Is happiness really just a state of mind? I hear that all the time. I used to cringe at the thought of it, until I began to hear people speak on the topic of happiness. Some years ago, I had to move away from family and friends in San Diego, California. I was super excited for the adventure of my young family in Visalia, California so, I truly welcomed it. However, as I began to settle into life without my close friends and family, I began to sink into a depression. I felt that if I could only get back home, I would be happy again and my life could resume. But, I kept hearing people say, "Happiness is just a state of mind" and it would infuriate me. I was upset I couldn't move back, right as I wanted. So, I began to withdraw from doing the things I loved best and starting moping around. In time, I decided that I was gonna make life the best I knew how, until I was able to move back home.
So, I joined the worship team at our local church and started attending a small bible study group with other young families from within the church. It was great! The group became our family away from home. We drove down to Disneyland almost every weekend, went garage sale hopping for fun and visited the big city, Fresno. As I started getting out of my comfort zone and allowing life to take place, and even trying to seize the day, I began to realize that my happiness was wrapped up in my thinking the whole time. It was my perspective on the situation.
It's like the proverbial phrase,"Is the glass half empty, or half full?" I was allowing myself to look at my situation pessimistically, instead of optimistically. And therefore, I suffered on account of my own actions. It wasn't anyone's fault that I was living in Visalia. Quite contrary, it was my blessing that I was living in Visalia; I met beautiful people, learned to bake apple pies, became more environmentally friendly by installing our own clothes line in the backyard. I attended Toastmasters' meetings, and regularly visited the national park whenever we weren't at Disneyland, my favorite place on earth. I was really thankful and starting to enjoy myself in this small town and so, began contemplating living there longterm. Even, looking at real estate. No sooner than that, there were job openings in Riverside and Ventura, California, which were both closer to San Diego, my home.
I am happy to be closer to my family now however, I do cherish the time I had in Visalia. So, is happiness a state of mind? Perhaps. I'd say happiness is choosing to live in the moment. For when we choose to live for a future date, we are essentially putting our lives on hold. Choose to live in the moment and everything you encounter will be a blessing. For there is a blessing in everything.
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