Misery is an option

3:15 PM

  I used to be one of those people who would purposely be negative, or simply NOT positive, in order to be hurt.
  There were two different things going on in my head. First, I wanted to protect myself. Second, I wanted to "play it cool". I have no idea where I came up with the idea that showing emotion was second to being the biggest idiot ever, but for some reason I did. In fact, my friends took to calling me the Ice Queen for a bit because I tried to never show excitement or hurt.
  I guess not wanting to show emotion really came from me not wanting to be hurt, also. It all came down to that. Because if no one knows what makes you happy or excited than they can never take it away from you. They can never dangle in it front of you, meanly keeping it out of reach in order to watch you crawl and beg for it.
  The first place that I put this into practice was at school. My friends would get nervous about test scores and I tried to play it cool saying that I probably did average (while really wanting an A+) so that if I did bad, then it wasn't as big of an emotional fall and if I did really well than I could get happy. I set my expectations low with the expectation that they would be raised. My friends nodded along with me and even told me that my theory kind of made of sense.
   But you know what happened? Slowly I made myself more and more negative and even when things went my way it got harder and harder to feel and show any excitement or happiness. I stole my own joy from myself.
   Maybe I did it thinking that it would protect me, but in the end I lost my ability to feel happy and excited.
  But I am trying to get it all back. Because in the end happiness is an option. Misery is an option. It is possible to be happy when everyone else around you is down or feeling depressed or grumpy, etc.

Just look at this:

 Here I was running around the beach apartment trying to get things packed, determined not to get upset that no one was helping me. I failed in my attempts to still be happy when I snapped at Firecracker. Then I looked over and saw this face. "Be happy, mama! Everything will be fine!"
 This was captured while Firecracker was having the meltdown of the century. It helped to relieve my stress a bit!
 And this is her telling me that it is actually FUNNY that I was not paying attention to her when I knew full well that the watercolor pencils were strewn out all over the coffee table. "It is not a big deal that the couch is now blue. Just jive with it. And wipe it out. Enjoy LIFE a little, mama!"

Babies chose to be happy all the time. They can be freaking out that their sister took away something tat they wanted, you blow on their tummy and they will erupt into giggles, totally forgetting their anger. They chose to find things funny that probably aren't funny to adults and they belly laugh at them, blissfully unaware of others judging them in their carefree joy. As a teen I used to be the one that judged and rolled my eyes at others when they expressed carefree joy. I grew out of it in my twenties but instead of finding all the joy that I denied those years I found myself feeling rather, blase, or avoid saying "dead". Like my happy emotion was hibernating. And I found it so hard to get out of a bad mood once in it. Nothing like my baby here. She is determined to find joy in all things. Really. She even tries not to cry when she hits her head. If she finds you smiling at her when she looks up with big, shocked eyes, half the time her mouth will turn up into a smile and she will overcome her tears.

  Is it strange that I am finding inspiration in my baby? Honestly, it is just a real life example of the motivational teaching that I am listening to every day. God made us to be happy people. And He is happiest when he sees us happy. The worst thing we can do is rob ourselves of our own joy. I would hate to see my kids do that to themselves so I can imagine how God is saddened to see that. So I am on a path to change myself from the inside out. And become more like my joyful little baby. I am determined to.

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