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Somewhere along the line, in this adventure called life, I forgot the answer to this question. To be honest, I don’t know if I ever really knew the answer, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t used to care. I could be happy for no reason and with no regrets. So what happened? Was I living life without a conscience? I don’t think that’s it, I’ve always had a conscience. My mother raised me that way. Did I just not care? I doubt it. If anything I care way too much about pretty much everything, especially when it comes to myself (I feel pretty selfish in that respect). So what has changed?

I wish I had the answer to that question. I could probably make a lot of money if I knew the definitive answer. It’s gotten so bad that I don’t allow myself to be happy very often. And when I do feel happy I have these odd feelings of guilt afterward. I think things like “I must have done something wrong or bad to have felt that good yesterday” or “Why did I allow myself to have a good time when I’ve got 1001 problems to deal with”. I guess at some point I equated happiness with not dealing with all the issues that are still unresolved. My intellectual side says that the two can and do exist simultaneously. You’re always going to have problems or issues to deal with in life. That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to be happy before you’ve solved every issue. If it worked that way no one would ever be happy.

Sometimes life just seems to pile up on you and it becomes hard to see the light through the darkness. In reality, you may not have any more problems or issues than you did a year ago or five years ago. But for some reason you have a hard time feeling as happy as you did back then. Why is that? I think it’s all a matter of perspective. It’s how we as individuals choose to view our world. No one is forcing you to focus on the negative. You have to consciously seek out the positives in life and CHOOSE to be happy. It’s not always easy, but the power lies within ourselves. Removing negative people and situations in your life is your own job and as hard as it can be, the results can improve your life more that you ever imagined.

I don’t know for sure what changed in my life that made me afraid to be happy, but if I had to guess I would say it is my perspective. So I say yes, I do deserve to be happy. And I shouldn’t feel bad about feeling happy. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about anything and it doesn’t mean that I’m not aware that I’ve got things in my life that need to be fixed. It just means that I choose to look on the bright side of things and enjoy my time here. And I think I may find that this attitude can be contagious and attract happy people to my life. It’s probably not a transformation that can be made over night. It will take some work to get to the point where I can be happy and not have feelings of regret. But I think it’s time I started trying to be a happier person without feeling bad for feeling that way.