This Lent, I had chosen to read books that I would have put off-again. This year was different–my grandmother passed away March 1st- which was the first day of Lent. Armed with that knowledge, I decided to not put off my book choices – The Four Last Things, Preparation for Death, and Meditations on the Four Last Things.
I am due to write a review on each book, but that will come soon. Although each book I know I will be keeping on my bookshelf, it’s worth meditating on for years to come.
Happiness is a Choice
One lesson that I have learned from reading this material, is that happiness is truly a choice. We have only so much time on this earth, how we chose to spend it is our choice.
This doesn’t mean, live our lives with only ourselves in mind, but always keep in mind of the happiness that is to come. To obtain heaven, it has to always be in our thoughts. What we say, do, and what we fail to do. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so today we live as if it could be our last.
I know that this sounds pretty morbid, but truly thinking about it, it’s not. When a person finds out that they have only 6 months to live– they are going to live those 6 months differently than someone who doesn’t know when they are going to die.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Another lesson I have learned is that death truly doesn’t wait for anyone. The rich, poor, well-known, and unknown–we will all come down to the same fate. There are so many things in our lives that we could be worked up over, but in the end, it’s just vanities.
I am a worrier. I worry about so many things, but I come to think about how many years that I have wasted worrying. I have worried over things that never happened. I worried about relationships that were not in my control. I’m telling you, being a worrier is no way to live!
We cannot change anyone else but ourselves. With the Grace of God, we can always pray and ask Him to show us what we have to change.
Change Ourselves, not Others
We live in an imperfect world. Our relationships are far from perfect. Too many times we have this image of what the perfect marriage looks like. What our family relationships should look like, and if only….
I for one had to stop that. The relationships I have with people is partly due to their personality, and largely due to my personality! There is no “perfect” relationship, there are just relationships. If we practice the golden rule with one another, and truly try to treat each other with the dignity that a person deserves — even if that means telling them truth, then we have shown love to that person.
We cannot ask for anything else. Loving a person does not mean that we will always be around them. That our relationships will always be in good standing. Loving a person means to want the good for that person. Sometimes that means loving that person from afar, and keeping them in your prayers.
Negativity is a Choice
Finally, negativity is a choice. We can wake up this morning and decide that today will be better than yesterday. We cannot control the events of the day, but we can control our reactions to them.
In the fall of 2015, I had a health crisis. It didn’t go away as fast as I hoped, and I do not wish it on anyone. But in the winter of the same year, my mother had a serious health crisis, and then my grandmother. It was one thing after the other.
Sometimes, you have to pick the pieces off the floor, and laugh at yourself. I told myself, I’m here with my family. I have another opportunity, let me make my suffering go to good use. I prayed. I think I prayed the hardest that I had in my entire life.
I didn’t pray to make the suffering go away, I prayed that I can handle it better. I prayed for the Holy Souls in purgatory. These are the things that made a negative experience tolerable.
We will all face trials in our life. Some of them will more trying than others. But even in those worse moments, we still have a choice. We can be bogged down with negativity, or like bad weather, know that it will pass.
Every day, we have a choice to make. We can choose to be happy with our current situation, but we can choose to be negative.
It’s our choice!
Do you choose happiness everyday? Are you working on it?