Wednesday, November 30, 2016

You Get to Choose

I know there are some of you who are going to say that it's the fact that my weather is so much better here than yours that this post is simply to rub it in, but that's not the case. However, it does make me feel great that yesterday the forecast for today was "sunny with a high of 75." It has changed to cloudy with a high of 73 but it sure beats Minnesota where its snowing with a high of 35. Just sayin.

There's a line in the song "Sunny with a high of 75" that always catches my attention. The song is upbeat and fun, and catchy and I've liked it since it came out, but here's what gets me every time. "It's funny how it seems you enjoy your life when you're happy to be alive."

I have to ask myself the question, "What determines whether or not someone is happy to be alive?" Is it circumstances? Is it the people around us? Is it our health, or financial situation, the actions of those we invest in?" Of course not. Each of us decides.

Viktor Frankl was a holocaust surviver who became a psychotherapist. One of his quotes has guided me for years. After being a concentration camp inmate and being tortured repeatedly, he was able to find meaning in the most brutal of situations, and that meaning gave him the will to live.

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”

Every day I can choose to be happy to be alive. I might not feel all the feelings that come with happiness as our culture sells it, but I can find meaning in my life and choose to live. In fact, I can choose to live life to it's fullest every day.

If you have been reading my blog for years, you know there were many days back when we had multiple teenagers, where there was nothing that was on my list of "why I should be super happy right now." We had some incredibly bleak days. We still have them, but they are not nearly as often as they were 8-10 years ago.

The bottom line is this: You can choose joy today. You can recognize the truth in the words of someone whose life was way worse than yours. Not me, but Victor Frankyl. If he could wake up and choose to want to live in the horrible conditions of a German concentration camp, you and I can too.

I don't know what you're facing today, but I do know this. You get to decide how to respond to it.

Because it's funny how it seems you enjoy your life, when you're happy to be alive.

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