Monday, May 5, 2014

Choosing Love & Happiness

The fairy tales all tell a story that ends at the same place - Happily Ever After.  There is a white dress, a dramatic kiss, and a beautiful couple that trots off toward the sunset.  The End.

But real life doesn't end at the credits.  Once the honeymoon is over and the wedding bills are (mostly) paid ... well, there you are.  Committed to one another.  Legally.  Forever.  And it's not that you didn't want to be legally committed forever, it's just that there are so few examples out there of what it will actually be like.

As I get older, I notice more and more people behaving in relationships in a way that hurts my heart.  Cheating, lying, putting each other down when chatting with friends.  I'm not one to judge anyone else's behavior or relationship, but it does make me wonder ... how did they get to this point?  And, more importantly, how do we not become them?

The before part of the relationship - the part they show in the fairy tales - it's exciting.  You know less about each other and (almost) everything you learn is endearing or adorable or any-other-descriptive-word that it just might not be later.  But how do you keep the love burning when your clever jokes suddenly annoy him, or when his desire to be with you always feels a bit suffocating?

Love and happiness are so closely tied together.  When we feel unhappy, it seems almost reflexive to pin blame on someone for causing that unhappiness, and the brunt of this blame often unfairly rests on the shoulders of our partners.  The problem, as I see it, is that it is so easy to be swept up in how we feel things should be.  We are told from an early age to "follow our hearts" and "do what makes us happy."  But we are rarely told that being happy is a choice - and a difficult one sometimes.  There is no one career or location or person that will make us eternally happy, if only we could just find it.  And when we fail at being happy every second of every day, which we will, it's a bitter pill to swallow.

The trick is to make the best decisions you can, and understand that everything is fluid - your mind & circumstances may very well change.  But that's the point.  Happiness isn't one great decision that will alter the rest of your existence.  It's daily choices, every day.  And that choice to be happy has a tremendous trickle down effect: your spirits are brighter .. it's easier to see the positive in any given situation .. you ease up on your partner, who in turn is lifted by your positive attitude .. and the choice to love comes much more naturally.

I'm a work in progress, especially with happiness and love.  And I will always be a work in progress, succeeding & failing multiple times a day.  And that is happiness.  

Inspired by the beautiful photos from friends that are filling up my Instagram, I have decided to join the masses in celebrating #100HappyDays.  My 100 starts today.  Will you join me?


  1. I am definitely in! Daily choices, love it. Thanks for the inspired.

  2. Choosing happiness is not easy but it is so much better than being miserable!

  3. I really love this post. I'm getting married in July and people are always saying that things will be different once we're married. I hope it's good different!

  4. So spot on here. It really hurts me to see what others so to their relationships, and makes me wonder if we ever look like that to someone else looking in. For us it's all about just being as honest with each other as we can and dealing with the problems we may have before they get bigger. It really just keeps us both so much happier!

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