***My sisters and I are pleased to have a guest blogger, Kristyn here on The Kusi Life sharing a bit of happiness.
Throughout our life we are faced with many choices. Some choices come easily, others come through lots of humble prayers, fasting, and even sacrificing. One of the best choices I have yet to make, was the choice to choose happiness. Now this choice isn’t one we make just once, but one we must consciously make every single day. This is the choice; the choice between dwelling on the negative, or focusing on the significant things, no matter how small.
Freshman year was one of the hardest years for me, I felt like everyone had a place, and I was just simply there. I did well in school, but I felt alone, and often forgotten. My friends, as wonderful as they were, had their own problems and I had no idea where to turn. One month, I had a lesson about the enabling power of the atonement. Boy, did that lesson change my entire life! I realized that Christ not only suffered for my sins, which is nothing short of miraculous, but has also felt every single thing I have had to endure. From that moment on, I realized that no one is ever forgotten, at least not by the one who loves them the most. That alone provides peace, and a happy thought during the hard times.
A few weeks later I was reading in the New Era and I stumbled across an article about a girl who decided that she was going to smile, and be happy no matter what tests she had that day, or what trial she happened to be going through. I honestly thought that was the weirdest thing anyone would willingly choose to do. Recognizing I had nothing to lose, I gave it a try! Instead of complaining about a test I thought, “thank goodness my teacher taught me enough so I can pass.” I began seeing things as lessons and blessings, instead of plain unfair trials. Years later and I still am striving to be happier regardless of the daily struggles, and I am striving to make a difference in helping other people find the happy things as well!
The next school year I was in a rather horrible car accident on my way back from the temple. One that I should not have walked away from, but thankfully I did. I could have been upset at the intoxicated driver that slammed into my car, but instead I was happy we were all okay. Last September I also had to focus more on choosing happiness when my senior year was altered by a malignant tumor in my leg. I went from participating in everything, to missing football games for hospital visits and I began seeing doctors more than my friends. Instead of being upset that my previously practically perfect senior year turned upside down, I was grateful for the extra time spent with my mom driving back and forth to various hospitals. I learned that maybe life wasn’t ever going to be super normal again, but I learned that it could at least be beautiful because I was going to choose to remain as happy as possible!
I began to make every experience I went through a happier one because I knew what I know now; life rarely goes our way, and rarely is everyone incandescently happy all the time (shocker, I know). While life is often unpredictable, there is and forever will be a beautiful reason to be happy. Somedays all I can muster the strength to be happy about is simply that I am still breathing, and on some days even that isn’t a very happy thought. If I am having a really hard time focusing on something happy for the day I ask an extremely trusted friends to tell me a, “5 happy list”.” A list of five things that makes them happy. I’ve found that happiness is truly contagious, and even just a friends happiness can influence mine as well.
When the dear Kusi sisters asked me to write a bit about happiness I thought it was quite ironic because I felt like I needed to read a post on happiness, not write one. I felt like I was simply going through the motions without much happiness. This had been since the end of the school year when I was battling finals, AP tests, dances, school projects, college decisions, and having someone in my house get diagnosed with glioblastoma (a terrible type of brain cancer).
It felt as though all the things that had made me happy were slowly being taken away from me, and I screamed out in frustration to my Heavenly Father more times than I would ever like to admit. But I realized something recently at a dear friends mission farewell while talking to someone whose life seems so much harder than my own. I realized that happiness may be contagious, and you do get to chose to be happy, but happiness isn’t fair. It isn’t distributed to everyone daily. Happiness doesn’t come all the time, because we must learn that it is a special feeling. A feeling worth choosing. A feeling that is actually given to us so often by our Heavenly Father. And I discovered that life is completely made fair through the atonement. While I might not have had the typical life of every college student, I wouldn’t want to change it because these experiences have taught me to be happy.
I was nicknamed “smiley” at school, and I believe that it is because my Savior helps me choose to see the happy things in each and every day I am given on this Earth. Though times are hard, I am a firm believer that if you can start by finding even one reason each day to be happier, then you will succeed in choosing and living a happy life. And I hope you chose to start finding the little “love notes from Heavenly Father” and seek out reasons to be happy too!
Kristyn is an amazing force for good! She shares more of her thoughts over on her blog at Kristyn Paige and I love following her over on Instagram @kirstynlove21. Definitely check her out, you won’t regret it!
Remember to See the Happy!