stories of life & wanderlust

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You're In Charge Of Your Own Happiness

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Last Friday night I suddenly got very sick. You know, the kind of sickness where you don’t ever want to move again and where you think the end must be near. Luckily, it was also the kind of sickness that is very short-lived and by Saturday afternoon I was up again and running walking. It taught me one thing, though: It sucks to be abroad alone when you’re sick. Or rather, it sucks to be alone and sick. Pardon my French, but I think we can all agree on this point.

 I think in that moment I wanted nothing as badly as for my mother, my boyfriend or really just anybody else I care about to care for me and make me some chicken soup. But alas, I had to get up on my own to look for some warm clothes that would make me stop shivering and I had to do my dishes alone so I could prepare myself a comforting meal that wouldn’t upset my stomach. See, I said it sucks!

But what did I take from this experience? Did I say Screw it and started to look for flights back to Germany because that’s where life was easy and comfortable? No, I didn’t. I just accepted my fate and focused on getting better. Because honestly… what else are you going to do?

Sometimes life is going to throw us curveballs and sometimes they are going to be curveballs that we can’t dodge. You may not have the power to convince your landlord to renew your lease and you may also not have the power to convince your car that breaking down right before Christmas time is not financially feasible. There are some things that we cannot change, that we are not in control of.


But what we are in control of is how we choose to handle these situations. Do we accept our fate, move on and concentrate on making a situation work? Or are we stubbornly holding on to something that is not?


Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how every single one of us has the key to personal happiness within. The actions of other people can have a positive effect of us and even push us in the right direction – but in the end it is us that are responsible for our own happiness. I truly believe that we are in charge of our own happiness – that the decisions that we make both in the grand scheme of things and every single day are what make us happy or not. It’s easy to blame circumstances and other people. But how is this going to change the presence? You can’t go back in time and make people behave differently.

Ever since I started to accept this and stopped looking to other people for my happiness, something changed fundamentally. It can be scary at times, but at the same time it is also incredibly empowering, because you free your mind from the influence of others. This journey is very new to me. I don’t think I have even begun to understand the scale of this, but I have already started to feel the benefits: I’m putting myself more out there. I have more faith in my abilities and my dreams. I’m trying new things and I’m taking on new opportunities even if they scare me.

This is positive change. And for that I am grateful. 



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