Let me explain why I am choosing to commit to joy despite life not always being joyful…
I saw a hummingbird the other day…
…for the first time in my life and was in pure aw! It was in my very own backyard seducing the lavender, inspired and curious dancing among the greenery with such grace. The irony of never seeing this bird in person comes from the fact that I have one tattooed on my right ankle. Why you might ask? I didn’t really know until recently. Hummingbirds are Jamaica’s country bird and when I was graduating high school and on the hunt for identity, I thought it would be safe to stick to my heritage and the feathered creature flew out at me, so to speak. It was pretty, unique, and a mystery, at least to me, so without much thought I agreed to the needle and have had this animal on my ankle ever since. How is this relevant? Well, 11 years later I finally looked further into what hummingbirds represent. The below list is what I found from this website and I had to share…
- Lightness of being, enjoyment of life
- Being more present
- Bringing playfulness and joy in your life
- Lifting up negativity
- Swiftness, ability to respond quickly
- Resiliency, being able to travel great distances tirelessly
As you can imagine, after I read further about this little guy I was convinced that this was a confirmation from God to commit to my happiness. All of these points listed above are guidelines I have currently introduced into my everyday life which have made an immense impact on how I treat myself, my relationships, and my dreams. I want to share why I am committing to the VERB happiness and why it has taken me over a decade to confidently say that I will.
I Wasted Too Much Time with Anger and Resentment
And it led me no where. Man, when I stop and take in how pointless it was to cry over spilt milk for all those years it gets me pretty annoyed. It was just so easy to be upset at the time. It felt like it was justified. I foolishly believed the world owed me something. That I was the victim to this wretched game of chess played out by the universe. SO melodramatic… nevertheless, it’s how I thought. But thankfully, with age comes wisdom and I soon began to realize that I was not special in my suffering. In fact, I was responsible for causing more of it due to my intent focus on negative things. This willful ignorance allowed some of the best years of my life to be riddled with biting remarks and unnecessary revenge to no avail. I will always believe that there was a purpose in my discontent and je ne regrette rien, but it saddens me that I chose to be upset for so long. Understand that I wasn’t always visibly angry, it was more of a simmering dissatisfaction with the world. The classic angst that is romanticized in every teen movie or show you can think of. Brooding and proud of my broodiness. Yeah… pretty annoying. Trust me, I want to shake my former self just as much as you do. And I did. Thank God.
I choose to commit to my happiness because it is less work.
It Feels Better
Wow, you don’t know how crappy you felt until you start feeling good. I commit to my happiness because it feels better to wake up each day content , or better yet, excited. Simple as that. I feel lighter. The more time I experience the more it dawns on me that life is pretty long (for the lucky ones and unlucky ones depending on your point of view) . I need not waste the precious gift with grief and doubt and malevolence. I’m figuratively stepping on my own toes when I do that. And I don’t care what anyone says, it’s cool to be positive. You don’t look stupid or naive, you look grateful. Too often is it glamorized that if we harbor a metaphorical chip on our shoulder we have an edge. What malarkey. Who decided that was in fashion? I think that came to be out of sheer laziness and complacency. Some people believe that it is easier to place the blame on something or someone else for their joy. They have tricked themselves into believing that someone else holds the keys to their bliss. Or worse, it’s just a habit. It’s just a habit to frown instead of smile, to find fault instead of virtue. I know because this was me. Don’t get me wrong, I still battle with this each day because, as you well know, just because you have changed does not mean that the world has followed suit. This is what makes the old tried and true pessimistic habits so alluring, but I know that they are taking more from me then they could ever give. The counterfeit satisfaction that occurs when I assume the worse about a situation takes more away from my spirit then a taxpayer in April. Paradoxically, when I dig deep to find serenity during some of life’s more trying times it proves to consistently give my soul a profitable ROI.
I choose to commit to my happiness because it feels better.
I Want to be in God’s Will
I think it is safe to say that we all want our lives to mean something, or at the very least, to be worthwhile. I commit to my happiness because I know that God does not enjoy when anyone lacks gratitude for what is before them. He might not have given me all that I thought I wanted, but he equipped me with all that I need to fulfill my purpose. Same goes for you… As soon as I let that truth sink into my bones I suddenly did not desire the things of this earth nearly as much. It’s a matter of thinking in feast mode instead of famine. I was doing myself a disservice to assume that my happiness would come once something external happened. What a trap. It’s a trap because we are force fed a lie that our contentment will be found in this next purchase, lover, or position. It’s the other way around and I truly think that God sits and waits patiently until we unwrap that gift. If we are pleased with our things, our lover, our position, God then blesses us with more. Like attracts like. If I am able to still find gratitude in everything that I currently have and do, then, and only then, will God respect my obedience and reveal another step that I should take to get closer to His will for my life. I am not interested in a life outside of His will. I have tried it before and it left me broken. God undoubtedly wants the best for His children, but the caveat is that we must truly want the best for ourselves first. As I progress in my walk with Him I find the ease in being happy each day. I find the significance in that decision as well. I feel closer to the Father and that is where I would like to stay. He knows the way, I only have to follow Him.
I choose to commit to my happiness so I can be in God’s will.
I Want to be a Role Model
Even though this may seem pompous to say, I mean it with all my heart. I want to serve as proof to others that you don’t have to stay sad or angry, that life can turn around. Proof that your past does not define you. That kind of accountability helps me as well. To know that I can reassure someone that life does not have to be lived in low resolution subconsciously reminds me that I must always add saturation to mine. Thinking back, the times I felt pure elation always involved helping someone else feel that way too. Creating community and relationship is the spice of life! It’s the most selfishly noble thing to do. When you help others, it makes you feel good and since you want to feel good, you help others. The opposite of a vicious cycle. A virtuous one. Leading by example, as they say. I like that responsibility. I think we all, as a people, should. If we all looked at ourselves as potential leaders and role models (which we all are) then I think most of the controversies that manifest in the physical world would dissipate based off of the strength of character every human being would project. We could all change the world as soon as we realize we already have. I want to be a positive force in this lifetime. I want to make way for others to do the same. I want my life to matter.
I choose to commit to my happiness so I can be a role model.
Break Generational Curses
I love my family. I love the people in my family that I have never met too. They have helped mold who I am today willingly or unwillingly. But the sad truth is, every family has a thing called a generational curse. I like to think of it as hereditary habits that have been difficult to break for decades or even centuries. We are all subject to them solely based on the fact that we are apart of the family! No one is to blame, they are just patterns. The great thing about it is if you recognize the patterns, you can break them. That is what I intend on doing. Some curses that families suffer include smoking, overeating, drugs, abuse, depression, pessimism, etc. It’s funny because before I knew about this topic I thought all my “bad habits” were purely mine. Don’t get me wrong, I take responsibility for my actions, but upon further investigation it became clear that some of my previous loved ones shared the same struggles. Many fall victim to believing that things are just a certain way and that certain way forever. This is the trap. Nothing is forever, as you know, not even life. Committing to happiness guarantees that the habits that will stay in my family will only be the good ones. It will re-route the behaviors that have seemed so concrete in the past. It will eliminate victimhood. The Domino Effect comes to mind. You make one change and it changes everything. Nudging one piece of a puzzle in an unexpected way warrants unexpected results. It’s worth the effort. Committing to happiness will surely prove to be a challenge, but the ends will justify the means. I’m sure of it. Life should be enjoyable and lived to the highest degree it can be lived. There is no reason for anything less.
I choose to commit to my happiness to break generational curses.
I Deserve to Enjoy My Life
It seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Enjoy your life, Be happy, Have fun. I chuckle to myself while writing this because it is so not the case. Happiness is hard. It’s hard to accept and hard to understand how to accept. Just believing that there is something that you deserve can be difficult if you are coming from a past filled with pessimism, like myself. Sadness wears a disguise of an old friend for me. Whenever I am put in an uncomfortable situation sadness, anger, depression, and hopelessness (the gang) all gather eagerly to throw me a pity party, as ironic as that may sound. It can be so tempting. When I find myself in this situation it makes happiness look like a big, scary bully from my worst childhood memories. At times I find myself in a somewhat catatonic state because I’m too afraid to be happy and too exhausted from feeling like sh**. It can be hell. This is exactly why I phrase happiness as being a choice. It does not come easily for most because most of us have had a multitude of reasons why we should not be happy. Where it makes sense to scoff at the suggestion of cheering up. In the beginning of practicing happiness it feels foreign. Almost unnatural. That’s because it is, at least for me. I know this does not echo the earlier points in this post, but it’s genuine and essential for me to express. Deciding to look on the bright side sounds cliche and it is, but it is vital to get anything out of life. I am not alone in my discomfort. It’s hard, but like I mentioned earlier, the ends WILL justify the means. I’ve tried everything else and I have come to the conclusion that I would not be here, none of us would, if we did not deserve to enjoy our life. If we were meant to ONLY suffer. Realize that suffering is inevitable, it’s how we distinguish good from bad, but it is not everything. It takes real courage to know that life will challenge you and hurt you, but to remain optimistic for when the wounds heal. That optimism acts as a bandaid to life’s scares. It does not get rid of the them, but it allows you to not be distracted by the sight of them. It lets you focus your energy elsewhere. When we stay in the darkness instead of the light, it’s the equivalent to salt in the wound. I’m in the business of healing now. I’m only interested in what will serve my spirit in growth. I want to be better, stronger, and grateful. Even for the bad stuff. Especially for the bad stuff. If I have learned anything so far it’s that life has its ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys. In order for me to truly be happy I have to honor the road of getting there. I have to find the meaning in the pain and respect the lessons that the hard times have taught me. In doing this, the joy is sweeter and life is richer. Happiness truly is a choice and making that choice changes everything. Life starts to reveal its motives. Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. This causes a sigh of relief knowing that it is all for a reason.
It’s more balanced. It makes sense. It’s enjoyable.
I choose to commit to my happiness because I deserve to enjoy my life.