Where do you turn when life throws you a curveball, dashes your dreams, and leaves you empty-handed and brokenhearted? Are there any encouraging, happy life quotes and sayings that have more substance than a greeting card?
Tough times almost beg the indulgence of self-pity and a dismal life forecast. Leave the falls and immediate rebounds to the professional athletes making millions of dollars. They’re trained to be good sports and get back into the game.
You, on the other hand, have real-life issues to deal with, and they don’t pay well.
You know, as everyone does, that life is what you make of it. It comes with predictable and unpredictable ups and downs, but it always offers you freedom to choose your response.
Being happy isn’t a destination. It’s also not only about what you “do.”
Happiness depends on not doing certain things as much as it depends on doing others.
And, more than anything else, it depends on the attitude you choose.
So let’s look at 5 “happy life” quotes and sayings you’ll probably never read in the card aisle.
We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Life is full of disappointments. No secret there. They come in micro, macro, and mega forms. And there is no “catching up” on them so you can check them off your list and be done with them.
The big disappointments – betrayals, loss of relationships, unexpected defeat – can cut deeply and leave you believing you will never recover.
But who better than Martin Luther King, Jr. to remind us of the chasm of difference between finite disappointment and infinite hope?
Every disappointment is finite in its endurance and its power to hold you down.
But hope? Hope is infinite in its endurance and its power to lift you up.The bridge over that chasm is built by choice. Will you choose resignation or will you choose hope?
Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. – Thich Nhat Hanh
In keeping with the spirit of MLK’s call to hope, this example of happy life quotes and sayings is a reminder of hope’s power in the moment.
The inherent gift of this life perspective isn’t limited to “Sigh…I wish…I hope…if only…What if?” Its magic lies in its transformation of the moment at hand.
When you are experiencing the pain of loss or disappointment, you can, of course, choose to accept it as your destiny. “I will always feel this way.” “My life is a failure.” “I can’t bear the heartache.”
And so goes the dirge of despair.
But hope, though not a crystal ball or prognosticator with detailed assurances, allows you to rise above the negative frequency of despair. It delivers your mind’s attention over to a higher frequency of thinking, feeling, and choosing present and future action.
This isn’t just philosophizing from a goodwill pulpit. It’s scientific.
A feeling of hopefulness elicits physiological effects.It causes your brain to release feel-good endorphins and enkephalins, thereby accelerating healing and recovery.The expectation of good possibilities (probabilities?), however far in the future, can be life-saving in the wake of heartbreak, fear, loss, and disappointment.
Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want. – Jim Rohn
Learning how to be happy with what you have can sound like a mantra for those with no ambition.
But there is a fine line between donning a laissez faire attitude toward life and choosing to be happy and grateful in the moment.
One posture is a slouching “Whatever. Que sera, sera.” And the other is an upright, shoulders-back, eyes-forward greeting of life, both in the present moment and in pursuit of the next.
Why is this relevant to being happy and feeling supported during tough times?
Because your dreams will almost always be bigger than your reality. That’s what dreams are for.
They keep you moving forward – exploring, discovering, learning, contributing, connecting, believing, striving.
But dreaming should never be a disregard of the blessings of the moment.
Just as feelings of hopefulness bring about chemical changes in the brain, newly divorced singles, especially women, are often shocked by the change in finances and lifestyle.
If you have gone through a similar experience, you know what an adjustment it can be.
But you always have the option of focusing on what you do have – perhaps things that had lost your attention in the past. Your health, your sanity, your children, your own space and schedule, the opportunity to rediscover yourself and pursue your own interests….
There really is so much for which to be grateful and happy right here, right now. And happy people make positive choices with enlightened awareness.If you can bask in gratitude for having all you need today, you will find yourself invigorated to strive for the possibilities of tomorrow.
The happiest people don’t bother about whether life is unfair. They just concentrate on wha they have. – Andrew Matthews, Happiness in Hard Times
Disappointment is rooted in expectation and a sense of what should and shouldn’t be. “I have all the credentials and should have gotten that promotion.” “How could he walk out on me when I have been faithful and devoted?”
Sometimes it’s rooted more in what we want and don’t want than in what we honestly believe should and shouldn’t be.
Regardless of its reason, disappointment can get confused with justice. “It’s not fair! I did all the work and she got all the money!” “Why do I always get the short end of the stick?”Focusing on the (perceived) unfairness of life, let alone on the futility of trying to correct it, will suck all the joy out of an otherwise happy life. Quotes and sayings could be taped on every mirror in your home; but if your focus is on how unfair life is, you will never be happy.
You’re never fully dressed without a smile. – Annie (the musical)Your clothes may be Beau Brummelly
They stand out a mile –
You’re never fully dressed
Without a smile!
Who cares what they’re wearing
On Main Street,
Or Saville Row,
It’s what you wear from ear to ear
And not from head to toe
Life is, in large part, an organic, unscripted process of gracefully co-existing with hardship and disappointment. It’s a balancing act that, in its finest expression, speaks to your commitment to equilibrium, regardless of what seeks to shake it.
Hope, gratitude, and being present to the gifts of the moment are all miracle workers when it comes to getting through tough times.
And, of course, you really are never fully dressed without a smile.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn and I’m a life and divorce coach. Schedule a 30-minute private consultation for support in putting together the pieces so you can create a happy and healthy life for yourself.
Looking for more information about how to live a happy and healthy life? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Building A Happy Life.
Hindsight, we all know, is 20/20. Sometimes it comes with regret – “If only I could do it over.” And sometimes there’s the realization that you had no other healthy choice. Sometimes you have the time and resources to prepare. And other times you have to take a leap of faith. Divorce, like other major life changes, is no different. Knowledge is power, and acquiring it means asking the right questions. How hard is life after divorce? What do I need to know before calling it quits? This is just a starting point for choosing your path at that unanticipated fork in the road.
In the long run, how easy/difficult, hopeful/defeating, encouraging/frightening, relieving/stressful a situation is depends more on you than it does on the situation.
But that doesn’t mean the situation can’t or won’t stack the deck against you. And, if and when it does, it will force you to choose – not only your next move, but your attitude toward its outcome, as well.
Getting used to life after divorce, no matter how easy or difficult, is a journey. The divorce process itself may be a loaded list of time-sensitive must-do’s. But, once your divorce is final, all those calendarized imperatives will take a back seat to changes that have their own timelines. (Or no timelines at all.)
How hard is life after divorce? Well, let’s take a look at some of the unavoidable changes that will inevitably challenge your sense of normalcy and test your perseverance.
Life as you know it no longer exists.You are no longer a husband or wife. You no longer share a home, life, or dream-for-the-future with a spouse.
You no longer sleep next to another heartbeat or have a sexual partner.
If you have children, holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations will now be more complicated and potentially divided and lonely.
You will no longer be making joint decisions, except when it comes to your children (assuming you will be co-parenting).
If you are a woman, you may have that awkward decision of whether or not to change your last name. And do you now have to check the “Ms.” box on forms? (Men really do have it much easier in the name department.)
You are going to lose more connections than just your spouse.It’s just the way life goes when there is major change. Some friends stay true, some choose sides, and some move on.
Even some relationships with family members can become awkward.
You will be struck by the different reasons that people come (and stay) together. Some friends connect only as couples. Others form their alliances by gender or common interests or experiences. Some connect with other adults only because their children are friends or schoolmates.
And some friends may transfer lingering emotions from their own divorces (or current marriages) onto you.
Your finances and lifestyle will likely take a hit.When you ask How hard is life after divorce?, chances are you have money at the forefront of your mind. How much money am I going to get in this divorce? How long will I be able to survive on it? Will I have to work until I die just to survive?
The reality is that both you and your spouse will face financial and material losses. You will be splitting your assets, paying for two domiciles, and, if you have children, providing “two lives” for them.
You will also have the cost of divorce to consider. And, if your divorce is going to be complicated or contested, it could get quite costly. (And that means less for you in your settlement.)
Finally, if you are a woman, you may have a harsh reality to face. Women, in general, suffer up to twice the financial hardship that men do after divorce.
If you have sacrificed your career to have and raise children, you will have lost years in the workforce.
You may not have the skills necessary to start a career with the earning potential you need to maintain even a fairly recognizable lifestyle. And you may never be able to earn at the rate your husband now does.
Grief is going to be along for the ride. It just is.You may have an attitude of “good riddance” toward your future ex. But you are still going to be flooded with emotions surrounding the loss of your marriage.
Even if you know in your heart that your marriage was unsalvageable, you will still grieve the loss of what you once believed would last forever.
And that can be a shock when you are trying your best to be strong and move forward with your life.
Your kids are going to go through a major adjustment and may demonstrate behavioral changes.It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to realize that children whose parents are divorcing are going to suffer. Even if the divorce will put an end to a toxic home environment, children will experience it as an implosion of all they have known.
Your relationship with your children is going to change, too. Depending on your final custody arrangement, you may see them only half-time after the divorce.
As resilient as kids are, they also thrive on consistency, dependability, and safety. They will now have to navigate two homes and potentially other changes like new schools and new rules.
It stands to reason that your own journey through grief will be accompanied by theirs.
When your focus is (understandably) How hard is life after divorce?, you can easily overlook all the potential good in your new life.
You may not believe you have control over the outcomes of divorce. But you have more control – at least more influence – than you would imagine.
Life as you know it may no longer exist. But divorces don’t happen unless “life as you know it” isn’t serving you.
You may have to say good-bye to many things you loved. But you will now have the opportunity to create life on your terms.
People may exit your life – suddenly or over time. But that choice is about them. It’s about where they are in their lives, just as your divorce is about where you are in yours.
When you learn to thank people for their roles in your life and then bless them on their way – even if only in your heart – your life opens to receiving. You will be amazed by the friends who come into your life – at just the right time, in just the right way.
Your finances and lifestyle may seem like hardships in your post-divorce life. But you always have the option to embrace a perspective of both appreciation and opportunity.
What feels like a step backward may actually be an opportunity to “step back” – to focus on what matters most in your life. It may also be an opportunity to take chances toward your personal dreams that you may have otherwise deferred to your marriage.
Grief, as unwelcome a companion as it may seem, actually has your highest good at heart. It is, for all its complexity and predictable unpredictability, an agent of cleansing, clarity, and resurrection.
It gives you a safe place to engage the struggle of loss and come out the other side, miraculously resilient and resolute.
And your children, for all they add to your decision-making and worry, will prove to be your greatest gift. They will be your mirror, your compass, your motivation, and your inspiration for new and enduring rituals.
Life after divorce may be hard. But its promise is always waiting to be embraced.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn and I’m a divorce and life coach. Schedule a 30-minute private consultation for support in putting together the pieces so you can begin living your happy life.