Friday, March 10, 2017

Feel Good Friday: Choose the light

More times than I can count over the course of the last 14 years--my parenting years--I have heard words coming out of my mouth, directed at one kid or another, meant to correct inappropriate behavior and develop deeper character. And, sometimes, I'm quite shocked that the words I'm saying might be better directed inward than outward. Being a parent makes me acutely aware of my own character flaws and shortcomings. I see my hypocrisies and failings as if under a magnifying glass. And, so often, when I am correcting one of the kids, my words ricochet and strike me right in the heart, and I realize something in me needs to change, particularly if I want to see that change in one of them.

This happened today. I was reminding one of my dear offspring that every moment we have a choice about the kind of person we are going to be. Are we going to be rude or kind? Happy or sad? Engaged or disengaged? Respectful or disrespectful? Positive or negative? Helpers or hurters? Workers or slackers? We can't control everything that happens in life, but we can control how we respond. We always have a choice. 

The truth is, I have been pretty depressed since our RTW trip ended. I have been resentful of my stationary situation and have flatly refused (both subconsciously and consciously) to be happy in this place. Of course I've had moments of happiness and things certainly haven't been all bad. But, in my heart, I know I haven't really been trying that hard to make the choice to be happy. 

And, today, as I spoke to my child about choices, some lightbulb suddenly reignited inside my brain, and I realized that I can change my choice. That, in fact, I must change my choice, because I do not want to go through my days unhappy. I can and will choose to change my inner dialogue. I can and will choose happiness, regardless of my situation.

"We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on." --J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

As for me, in this rare and beautiful moment of clarity, I will choose the light.

(For more of my ramblings on choosing happiness, check out this post.)


  1. Hi Mandy, thanks for sharing, I share your feelings, sometimes not knowing what to do with the restlessness I feel. Wanderlust.. it brings your a lot while on the move, but it's hard when there is no movement anytime soon. I like your way of thinking that there is a choice, so I will have a go with that and start thinking about my realistic choices here. Who knows what I will come up with..
    Have a beautiful weekend! Marijke

    1. So good to hear from you, Marijke, and good to know I'm not alone in my feelings! I hope you are all well. I would love to hear about your adventures in the U.S. sometime.


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