Many times in life we can have both moments of happiness and moments that bring us tears. It isn't an easy choice which moment to focus on, but if you find yourself always ignoring your joys and dwelling on your sorrows then you never experience happiness.
Everybody has disappointments, losses and worries in their life — but also we find reasons to smile and feel content. Never forget the happiness you’ve shared with someone even on the day that they are no longer be with you, embrace your memories to find strength and hope. In Judaism it is common to offer condolences with the words “May his/her memory forever be a blessing”; these words are meant to help the survivors live their lives remembering not only the happiness they shared, but also encouraging them to live the kind of life the lost loved one would want “you” to have. By focusing on the good times and appreciating the principles taught, you find strength to go on and make your life worth so much.
It isn’t only death where we need to focus on GOOD THINGS, it’s every morning you rise to enjoy the sunlight on your face, every evening you find the softness of a pillow to comfort you as you sleep; appreciate every meal as if it were a banquet while it assuages any hunger pains; don’t envy your neighbor for their shiny new car in the driveway when you can sleep in and maybe work from home instead of navigating a traffic jam on your way to work; and enjoy the cuddles of a pussycat instead of bemoaning your temporary loneliness. I learned painstakingly to never say “this is the worst it could be” instead of focusing on the things I did have, don’t make that mistake.
It is alright to wish for more, but don’t ignore the things you do have already. Never turn your back on the good things that come your way, don’t be envious of what someone else has and instead acknowledge all the things you do have. And here’s a little thing I’ll let you in on, there is always somebody out there who is envious of the things YOU have. Unfortunately, it seems to be human nature to not only be VERY aware of the negative things around us, but to dwell on them as well. Shiny and ritzy are not necessarily signs of success, money has never guaranteed happiness. Look around you and chances are that you will see good things, things to make you smile, things to comfort, and things that bring you satisfaction and happiness.
While you are appreciating your own “good things”, try taking the time to give a stranger a smile, to let a service worker know you appreciate their efforts, to hug your loved ones, and even cuddle with your fur-babies… you just might make someone else’s day. Spread the joy. There’s a reason the word SMILE has a “mile” in it, it goes a long way.