07 June 2016

For the Mother Struggling to Find Happiness & Hope

Most mothers and families are in a constant season of change, and while change can be a very intimidating and daunting thing, I tend to think it can also be therapeutic and refreshing for the soul. 

It’s really all about your perspective. 

For most of us, it’s easy to be happy and find joy in life when things are going our way. When life is clicking along like clockwork and all the puzzle pieces are snug, secure and in the right place, we are grateful and content. Our happiness and outlook on life comes easy and for the most part, we are filled with hope and excitement for the future. 

But what about when life isn’t so great and the challenges and mountains seem impossible to overcome? What about those times in life where our happiness, security and hope are challenged? What is our mindset then? 

Unexpected life decisions, changes and alterations to our daily happiness and routine have a way of testing our will and spirit, sometimes to the breaking point. When you feel as if your security and contentment are compromised, it’s easy to become discouraged and even harder to find the positivity and hope that things will eventually be better. 

I know this because I’ve certainly lived through these seasons as a mother. Through the years, our family has had to make some important decisions about our future and every day, my will, happiness and hope is put to the test. Honestly, most days I feel like throwing my hands in the air and giving up. Saying “I quit!” and hiding in the closet with a huge plate of tacos seems like a better option than being an adult all the time. Becoming closed off and negative about my life and circumstances outside of my control seems easier to accomplish than exercising faith and hope. 

It’s during these hard times that it’s more important than ever to hold tight to our happiness in hope.

For the Mother Struggling to Find Happiness & Hope. #parenting #mothers #workingmoms

I don’t know what you’re facing in your life today. As you get up to start your day, I have no clue of the feelings that are washing over you like waves. I’m unaware of your challenges, your joys, your heartaches and your needs, but I have one simple question for you:

What do you see when you look at the dandelions above?

For some people, they see despair and the ugliness of life literally growing all around them and no matter how much they try to pluck the ugly from their lives, it keeps coming back time and time again.

For some people, they see hope, a wish. For some people, they see a moment to close their eyes and imagine all of the wonderful and amazing possibilities of life and then blow those dreams out into the world with the hope that the universe will respond gently, lovingly, fairly.

Some see a weed, while others see a wish. 

Before my grandfather’s Parkinson’s destroyed his mind while eventually taking his life, we would talk about my life and of the things going on in my world. He would let me ramble on and on about the things that were bothering me, never once interjecting or interrupting. He would simply sit and listen and when I was done, all he would say to me was, “Well baby girl, you can either choose to be happy or to be mad. You can either keep your happiness and hope or let the world take it away from you. The amount of effort is the same either way.” 

Granted, some of our challenges are a little harder than others and not all problems are so easy to fix with sentimental quotes but really, isn’t half the battle to win in this life our mindset? I’ve yet to meet anyone who pulled through a life-changing or challenging situation with a “Fuck this shit” mindset. 

Hope is hard. To have hope means taking chances. It means walking out on a limb or simply having the courage to take the long hard walk at all. Sometimes hope means putting all of your eggs in one basket while having faith that it’s the right choice and that if not, the right things will happen. Hope is hard-fought and hard-won. It means digging in and hanging on by your fingernails, even if by only a very thin thread. It means having the courage to believe in our choices and intentions even when the lying voices tell us that we have nothing to be hopeful for or happy about. It means giving a big fat middle finger to a world that constantly tries to take our happiness and hope at every turn because without it, what’s the point? 

Keeping our happiness and hope during difficult times isn’t a guarantee that life will be perfect or that we will get everything we want simply by asking or hoping for more – maybe we will and maybe we won’t but that really isn’t the point. Keeping our happiness and hope means keeping the power in our own hands to decide our destiny. 

Happiness and hope is a choice, a conscience daily choice that doesn’t mean perfection. It’s a choice we make that turns our wants, wishes and dreams into reality.

Where do you find your hope? How do you hold onto your happiness when life gets rough? 
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

1 comment:

  1. I hold on by the skin of my teeth sometimes. Hope is hard, at least for me. When I choose to hope rather than sink into despair, it's because despair is so ugly and scary. Like I don't even want to go there. Why is it so easy to encourage others, but not ourselves? Nice post.