If only my husband would do this or that, our marriage would be so much better.
If only I could finish my degree now, I could stop living off these loans.
If only I could lose 10, 20 or 30 pounds, I would look so much better.
If only I could get married, I would be so much happier.
If only I could travel more, life would not be this hard.
If only I could make a million dollars . . . if only . . . if only . . .
If you can’t relate to any of these statements, you’re not off the hook yet. I’m just too lazy to think of the many, many things we base our happiness on. In essence, it is the price tag we place on our happiness.
A million dollars is a lot of money to pay for happiness, especially when we can give it to ourselves for much less. I’ll even be bold enough to say that you can give happiness to yourself for free.
Many of you may be thinking, how can I be happy? My life is falling apart; my dog ran away from home; my house is on fire; I just lost my job; and everything else I love is gone too. That’s like saying, don’t get burned when someone is pushing you into a fire pit.
You and I are made to hurt if someone hurts us. If we didn’t hurt, we would be rocks. Of course, it’s devastating, heartbreaking, maddening and even unfair. I don’t know all the sacrifices you’ve already made, the endless prayers that you’ve uttered or the sludge that you’ve had to wade through because of other people’s choices or even your own.
But joy and pain are not mutually exclusive. There is no rule that says we can only have happiness or sadness. Joy and happiness can take up residence with pain and sorrow. In fact, to survive and heal from the real pain and sorrow of this world, I think that we must allow joy and happiness to light every corner of our souls.
Pain and sorrow are heavy tolls already, so be generous to yourself, and make the price tag of your happiness free.