Choose Happiness: Letting Go of Anger, Resentment and Hurt

“For every minute you are angry you loose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Who doesn’t want to live a happier life? We all want to lead lives that we love!  Why not live that dream life starting today?  I believe that true, lasting happiness is within reach for everyone, no matter what your current circumstances or state of mind looks like.  Happiness is a choice and we have so much more control over our lives than we realize.

I’ve written often in this blog about my own happiness journey and I’m happy to share my story in the hopes that it might inspire yours but I also know that the path to happiness is not a one-size-fits-all.  On the contrary, I think it takes a lot of soul searching to discover what makes you happy, what brings you joy–what makes you feel most alive!  Discovering your passions in life is critical to leading an authentic, happy life. Creating close, meaningful relationships with the positive people in your life is also essential.

One of the things I’ve come to learn on my own journey is that holding on to anger, resentment and past hurts can actually hold you back from having the great, fulfilled and happy life that you long for.  When we hold on to that kind of negative energy, we have less room for the positive, life-affirming energy of love, peace, acceptance and joy.  It’s actually freeing to let go!  To forgive you do not have to forget.  When you are ready to heal your past wounds, you are actually making the choice to take back the power that was taken from you.  Make today the day that you consciously choose to lead a fully empowered life!  Decide to look at life with fresh eyes and a new outlook.  Begin with positivity, peace and happiness as your core personal values and evaluate any new work or volunteer project, friendship or other relationship through that lens.

If you make the choice to forgive someone who has hurt you in the past, you don’t even necessarily have to confront them personally.  You can forgive by writing a letter (that you may or may not choose to ever send), by writing in your journal, by saying a silent pray of forgiveness that only you may hear.  The choice is yours!  When you choose to let go of this heavy burden that you’ve been carrying, you will feel like the weight of the world is off your shoulders.  Your body will actually feel lighter! It’s hard to explain if you’ve never tried, but I urge you to consider why holding on to pain feels better than releasing it?  Everyone on this planet has experienced some type of hurt, disappointment, betrayal or sadness in their lifetime.  The choice to let go of the past and to move on with a brighter future is yours.

I’ll end with some of my favorite quotes on happiness:

“I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am.  I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.”  – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”  – Marcel Pagnol

“There are two ways to live your life.  One is though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  – Albert Einstein

“Happiness is really a deep harmonious inner satisfaction and approval.” — Francis Wilshire

“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” — Arthur Rubinstein

“We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.” — Carlos Castañeda

“All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that being unhappy leads people to complain, but it’s truer to say that complaining leads to people becoming unhappy.” — Dennis Prager

“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” — Allan K. Chalmers

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” — Albert Schweitzer

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.” —  Anne Frank

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