Thursday, July 15, 2010

Choose to be happy

A few months ago, before we left the Buda Ward, a nine-year-old girl got up to bear her testimony during sacrament meeting. Now I used to sit behind this girl during sharing time, so I was already well aware that she's scary smart. But her testimony was wise beyond her years and it has really stuck with me. I think about it often and was thinking about it today, and figured I would share with you.

She was talking about happiness. She said that it is a choice. We can have something bad happen to us and we can let it ruin our day. I don't remember the example she gave, maybe a bad grade on a test or something. Or, she said, we can choose to be happy anyways. Our happiness is up to us.

I'm amazed that at such a young age, this girl has such a clear grasp of that concept. We choose to be happy. We can't choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we handle it.

It's something I need to work on. Earlier this week, I was in a bad mood because of a bunch of little things. A spider landed on me while I was cooking. A stupid latch in my car broke and now I can't get to my garage door opener. I dropped a bowl and shattered glass all over the kitchen. Like I said, little things compounding on top of each other.

But the thing is - these things happen every day. And if we let them put us in a bad mood, we'll always be in a bad mood. There is always something we *could* be unhappy about. I don't make enough money. I want a bigger house. I want to go on an expensive vacation. I want to be thinner. I want to have kids. I want my kids to be good. On any given day, we could find something to be unhappy about.

Or, as Alayna suggests, we could choose to be happy. We could actively, consciously choose to focus on the many good things we have that bring us joy each day.

Thanks, Alayna, for the great testimony. Like I said, I think of it often and each time I do, I resolve to tweak my perspective and CHOOSE to be happy.


  1. David always calls it "horrible-izing" It's when you let things pile up instead of letting them slide off of you.

    I struggle with this also. :)

  2. Thanks Erika--this is SUCH a good post. What a smart girl she is. I will keep that in mind today as the daily small things unfold. You're awesome. :)

  3. Before you even said her name, I was pretty sure you were talking about Alayna. Aren't kids amazing?

  4. Sounds like that was for me too. I am often NOT choosing to be happy and it clearly effects everyone around. It's become difficult to think of the good things that have happened throughout the day. So thanks for the little reminder. :)