I have a couple of friends going through difficult times. They are trying to decide whether to stay married or get divorced. They are trying to decide what's best for them, what's best for their kids, what's best for their family and their future. These are not easy decisions. They are not to be taken lightly. And while I have little advice that I can offer, the one thing I know for sure is this: choose happiness.
It may sound trite, it may sound easy, it may sound too good to be true, it may sound like the dumbest advice ever, but if there is anything I know it is that if we, as parents, are happy, our children will follow suit. It may happen overnight but it will happen. Because parents without stress are better parents. Because parents who are working on their own happiness, working on fulfilling their dreams, working on fulfilling what it is that makes them smile will translate that into being better parents.
Our children learn from us and shouldn't we teach them that while convention may tell us to do one thing, if it doesn't feel right and sit well, why should be continue down that path? If our children were in unhappy marriages would we tell them to "stick it out"? No. Absolutely not. We would tell our children to work hard, to try to make the marriage work, to make changes and take steps but if, in the end, that did not lead to happiness, we would tell them to leave. We would tell them to divorce. We would tell them to listen to their hearts and to move in a direction toward their passion and their light and away from the darkness that their marriage had become.
So as I would offer this advice to my own children, I offer this advice to my friends: choose to be happy. Choose yourself. Choose your passion. Choose your delight. It may not be a path well-worn. It may be a path never taken or seldom taken, but when you are on a road that is leading you nowhere, turn away. Turn around or turn left or turn toward where your heart leads you. It may not be easy in the short run. There will be difficulty and pain initially, but isn't it always just a little painful extricating yourself from a difficult and untenable situation?
Because in the end, all we have is this life to live. In the end all we have is an example to set for our children. In the end all we can do is lead by example. So show your children that happiness is worth fighting for. Show your children that they can choose their own light. Show your children that decisions once made do not have to be forever. Show your children how to choose happiness, and how that decision was worth it in the end.
This is the life.