Is happiness a choice (how do you handle what’s been given)?

A big, “Ah-hah,” moment (as Oprah would call it) stumbled along my path recently that made me stop and think, and I wanted to share.  Is happiness a choice?

Two sisters with parallel lives, handed the same situation, yet how they handled it, were both completely different.  Was one right while the other was wrong?  Not necessarily.  That would be a matter of opinion.  But I have to say when both were handed tragedies, both dealt with it differently.  And while one continues on in her life being happy, the other remains in a toxic state of mind and situation, and is unhappy.

Let me tell you a little bit about their lives and situations, and you be the judge.  First of all, I will not give their real names due to privacy issues.  So, let’s say that one of the girl’s names is Sally, while her sister’s name is Eva.  So, here are Sally and Eva’s stories… (mind you, I do not know “all” the details, so some may be off).

Sally has a boyfriend and the two of them end up having a little boy together.  The boy is sick throughout his short-lived eight-months here, and ends up passing away from his illness.  The boyfriend is not good for Sally, but she stayed with him for a bit to take care of their ailing son, until his time on Earth was done.  Sally decides shortly after (not sure exactly length of time), that her boyfriend is toxic for her, not a good guy, and the only reason she was with him was over the mutual bonding over their son.  Now that her son has passed, she decided it was time to part ways with her boyfriend.  So, she breaks it off with him and goes on her own.  At this point, left with no son, no boyfriend, she dives herself into her work.  Sally builds herself a clientele from the ground up.  Eventually along the way, she meets another man.  He is a great, stand-up guy, and adores Sally.  They slowly fall in love, and she allows another man into her life and heart even though she’s hesitant about the outcome because she was hurt before.  After some time passes, she has a surprise pregnancy with the new man.  Sally is afraid because she doesn’t want to have another sick child.  But, even though her pregnancy wasn’t an easy one, they end up with a beautiful, healthy, and rambunctious little girl, who keeps them on their toes.  Over time, they become a family together.  And then, what do you know?  About three years later, here comes another healthy, beautiful child for them… a boy!  Now, their family is complete.  Her heart is whole again.  Not to say that Sally’s first son is forgotten about, because he never will be, but because she allowed herself to love again, and be loved.  Sally felt deep down that she was worthy of it — that she didn’t deserve to be punished for long after her first son was gone, and that moving on with her life was not measuring the depth of how much she loved him, or what kind of a mother she was.  Actually, she felt the opposite… that by allowing herself to be happy was living an honorable life for him.  Through doing so, she speaks about him and keeps his memory alive.  His life mattered, and she makes it perfectly clear to all that she meets along the way.  An unhealthy mind represses that emotion, shuts the door, locks the key and buries it inside until it eats them up and kills them like a cancer.  But to top it all off was Sally’s attitude about it.  She never walked around feeling sorry for herself, sad all the time, or played the victim; she still doesn’t.  Not to say that it’s not extremely hard for her, or that she doesn’t feel that way either.  It just meant that she didn’t want to show the world that ugly side of herself, so instead, she chose to show them what true love looks like.  Instead, she always remained grateful.  Yup!  Can you believe that?  Grateful.  Even after losing her child — her first born — she was grateful that she had eight incredible months with this beautiful little soul, and for that, Sally felt like she was blessed that she had been given that chance — the chance to know him and be his mother, even if it was for just a short eight months.  So, what does the universe do when your grateful for the gifts that you have already been given?  It gives you more blessings!  It sent her triple the blessings (a good and loving man, a daughter, and another son).  Oh, and let’s not forget a thriving and prosperous career!  And not only is she doing well, but she’s touching the lives of every single person she comes in contact with because of her story and her attitude.  Wow!  Are you inspired yet by Sally’s life?  Cause I can tell you, I sure was.  I sure am.  Every time I’m in Sally’s presence, I’m inspired!  Thank you, Sally, for touching my life.

That leads me to my next story, her sister, Eva.  Not the same ending, unfortunately.

To make a long story short, she too lost a son to an illness, which I do not know the details of.  I believe Eva’s son was older, around eight-years-old.  I know she suffered quite a bit with him during those years with frequent visits to the hospital.  Being I do not know Eva’s story as much as Sally’s, I can not elaborate more about this very fragile situation.  But, I do know that she too had her son with her boyfriend (the father).  Apparently, is was and still is a very toxic relationship.  I won’t go on and on about how poorly he treats the mother of their children (the one who passed and the another boy with some special-needs).  But, I can tell you that Eva has even found her man in bed with another woman and has continued to stay with him. Plus, she’s the one who works and supports them, he doesn’t.  I don’t know what goes on in their relationship behind closed doors, but this wasn’t the first time he was blatantly disrespectful to his woman and/or unfaithful.  For some reason, Eva can’t break the unhealthy cycle.  She doesn’t break-up with him or move on, and she has every right to.  No one is forcing her to stay — she chooses to stay.  She has a G*d-given right to be happy!  Her experience losing her son, or whatever past experiences has somehow translated in her mind as she must be punished and suffer forever, which is an absolute lie she tells herself.  This poor girl walks around miserable, has continuous drama in her life, misses work, etc… She won’t allow happiness to enter in.  Eva is and will always be the victim — not because we (the outside sees her that way, but because she sees herself that way).  There’s an energy about Eva (an aura), I know because I’ve been around her on a bunch of occasions.  It’s just… well, very sad.  You leave her and feel bad for her; you want to cry for her.  But, you don’t feel that way around Sally, it’s different.  It’s not this heavy weight of energy you leave her with, like you do Eva.  And yet, they both had tragedies.

I don’t believe G*d favors people, or wants others to be happier or better off.  I think *all* humans are given lessons (some may be harder than others, yes) but it’s how we handle those lessons that are given, which determines the way our lives turn out — happy or sad.  That basically, happiness is not up to G*d — happiness, attitude, perspective — it’s all up to us!  We steer the ship.  Happiness is a choice.

By the way, I am not judging either of these remarkable women who’ve both been given an extremely difficult life lesson — a loss of a child.  I can’t even imagine!  I have no idea how I would handle it either.  I’m just making an observation.  Based on my observations — two women, both equally extremely difficult life lessons, but both handled it differently.  While one is living a happy life, the other is not.  That to me would conclude only one main difference – it’s a choice.  I know there is a huge grey area of details behind things, like we don’t know the “whole” story… how they were raised, perspectives growing up, while one experienced being the older or younger sister, how long they had their sons in their lives,  etc… it still doesn’t matter because a loss, is a loss however you look at it, and happiness is not given, it’s chosen.

Either way, either story, they are both inspirations to me.  To be able to get up everyday out of bed, that in itself, is an inspiration!  God bless them both, and I pray for both of them to have happiness, blessings, much love, and continuous support in their lives.  Amen.


1 Comment

  1. Sarah Biondo
    Apr 27, 2016

    I agree that happiness is a choice. Thank you for seeing deeper than most. Xoxo

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