May 262012

#ff0000;">**to my family and friends:

#ff0000;"> this will be a hard read for you… i suggest you don’t do it… just skip over this one please. i posted this for another who is struggling…

#ff0000;">ASHLEY, DON’T READ THIS. I MEAN IT. (and if you do, please know that it has nothing to do with you but completely with me and my mind.)

#ff0000;">not one of you, my family, is responsible for what happened to me. my mind was broken and i didn’t know how to fix it. i didn’t know how to tell you, i didn’t know how to ask for help.





#000000;">many years ago, i made a choice to die. i had lost my daughter in a custody battle and i was devastated. i curled up on a twin mattress (the only thing i owned) and stayed there. i didn’t eat, drink, or do any other thing that was pertinent to life. i made the choice and was sticking to it.

#000000;">my landlord was going to evict me because i hadn’t paid my rent… i hadn’t gone to work or anything. apparently, she didn’t know i was inside dying. she put a lock on the door from the outside so i was trapped. which was fine.

#000000;">about a week into my death mission, a friend came to find me. she had been trying to call me and of course, the phone had been turned off. when she arrived, my car was in the lot. she found the landlord and demanded to be let into the apartment.

#000000;">and there i was. a filthy, starving, dehydrated mess.

#000000;">she rescued me.

#000000;">she packaged me up and took me out to Los Angeles where i had another friend who could take care of me and help me. i didn’t argue or fight it. i was completely apathetic.

#000000;">shortly after i arrived, we went for a walk. we ran into a tibetan monk. he saved my life. he taught me the principles of buddhism, the precepts, the noble truths…. he taught me how to choose happiness. he centered me and saved my soul.

#000000;">that was 21 years ago. to this day, i wake up every morning and CHOOSE happiness. i have been diagnosed with chronic illness in the past few years and sort of lost my way. but i am back to the happiness now.

#000000;">anyhow, i hope this helps… i can’t explain how i choose happiness… i wish that i could. the only thing i know for sure is that it’s those buddhist principles that help me. i am a roman catholic and i believe in God. i have a rosary right here next to me… i pray to God and the angels and the saints. all of it… but buddhist philosophy saved my life and taught me compassion and loving kindess that i have never learned anywhere else.

Being an adult is like looking both ways before you cross the street and then getting hit by an airplane.

  6 Responses to “choosing happiness”

  1. What a powerful story. Thank you opening your heart and granting us entrance. No matter the source of your enlightenment, suffice it to say that you not only chose joy, but life itself. God has a plan for all of us, despite what the naysayers may believe. That plan may not (and usually isn’t) what we see for ourselves, and as typical spiritual two year olds, we rebel. The true joy comes when we just let everything go (not an easy task) and allow God to direct us. Today is Pentecost, and I’m praying that the Holy Spirit may grant me a small glimpse of what I’m meant to do. That’s when the choosing enters the picture. Again, thanks for sharing this story.

  2. This story is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Kind of like the range of the human condition. The lesson of choice is an important one. I remind myself in every instance that I have the power to determine, not necessarily what happens to me, but how I choose to perceive it. I can choose for happiness, for peace, for love or for fear. And even when I have failed to make the right choice one thousand times, I still have that one thousand and one chance to choose again and get it right. And sometimes it takes those thousand times of not making the right choice to enable one to know how to make the right choice on the next opportunity. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to remember this lesson.

    • hi Judy…
      this was a tough lesson… and it’s one that i remind myself of over and over again. some days it’s really difficult to remember that it’s up to me to choose how i’m going to perceive things… some days it’s hard to remember that the quality of my life is actually very good… i know that you can relate to that on some levels… those days when we wake up and things are worse than they were the day before… ugh

      i will forever be grateful to that monk for showing me the middle way… truly grateful… and what he taught me is something that i can use the rest of my life. i only wish that i knew how to teach it to others… or at least show them the middle way….

      • Well, you were teaching me today because this was one of those days when I needed reinforcement for remembering this lesson. So, thank you, teach!

  3. I think Sherri,that when you are diagnosed with chronic illness, it “hits” you a few times. I know that I have been depressed, then stoic, then “normal.” But there are times when I get depressed from the pain, or the many things that I can’t do. Sometimes I feel worthless, because I do nothing around the house, work wise anyway.

    Then they remind me that I do do something, I”m mom.

    And that is enough for them, even when it isn’t enough for me.

    I am Roman Catholic, and I’m a practicing Roman Catholic, so my slant might be a little different from coming at it from a Buddist outlook, but you’re right, you have to choose to be happy. To be gratefull for every day of life. Of being there, what ever way I can be , for my family.

    This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

    Cheers to you my friend!!!!!

    • this is hte day the Lord has made… and you are right… we rejoice in it!

      it’s funny… buddhist philosophy so closely mirrors a lot of the catholic teachings… as in all religions or philosophies, there are so many similarities… it amazes me always

      this new normal.. this challenge… ugh… i will never say i’m grateful for it, but i can say that it is leading me down a path of greater learning and strengthening my faith.. when i let it lol

      i know that feeling of guilt and uselessness… i feel it daily. all the things that others do for me that i no longer have the energy or strength to do… and to realize that it’s only going to get worse… that scares me. i do what i can to remind myself that i have value and that i am needed & loved… but some days, man, it’s so hard to remember those things

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