Monday, April 12, 2021

Joyful Journey of Life


Your life can be a journey of joy or struggle of sorrow based on how you handle it or to say precisely how you react to it. What happened to you cannot steal you of your happiness unless you allow it to. “Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you”, said the football player Ralph Marston. How true are those words.  

When I faced cancer, I decided to change my life for once and all. I knew it wouldn’t be easy because I had messed up big time professionally, I had two small children, my marital relationship was in chaos and above all I was responsible for my daughter with special needs. First I decided to evaluate myself and make a few decisions which were possible for me to accomplish even as I went through chemotherapy. ‘Now’ is the best time to start something.

The first thing I did was to forgive myself for whatever I had done in the past, before my cancer era. The second was a decision to be happy and jovial. I felt I deserved happiness and who was the better person to give it to me than ‘ME’. I had worked hard and given up a lot to make others happy, now was the time to dedicate that gift to myself. 

I assumed that happiness was not easy to find. I thought happiness was connected to achievement, praise, and the result of something good happening. But slowly I realized that it was a kind of happiness that is lost soon and also can be reversed. Something about this triggered my curiosity and I started an exercise. 

I explored more about my emotional state and what was making me unhappy. I started to write down my issues on a paper. Believe me, this was one of the best exercises I did ever in my life. 

It was simple. I would sit with a paper and pencil and write down how I felt. I was very honest with what I was writing. Then I would evaluate what made me feel that way. The answers were very shocking and related to someone else rather than me most of the time. Then I would further evaluate how to stop this, or did I really deserve to feel this way. Was this particular situation worth getting upset over, or was it beyond my control. I would ask what would be the result of my feeling crappy? When I broke it down to final stages, I realized there was no reason to be unhappy about it and I felt more happy later on. Doing this exercise, I exorcised a lot of demons and slaughtered them ruthlessly. Ahhh.. There are always those things said and done in our past that take the form of monsters and lurk in our mind to steal our happiness. We come to believe what others tell about us.. Though we are the best people to evaluate ourselves, we give that power to others. When you take back that power, you will be happy most of the time.

I am sad, angry, frustrated and upset sometimes, but I do overcome them and go back to my serenity quickly. Also, the negative emotions are my reactions to a situation and it doesn’t become the state of my mind. 

I also repeat the serenity prayer often because it helps a lot to understand the things around us and also to know that we cannot be correcting everything in the world. We should know our limits to be happy. 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

When cancer happened, even though I believed I would overcome it, the fear of losing my life lurked in my mind. I decided to be happy and enjoy life since I was not sure how long I had to live and enjoy my life. Days turned to months, months to years and years to decades, but the rewiring that happened due to the  fear that I may not have many days left, kept me happy throughout. That is the reason  my life is a joyride rather than a monotonous struggle of survival today despite the challenges I had to face. 


  1. I totally agree -- we can choose to be happy or not. I'm visiting from #aprilatozchallenge

  2. None of us know how long we have left on this earth so your attitude should be used by everyone.


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