and the bad, having a large sense of compassion and knowing that life is highly out of our control. It's about watering our own grass, and taking care of our own flowers.
And maybe I'm wrong in saying all of this, but I truly believe that happiness is within us. Life is never perfect, no, but we have been given a chance to live it. And that's reason enough to want to choose happiness.