Thursday, April 11, 2013

choose happy


I arrived at home one night last week to find everyone bickering. And the baby whining. It went on like this for...I don't know...an hour or two. Then someone had to go and complain about dinner, and right then and there, I lost it. In an effort not to yell, I clinched my teeth and spewed some not-so-uplifting words to my oldest son.

I sat back in my chair, and immediately regretted having lost my 'cool'. I'm usually the one at home with the most patience. But I naturally expect of others the same that I expect of myself, and that right there sets me up for disappointment.

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In the grand scheme of things, I have nothing to complain about. My little family is gifted far beyond our worth. Each one of us. It seems paradoxical, but it's true -- when you stop resisting your life and start accepting it and its idiosyncrasies, you gain power. Your attention slides from what is wrong, what shouldn't be, what is frustrating you, to what is working, what be improved, what is beautiful.

But how can you choose to accept a struggle?

It's simple. You choose happy. It's odd to think that. It's not a destination you reach. It's not a thing you can buy. It's not something other people give you. It's just a choice. You choose to release the things that bring you down. Instead, you choose to focus on those lovely things that fill you with joy.

Honestly, this is something I work on everyday. It is the simplest thing in the world, and the hardest -- letting go of the resistance and moving forward in joy. 
   
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Just today, I stumbled upon the following 'rules to live by' and thought I'd share them. We can all get in a funk sometimes, but I think its important when that happens to put things in perspective and remember that the only person that can make you happy or sad is you. So here's a little more love today...

12 Rules to Live By
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

// Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
// Make the best of circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow.
// Don't take yourself too seriously.
// Don't let criticism worry you. You can't please everybody.
// Don't let your neighbors set your standards; be yourself.
// Do things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
// Don't borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than actual ones.
// Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities and grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
// Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about places.
// Don't hold postmortems or spend time brooding over sorrows and mistakes.
// Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
// Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Additionally, I'm being featured over at Kelly Westover's blog and offering up 1 month of "Featured" ad space to one lovely winner. Go enter! And tell Kelly I sent you. XOXO

38 comments:

  1. Those are some wise words! Except the last one: I do think you should take time to reflect, and just keep yourself so busy there's no time for that.

    Dropping by from the blog hop!

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    1. Thank you for being here to visit with me today -- I appreciate your kind, supportive words!

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  2. Thank you for posting this! What great rules to follow and put things into perspective. I need to remember this post the next time I get frustrated over little things.
    Karen @ Karen's Soiree

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    1. All this being said, I have had some thoughts recently on what my kids will think about when they are older in regards to what I say about them online. I often wonder if they will think I didn’t love them as much as I do if I’m honest online about how hard parenting is sometimes. I suppose that’s a post for another day though.

      XOXO

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  3. I totally agree! One of my favorite quotes is "The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything."

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    1. I love that! Mind if I snag that one for my quote collection? It's so very true...

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  4. It's a beautiful post, and I agree with what you've said 100%.
    I'm visiting today from the hop (Linkin w/my Ladies).

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    1. Thank you for visiting -- I appreciate your footprint here in my corner of the blogosphere!

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  5. I love finding encouraging up life post in between all the fact and rules, it helps to lift you up as go about what ever it is that you are doing. I firmly believe that happiness is a choice. I try to stay upbeat and positive. Of course life will throw us curves but we just break it down a little and ease around them. Sometimes I find that when you do not over react the way ppl think you should they feel that you do not care. My new motto is handle the situation and do not let it handle me!
    Living F.A.B.ulously on Purpose

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    1. Great motto - mind if I borrow it occasionally? For my sanity's sake?

      Love and appreciate your insight, Margaret! More so, thank you for visiting me. I look forward to connecting with you and your blog. XOXO

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  6. Great post! I love reading bloggers who are REAL and who have difficult days. It's so refreshing to know that not everyone has a seemingly perfect life and that we all have our struggles!

    BTW- I am a new follower from the link up! Can't wait to read more!

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    1. Making progress (slowly) towards achieving balance and figuring out the working mom juggle, trying to raise my children, making choices that work best for our family and living as green and sustainably as possible. I dream of living a simple lifestyle with chickens in the yard and a huge garden to nourish my family, but I'm going to have to accept that what God has set in my path may not be what I WANT but evidently it's what I NEED.

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  7. I loved meeting you yesterday! I am a person that always thinks that certain people are placed in your life for a reason... I love this post... going through a struggle right now and choosing to be happy is not the easiest thing but it definitely is worth trying! Have a great day!!!!

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    1. The pleasure was all mine -- you're the sweetest, and I'm so glad to have you as a new friend.

      Yes, we all joke about needing a glass of wine now and then, but rarely do we really break down just how hard life really is. I try to emulate that I'm human like everyone else, and that my experiences are sometimes just as ruthless as yours. I'm simply here to say, "I understand. Tell me how I can help."

      Love to you today!

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  8. These are all good reminders. Thanks for sharing them- it is sometimes difficult to choose to be happy, but so important! Thanks again!

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  9. Wonderful advice! Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from link up.
    Katherine
    www.jagstyleblog.com

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  10. I love those rules. My husband always says, "It's your choice whether you're going to have a good or bad day." Unfortunately it's easier said than done!

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  11. Beautiful! I agree wholeheartedly! Newest follower from the TT bloghop! Hop on over and follow me back at http://wildwonderfulgingerssnaps.blogspot.com . I have a guest blogger series going on this week! Come check it out! Wink!

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  12. wow, I really love this post. I love the part about... um, all of it :)
    new gfc/bloglovin/twitter follower :)

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  13. Hi! linking up from the bloglovin hop. Am a new follower and hope you can follow back:
    www.prettylittledahlia.com

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  14. I love this post. Seriously ... LOVE it! Choose happy - sometimes easier said then done, but so worth it! :)

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    1. Thank you, Vicki -- your love and encouragement means the world!

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  15. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I
    hope you write again very soon!

    Here is my web-site ... dostipark.com

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  16. This is such an inspiring post and one of my biggest struggles as a full time mama. Thanks so much for sharing. xx - Monica

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    1. It's not an accomplishment -- rather, it's a daily effort. And I wholeheartedly agree with you -- it's a struggle as a mother. Monica, thank you for your perspective and your words of encouragement...I appreciate you so much! xoxo

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  17. found you thru Shana @ Meetthebrowns. Would love a follow back

    pinkowl07.blogspot.com

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  18. Perfect words to live by... and I'm with you sometimes it is not easy to choose to be happy, but in the end well worth it!

    Holly at Not Done Growing

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    1. It's a daily effort, indeed, but it sure is rewarding! Love to you, Holly!

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  19. just had to say...I loved reading your words. Loved the ideas. Thanks. Lynaea @ EveryDayBloom.com

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    1. Thank you, angel -- your words of encouragement and support are so appreciated!

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  20. Hi mandi! I love this post! I consider myself a happy person. I just wanted to add that it's important who you keep in your life. Negative people will try to pull you down to their level. It sounds mean, but I don't hang out with anyone who is unappreciative of their blessings or have ugliness under the surface. Makes my life wonderful & stress fee!

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    1. Negative characters do make things stressful, but sometimes they need to be surrounded by positivity to help alter their bad habits. It teaches us grace and patience, but it's certainly challenging.

      Love to you!

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  21. Those are some perfect rules to live by :))

    Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! I'm already a follower of your blog!

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  22. I can very much relate to the disappointment in expecting others to live up to the standards we set for ourselves. It seems so brilliant in concept, but it just doesn't work.

    I wholeheartedly agree with that list and my big three are to remember:
    Everyone has something of sorrow and nobody has everything.
    Don't borrow trouble. - I feel like I'm always telling this to someone.
    Avoid people who aren't nice. - Believe it or not for the first 30 years of my life I didn't know this was an option! Oh what a change it has made!


    Those three were, sadly, kind of epiphanies for me at some point in life. You know the lessons you remember learning? Every little thing about where you were, who you were with, what you were doing? f

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    1. Oh my goodness -- I just said those same things to a friend yesterday -- epiphanies for me, also, Tammi. Hard lessons to learn at times.

      [hand on heart] I want you to know that I am so thankful for our connection. I love your perspective, your attitude, your overall character. Would love to hug your neck!

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  23. Hi there: I am connected to to you through the Aloha Blog Hop. I love the positivity that you are sharing & look forward to it in new posts. May even make my day. Best, KCW

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    1. Are you for real? Those are some of the sweetest, most encouraging words I've heard. Thank you for all your love and support -- XOXO

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  24. Great, honest post. Thanks for sharing Robert Louis Stevenson's advice and your experiences as well. Even if we try to remain positive, there are times when we all get angry. That's natural and it's the way that you respond to anger that makes the difference. One thing I would add to RLS's list: Don't forget to smile!

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I am incredibly grateful for your comment! I will respond as soon as possible. XOXO, Mandi

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