Archives for December 2012

Is happiness a choice?

“I don’t have enough money.”

“Why did such a dreadful thing happen to me? I don’t deserve it!”

“I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”

These are all genuine, recent statements. 2012 is proving to be a difficult year for many with the threats or actualities of redundancy, financial worry and increasing social disintegration.  As the Mayan Calendar comes to a close, we try to distract ourselves from the pain – and the Jubilee and Olympics did a marvellous job at that – but loss and the facing of ourselves is never far away.

Imagine you were blind, 92 years old and had recently lost your partner of 70 years. Pretty catastrophic, wouldn’t you think? Well, not necessarily. Are you sitting comfortably? I’d like to tell you a story…

A very elderly, blind man was moved to a nursing home because his wife of 70 years had recently passed away. He had to wait for several hours in the entrance hall before a nurse arrived to tell him that his room was ready.

As he slowly manoeuvred his walker to the lift, she described his tiny room. “I love it!” he stated enthusiastically. “Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room. Just wait,” said the nurse. The old man looked at her kindly. “It doesn’t matter that I haven’t seen the room,” he replied. “Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged. It’s how I arrange my mind. I’ve already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice – I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away.”

So, is happiness an attitude and, if so, which attitude will you choose? Will it be happiness or grief, love or hatred, self-responsibility or blame, anxiety or peace?

As the autumn draws into the winter, let’s all try to be a little more like that wonderful elderly, blind man and choose to see the beauty around us in the present rather than the ravage of loss from the past and the fear of what may happen in the future. Then the passing through the end of the old Mayan Age into the new one might become just a little more comfortable and we may even start to see things in a very different light…


Love Laurelle