Choosing Hope and Happiness

By Dawn Onley

I’ll bet many of us can point to things that threatened our start in life. It may have been a learning disability, or some type of health challenge. It may have been the death of a loved one or the divorce of your parents. Perhaps it was an authoritative figure who said something to make you feel discouraged or a bully who picked on you and made you scared to go to school.

It could have even been a tragedy of some sort.


No matter how terrible it was, no matter how searing the memory of it still is, we shouldn’t allow our start to determine how we finish. We should not relinquish the hope of today for the painful memories of yesterday. We hold the power and we should choose instead to use it to honor whatever experiences we had to go through to get to where we are today.

Our trials shouldn’t get the victory, our triumphs should! 

The journey was too long and rugged for us to give up now, throwing up our hands in defeat. We need to take charge of our healing. More often than not, we know when something doesn’t feel right or when we can’t seem to snap out of the feelings of despair. We need someone else to hold us accountable, to make sure we are making progress.

Life is too short for us to stay stuck on a negative moment in our lives and to allow that moment to hinder us from truly enjoying life. Life is too precious for us to become one of those people who, whenever they experience hard times, manage to dwell on it for far too long, even drawing the conversation back to a similar experience in their childhood that they’ve never healed from. We all know people like this. It’s sad because this means they haven’t healed from past injuries. It also could mean that they have become addicted to their pain.


As adults, we have the ability to take back our lives. We can choose to be happy. We can choose hope. No matter what it takes – therapy, medicine, exercise, faith. We can start seeing the whole picture. We can elevate our minds and our attitudes.

We have the power, and we shouldn’t throw it away.

We owe it to ourselves.


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