This year has been tough.
And as I dressed in black for the third time this year this past weekend, I couldn’t help but feel this year has been unfair. Suicide, cancer, car accident, three funerals that shouldn’t have happened continue to break my heart into a million pieces. I thought it couldn’t break anymore as this year has also brought our own personal losses through miscarriage. Along with a news reel that seems to only highlight a bad and difficult year around the world. As grief has clouded my heart, it has felt almost impossible at times to look beyond it.
This year has been tough. But it has taught me a very valuable lesson.
There is no getting over grief. There is no appropriate time frame for grief to last. Grief becomes as much a part of your story as any other aspect of our lives. It’s how we let it dictate our decisions and emotions that matter.
And let me just say it’s ok to feel sad, to give into those emotions that at times feel like they could crush you with their weight. Everything can feel so in your face and overwhelming. Other times it comes as numbness, a lack of feeling that is almost the scarier emotion. It is tempting at times to let those emotions rule your every decision. This is where I have learned this year.
Coming out on the other side of grief is an intentional choice. A choice to choose happiness. To look at the world and still see the light and the good and the pure amazingness around you. That choice of happiness can be so hard some days. So very hard, but by making it an intentional choice it has the power to move the grief to another place that lacks complete power over your day.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the many versions of the same thought “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react”. I have often led my life as a bit of a control freak. I like to plan ahead and be prepared, it is just in my nature. This year has completely thrown me out of control and humbled me in having to be in charge of my reactions.
There has been many occasions I have wanted to choose anything but happiness. I have now truly come to believe that everything else is so much easier to let go. It is healthy and helpful to identify those other negative emotions, but in the end it is happiness that is best left to blossom in your heart.
I could ramble on this topic for quite some time. My thoughts and emotions on it seem to still swirl in so many different directions. But I have noticed such a difference in my emotions, in my ability to let go of petty troubles in my life and truly focus on what matters, simply by choosing happiness.
This year has been tough. But there are 60 more days in it and I refuse to let my grief cloud all the happy moments this year has brought us as well. I challenge you to open your heart to happiness and watch the transformation it can bring to your life.