Friday, August 7, 2015

Do You Have It All? Are You Happy?

If someone were to ask you if you 'have it all'  or "How happy are you?" do you know how you would answer?  Would you answer quickly with "Of course, I'm happy"  or would you think about it for a moment and then say "Yes, I am as happy as I could hope to be."

There are actual Happiness Quizzes you can take online which were developed by psychologists to help you determine your state of mind.  Personally, I don't need to take a quiz to read my happiness thermometer.  
Happy thermometor

Even when we go through dark times we can focus on the good in our lives; things we are grateful for, and look to better times ahead. The 'attitude of gratitude' buzz on the internet over the past couple years has certainly made more people aware that we need to daily remind ourselves of what is good and positive in our lives.

What exactly does 'having it all' mean?  Does it mean that you have a solid relationship, are in good health and have no financial worries?  Does it mean that you have reached the goals you set for yourself? Or overcome a hurdle in your life?

What is the "All" in having it all?

There was a time in my life when I remember actually saying those words to myself.  "You have it all. You have your health, no financial worries, and a loving family who supports you." But then circumstances changed -- drastically. 

Depression rode in fast and furious.  Overwhelmed was not a strong enough word.  This state lasted a very long time.  No matter what I tried to do something went wrong - for years.  Shattered dreams and broken promises became a way of life and it took its toll on me. However, I knew that maintaining the right attitude while going through these circumstances would help or hinder me.  It was essential not to play the martyr or pity card and to never give up hope that life would improve.

I abhor the saying "Don't Worry.  Be Happy."  It is something I would never say to another human being.  I agree that worry is a total waste of energy, but we can't always choose to be happy. We can keep up a good front and not wallow in self-pity but inside.....we may be dying a slow, painful death. Someone telling me to "Don't Worry. Be Happy" is a reminder of the state I may be in - not where I want to be.  A good attitude will eventually improve your state and essentially make you happier.
It takes time to learn how to focus on what we are grateful for, to change our perspective and see ourselves as happy and content.  It doesn't happen overnight - it takes work  - not a snap of the fingers to 'be happy.'

Many of you are aware of my radio show Never Ever Give Up Hope where I interview people who have been in a dissolute place, a place of despair, a place of loss or grief.  As they share their stories regarding those rough times, there is a common thread.  They looked to the future.  They may not have been happy at the moment, but they devised a plan on how to achieve their goals. They took baby steps keeping their goal in mind and each one of them achieved what they set their mind to do.

What does Robin Williams say about happiness

The expression "misery loves company" is usually put in a negative perspective.  In my darkest times, people were often drawn to me not knowing my circumstances but they could sense an empathetic spirit. By encouraging them, I encouraged myself.  The more I consoled them, the lighter my load. You do not have to look far to find someone going through a tougher time than you are which creates an attitude of gratitude within your psyche.

Every time I complete an interview for the show, I pause and absorb what I heard.  So often the deeper the hurts or the greater the suffering, the more these people have learned to soar above their circumstances - to be a victor and not a victim.  By sharing their success, they are paying it forward.

To answer the question "Do you have it all?"  No, but I am working with what I do have to achieve my goals.  "Are you happy?"  I am happier than I have been in a very long time and look forward to being happier still. 

How about you?  Are you the happiest you have ever been?

This has been a blogging challenge called Secret Subject Swap. Sixteen bloggers have picked a subject for someone else to interpret in their own style.  Today we simultaneously divulge our topics and submit our posts.  You may want to join us and this monthly fun challenge.

My question was:  "What does 'having it all' mean to you?  How much do you have compared to all? How happy are you?"  It was submitted by  Confessions of a Part-time Working Mom

Please take a few minutes and check out the other bloggers and their secret subjects -- you may connect with a new friend.

Baking In a Tornado
The Momisodes
The Bergham's Life Chronicles
Stacy Sews and Schools
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Spatulas on Parade
Southern Belle Charm
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
Silence of the Mom
Someone Else's Genius
The Angrivated Mom
More than Cheese and Beer
Searching for

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