You Have to Work Hard at Being Happy

When it comes to a good day or a bad day, how much of it boils down to perspective?  I have come to a place in my life where I believe that 90% of my day is determined in my own head. How I interact with the world around me, how I respond, how I proceed through decisions - all impact my perception of my day.  

First of all, I believe that I can control the outcome of my day. I wake up, I think through the first steps of my day and sequence it out to set myself up for a positive day.  This morning, for instance, I woke up and laid in bed thinking about the day.  My mind touched on each hat that I wear and what I need to accomplish first in each hat:

  1. Coffee, prayer, meditation
  2. Get the laundry going
  3. Make lunches
  4. Test a sale & make adjustments
  5. Check weekend sales & open rates
  6. Finalize play list
  7. Wake the kids

The first thing I do, everyday, is always #1.  I set my day by connecting with God, giving thanks for the blessings on my mind each day, and I meditate on my intentions for the day.  Each day my intention is to work hard and shine kindness into the world.  

Often my intentions are met with resistance and my light turns off.  I get angry.  I lose my patience.  I feel misunderstood, like my boundaries are being pushed, or I simply disagree with someone.  But the overall goal for the day is to come to terms with the resistance and settle it before the day ends. For me, this doesn't mean that I need to settle it with the person, if one is involved, by the end of the day.  Settling it, for me, is coming to a peaceful understanding of how I can exist with it.  How can I come to terms with, or process, the issue?

I process in two ways: talking about it & praying over it.  This morning "My Book" (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young) said:

Many people's decisions are a combination of their habitual responses and their desire to please themselves and others. This is not My way for you. Strive to please Me in everything, not just major decisions. This is possible only to the extent that you are living in close communion with Me...A quick glance at Me is all you need to make the right choice.

In essence, I felt comforted by the simplicity of how to check my own behavior. What will work for Him is what feels right for me. In the making of our days, a quick glance in His direction can lead us down a path that allows us to be true to ourselves and a positive influence in the world around us. On good days, these choices we make are easier than on the bad days.

And there are really bad days, right?  Days when the server crashes, the car crashes, the airplane crashes.  It is those days when leaning into God for support is incredibly important and also incredibly hard.  We ask over and over, why why why is this happening?  And unfortunately there is never a reason for the why.  There is only: how we can cope, come to terms with, or respond to the heartache or trauma. How can we set our minds to have more control of the way we respond, react, and behave?

I've had a some experience with traumatic situations, bad days. Sick or injured children with unknown resolutions, sleepless nights, days spent in tears, weeks spent in sadness. The only way I have ever made it through any of it is by leaning into God, allowing other people to help me, and giving myself the space to feel awful and fall apart.

I think Dolly's message speaks to me because how we approach the good and the bad days really does matter - our perspective can tip the scale in our favor if we let it. If we choose to lean in, if we choose kindness, if we choose forgiveness, if we choose to set our mind and create our intention for the day, even on the bad days, the load is a little bit lighter.