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Life Blesses You when You Practice Happiness

Life Blesses You when You Practice Happiness Ruth Cherry

The inmates I work with at the state penitentiary have very few choices. While the newer ones complain about being told what to do or being treated inconsiderately or losing privileges, the old-timers just smile. They know those things carry no weight. They have taught me that one basic choice no one can take away is the ability to choose happiness.

These inmates know happiness isn’t a result of doing what you want or receiving what you request or being in control. Happiness is a response to life. It doesn’t matter what the day’s events might be; you can always choose happiness. In that sense, happiness isn’t a feeling but a life stance.

Happiness doesn’t result from an occurrence over which we have no influence or even after a self-defined victory. Happiness is a way of being. Happiness is saying yes to life, being grateful, and accepting everything. Happiness is releasing resistance, overlooking petty willfulness, and choosing to be openhearted. Happiness is living as large as we can, and saying, “I’m so lucky to participate in this experience!” Happiness doesn’t depend on feeling good or on things going right. We choose happiness because it’s the wisest and most life-affirming choice we can make for ourselves, not because it’s logical.