When it comes to happiness, genetics plays 50%. 10% is circumstance. And 40% is attributed to our reactions to those circumstances.
Most times, we have no control over circumstances. What we can control, however, is our reaction. Handling everything with grace and positivity is conscious choice…virtually impossible some days no doubt. A venti white chocolate mocha latte usually helps me get back on track. More seriously, looking upon circumstances with gratitude is ultimately what can change my mood from bad to good.
It sounds cliché, but it’s the truth – hardships make us better people. And God is a much better planner with my life than I am.
If you are my real-life friend, you know I'm tired…physically. Tired. Every day. All the time. And with that, I’ve not been the significant contributor at home. My house is a mess 5 days a week. We probably hit the fast food line 3 or more times a week. I no longer have "craft night" or "game night," and I'm not sure I know everyone's name in our church small group.
While folks roll their eyes and exasperatedly remind me to take it easy on myself because I have four kids at home, the weight of my worthlessness gets heavier and heavier every time I look around my house. It’s tough for us mamas to know when we are limited because our job is just so endless. Sometimes being a mother feels so much bigger than us, it’s a wonder we can ever breathe at all.
As horrible as I feel sometimes about the lack of my efforts lately, what it’s done is help me see the abundance bestowed upon me by my family. I am honored and GRATEFUL for my husband and children and all that they’re doing to pick up the slack. I have recognized all that everyone’s doing around me. I recognize the time consumption. I recognize the hard work. I recognize the tiredness. And they’re all enduring it for me. To help me.
Perhaps these moments of clarity—these times of loss and struggle and awakening—are just more gift, in disguise. Perhaps our whole world, or at least the character and quality of our days, hinge on one little word…gratitude.
I’ve learned this in recent years: Gratitude is the secret key that unlocks the door to joy.
I would dare say that if you think of the person in your life who seems the happiest and most content, they have learned to live from a place of gratitude.