#Mywordfortoday is #Happiness: do you even have a glass?
It is fitting to write on happiness as today is Children's day in Nigeria. And happiness in Children is just very delightful.
At 42, I am still very much a child so Happy Children's day to me and my fellow "refuse to lose our Innocence" Gang.😃😃😃
In coaching circles, this age-old question is often asked: "Is your glass half-full or half-empty"? I'd like to add mine to it: do you even have a glass? Let's proceed from this viewpoint.
This is because my answer to that question has always been to be thankful that I even have a glass.
I am always inclined to agree with Maya Angelou who said: "if you cannot change your situation, change your attitude towards that situation". I like to think of this quote as change your perception of the situation if you cannot change the situation, it's kind of the same thing, I just like my version better.😊
I have always been an advocate of moving away from a set of circumstances that is unpleasant to you and I've always said "you are not a tree, move" but I also know that they are situations that you cannot help.
This means you have to find a way to make your peace with that situation, and this for me, is the key to finding your happiness.
I use the phrase "finding your happiness" because happiness is not a one-size-fits-all concept.
What happiness means to you may differ to another person. Happiness also is not static, it evolves. What has made you happy as a girl may cause unhappiness for you as a woman so it is always important to choose your peace.
Happiness means different things to different people. Some people I reckon were born happy, nothing seems to get to them, while others struggle with being happy.
In order to make what I'm saying about happiness more relatable, I am going to draw up an analogy with childbearing and adoption.
Some of us get pregnant without even trying, some of us have to put in the work (you have to measure your temperature, check the viability of your eggs etc) in order to get pregnant, some of us are unwilling to carry pregnancies and some of us are completely unable to conceive.
We need to stop hounding people over the choices that give them peace of mind, and ergo happiness.
In Nigeria, adoption was almost a taboo subject (in fact, the process of adoption itself is enough to drive one off the rails), people would usually hide or travel out of the country in order to adopt a child, because Society turns up its nose at them for these matters of conception which is outside their control.
I've spoken to a few female friends on IVF, and I was regaled with tales of how excruciatingly painful it can be, it is also really expensive and worst of all, there are no guarantees that it would result in successful conception.
I constantly wonder why we vilify these hapless women. How does it affect you that a person is seeking their Happiness by adopting children?
I'm focusing on women because in Nigeria, it is the primary responsibility of women to source for children. 🙄😒😏😐
It seems to me that prioritising your peace requires courage because although the society masquerades, and wishes you happiness, these wishes are often not genuine.
Well, maybe it is not that society is not genuinely happy for you, but that it wants to determine the way you should be happy.
So it is up to you to build and maintain your happiness.
You will notice that I am constantly using peace and happiness simultaneously.
This was inspired by Suratul Baqarah (2:216) in the Holy Quran: "but perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you".
My interpretation is that it is possible that a thing makes you happy, but it is bad for you and others around you; however, whatever brings you peace (so long as you're not a psychopath) would not or should not cause you or others anguish.
In pursuing your happiness, you've got to realise that there are no guarantees at all in life. You may do all the right things and still end up being unfairly treated, make your peace in advance. Save yourself the stress of undue suffering and unhappiness.
I'm going to share some certain things I do in an effort to reinforce my happiness.
1. I try not to " tight the world to my chest". 😄. This is Nigeria speak for "don't sweat the small stuff". This holds true even for the big stuff.
2. I try to spend time with people who uplift me instead of the people who bring me or other people down. We always intuitively know the people good for us. Spend time with those.
3. I try to take opportunities that would encourage my personal growth. This is very key. It might be that you need to equip yourself with skills that you might need to transform your life.
4. I try not to dwell on my struggles as I grow. I always try to remember the struggle of the Caterpillar before becoming a butterfly. I read a story of someone that helped a caterpillar get out of its cocoon, and then instead of transforming into a butterfly, the Caterpillar died. It turns out that the struggle to emerge from it's cocoon is not only important, it is also germane to the development of the caterpillar in transforming into a butterfly.
5. I tried to get rid of the "why me" thinking because why not me? I find that instead of focusing on why this has happened to me, it is best to find a way to get out of the situation and do my best to learn the lessons presented by it.
Please share some of the ways that you have used and has worked for you. Thank you.
There's something I would like for you to do. I'd like you to take a piece of paper and a pen, and draw up a table. You need to map out exactly what is causing you to be unhappy so you can find practical solutions to that.
Your first column should be the year (this is only for reference) the second column should be the problem(s) you are currently facing, and the third column should be the possible and impossible solutions.
We all have different issues bothering us, identifying what the core of what those are, having workable solutions, and breaking those into tiny bits may help in alleviating our unhappiness.
Some of us have money issues, for some, it is unemployment, for some, it is relationship woes. Without identifying the exact cause(s) of your being unhappy, you might never be able to figure out a way out of it.
I'm going to end this piece by reiterating the words of Maya Angelou on the need to re-engineer your thought process and train your mind.
Change what you can, what you cannot change, change your perception to it.
Prioritize Your peace, it is key to your happiness.And ensure you do not lose your glass!
To your peace,
Bibire Ose Fowora