Suffering is Optional

I finished a book today (that hardly ever happens anymore) and I really want to review it here, but I just can’t do it right now.

I’m having a hard time lately. I’m less than happy in some aspects of my life and my anxiety is through the roof. I’ve always had depression and anxiety and they both come and go. Actually, that’s a lie; they never completely go. They are present and they’re really present. Right now both seem to be really present.

I try to remind myself that my happiness is defined by me. A wise woman (I wonder if she’ll read this?) once told me that suffering is optional. I am not suffering. I have a lot to be happy about.

  • I have amazing kids. They are funny, charming, and inspiring people.
  • My entire family is caring and supportive. Kids, husband, parents, sister, grandparents, in-laws, extended family… all wonderful.
  • I have a job I love in which I receive the respect I deserve. It allows me to practice my current skills, build new ones, and work my creativity.
  • My coworkers are fun and quirky and I love working with all of them.
  • I own my own wonderful home and it keeps us all warm and happy and we have plenty of space.
  • My dogs are hilarious. They’re currently alternating chasing each other and resting on their beanbags.
  • I have several really close friends in all areas of my life that make me feel good about myself, my decisions, and even about my mistakes.
  • I’m not sick or unhealthy, and neither is anyone close to me.

Life is good. What more could I ask for? I just need to repeat that until it feels real.


5 thoughts on “Suffering is Optional”

      1. I was at a neighbor’s birthday party last weekend (it was for their 8 yr old who is friends with my 10 yr old) and the kids asked if my son wanted to see his room. We went in the house (the party was outside) and I was stunned when I walked in. They had such a tiny space! Hardly any furniture, 2 parents and 4 kids. No BEDS, just blankets neatly folded against the wall.
        I felt like crying for how blessed we are (though by society’s standards we aren’t, I would guess – with one car and no smartphones). Every member in my house has a bed. I went home after the party a changed person. I am so, so thankful for what we have. And yet, that family isn’t unhappy! They all wear genuine smiles all the time. 🙂

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