If my life were a book, the title of the chapter currently being written would be called “In Which Tammy Enjoys a Period of Peace and Great Contentment.”
Of course, you’d probably be bored by that title and want to skip right over it. But let me tell you that you’d be missing out!
This is a period of my life that I am so grateful to be living right now. You know why? Because I’m so happy! After a long period of various struggles (not without their good times too, mind you), but enough that I seemed to always be working hard to reach a good place, I have finally reached a time when I’m truly happy and at peace. And it shows!
I wake up in the morning and I’m excited to be living my life. I’m excited to see what the day may hold, even if I know it’s going to be a busy one or there might be something not so fun to deal with. I feel so happy and hopeful. I can smile a genuine smile, and when people ask how I’m doing, I can enthusiastically (and truthfully) reply, “I’m great!!”
Because I feel so happy, I find it easier to be positive. I can look for the good in people and in situations. I have strength to face the frustrations that come, since nobody’s life is without them. I wish I could say it means that I don’t complain, but that would be a lie. I have worked very hard to complain less. I also find that my happiness can be contagious, so I want to reach out and share it with others. That’s probably the best part of this chapter in my life.
This weekend I’ve been able to do that with three people. I won’t go into specifics, but in one instance I was able to do something positive for an unfair situation I disagreed with and wished desperately I could do something about. And both parties were very grateful for the small thing I did. Then, I got together with another friend and not only have a great time with her, but also helped her talk through some concerns in her life. I think we both left the conversation feeling like we were in a very positive place.
Today I was in the temple with my two cousins, other family members and some dear friends. I was so happy my heart felt ready to burst, but instead I shed a few tears of joy. I promise they were happy tears. I’m crying now just thinking about the feelings in my heart that I can’t express.
Part of me feels like I don’t deserve this happiness when I know so many people who are struggling right now. I feel like I should be struggling right along with them. And then I think back on all I’ve been through in the last couple of years and tell myself I’ve earned this happiness. It was a long dark road that I walked with plenty of obstacles before I found respite. While I have it, I need to do my best to use it for the good of others, as I have already been doing.
I have learned for myself that happiness is a choice … but I admit it’s much easier to choose when you’re in the right circumstances.