IT'S A CHOICE (11 OF 26)

by Fred Lowery

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Happiness is a Choice

I heard about a father who told his little boy several times to sit
down in his chair at the table. Finally, at the threat of a spanking,
the little boy reluctantly sat down. After a few moments of pouting
silence, he said, "I may be sitting down on the outside, but I'm
standing up on the inside." Interestingly, for all the disappointment
and disitlusion we have experienced with the outside, we never seem to
look inside for the answers we seek. Without knowing it, that little
boy was enunciating a life principle which must be understood in order
to build a happy itfe. Ttie priricip-'Le is that regardlaas of i@
happening on the outside of our lives, we are free to choose how we
respond on the inside.

Unfortunately, -this is a good news and bad news situation. The dood
news is that you can choose how vou respond to what life hands you and
that means you can choose happiness redardless of circumstances. You
may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can control
liow vou respond to what happens. The bad news is that it is possible
to deny or hide your internal response and outwardly pretend all is
welt when it is not. We tend to do this when we feet insecure and
when we are trying to perform or live up to the standards or opinions
of other people. The problem is that when what we are feeling on the
inside and what we are expressing on the outside does not match, we
experience a dreat deal of inner turbulence, frustration, and
unhappiness. Stuffing, hiding, or ma.sking feelings will never lead to
happiness. It is very important for our inner and outer feelings to

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