Tuesday, February 19, 2013

When happiness isn't possible

Yesterday's blog was about choosing happiness. It was spurred by the regrets highlighted in Bronnie Ware's book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Yes, happiness is a choice. That said, our lives contain times when it's just impossible to make such a choice. I have several friends who deal with depression, one whose depression has been so severe that each day was a struggle for her to even want to live. In that case, choosing happiness simply wasn't possible. My friend just clung to whatever she could each day in her efforts to stay alive. She counted on others—her family and friends—to carry her hope when she could not. Sometimes her hope was a tiny, tiny speck in her world.

There's a lesson in that, too: Relationships are so essential to life and to any happiness we might enjoy. And that really takes us back to another of Ware's discoveries from those who were dying: They wish they had spent more time with friends.

My questions for you today are:

• On whom do you count when you find it impossible, or nearly so, to choose happiness? What are you doing to nourish and nurture those relationships today?

• Who counts on you for support and care when they are down and out? What are you doing to help them?

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