Saturday, February 27, 2016

Be Happy!

     Today is a weird day for me. I've been trying to follow my own advice; tell yourself to be happy. I found a passage in an old journal that talks about how if you wake up in the morning and decide that you are going to be happy, you will be. Despite the things that happen to/around you. Despite the misery that besets your world. Despite all of these things, if you wake up, tell yourself you are going to be happy, and ask God to help you do that, you can be happy. So I've been trying to take my own advice.
     I've noticed that when you tell yourself to be happy, you have a much more kind, loving spirit about you. I will let pedestrians and other drivers go when I don't need to. I will give more compliments to people - even strangers. I find more good in life. I am a much happier person. One of the challenges I've set for myself and I'm going to encourage any of you to accept this challenge as well, is when I see someone, I look them in the eye and I smile at them. And not just the awkward 'I don't have anything to say' smile, but a real, genuine smile. I don't know if it does any good for anyone else, but it reminds me that I am trying to be a happier, more positive individual. (Say Love Hilary Weeks, More Than Enough Cherie Call) It reminds me that I am blessed and it's a good day to have a good day. (It's a Good Day by Hilary Weeks) The song that helps me the most to have this attitude before I walk into school is See the Light by Jericho Road.
     I'm trying to be a light; an example of the believers. I don't very often do a very good job, but I figure that if I bring yet one soul unto Christ.... D&C 18:16 - "...if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!" This is my mission. It has been since (at least) the accident. I didn't always know this, but I testify that God has a plan for each and every one of His children. We may not be able to see it, but it's there, I promise. Look for His hand in your life every day and I promise you, you will find it. He loves you, but what an understatement of His feelings for us, for you specifically!
     Remember to be grateful for His presence. As you express your gratitude, He spills more blessings upon you. However, I will not deny those of you who are struggling. I am a testament that you may not feel Him, you may not feel His blessings, you may not think He cares about you, but what you need to do is this: forget about your timing, it sucks, but the Lord has perfect timing, things will come to pass in His time. And His blessings aren't always the way you would like them to be. (Don't you dare for a second think that things have even begun to shape out the way that I want them to. Nor should you think that I'm receiving blessings like crazy.) Just look at every day and express gratitude for whatever you can. I still can't say that I'm grateful to be alive, I'm not grateful for the air I breathe. But I am eternally grateful for the parents I have. There are so many things I have to be grateful for.
     Like many things I write, I don't know if this is even worthwhile. But I hope that maybe what I've expressed will touch someone out there, and they will learn that true happiness comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ. If nothing else, I hope that I can touch one person's soul and remind them that the Almighty God cares about them. I don't know who all will read this post, but I can hope that maybe I can help someone struggling.


  1. Shannon, I love the transformation you are making in your life. A positive attitude is the one thing that has done more for me than anything else. That's why at a young age, my slogan was "Don't Worry, Be Happy." I still have the sign that Mom and Dad got for me for one of my birthday's. Thanks for sharing and writing on your blog. I love to get insights into how you are doing and what you are thinking.

  2. Beautiful and something we can all try to improve on, I will take the challenge!

  3. Shannon-there is something incredibly beautiful about your transparency. I am REALLY pleased that you have gone back to your own journal (from the past) and are taking your OWN advice. Very cool. My Mom used to say to me, when I was a teenager, "If you are not happy, just put on a smile and KEEP it on until you FEEL it". It mostly works. While each day may not be purr-fect, perhaps this will be the beginning of the transformation you desire. I wish it were easy. It's not. Here is something Suzan sent me recently. I like it:
    The present moment is all we have. Yes we all have plans and goals, a vision for tomorrow. But now is the only time we possess. And it is enough.

    We can clear our mind of the residue of yesterday. We can clear our mind of fears of tomorrow. We can be present now. We can make ourselves available to the moment, this day. It is being fully present now that we reach the fullness of tomorrow.

    Have no fear child, a voice whispers. Have no regrets. Let Me take your pain. All you have is the present moment. Be still. Be here. Trust.

    Today I will affirm that all is well around me when all is well within.

    This is "kind-of" what you were saying, anyway. Keep up the positive struggle! With love and warm regards, Jay+Suzan

  4. Beautiful post, Shannon. Just as beautiful as you. I still think of our meeting at BOYD in Sausalito. I kind, be happy, be genuine, be generous, work hard, smile and laugh, do the right thing, be open, honest and forthright, be yourself. To me, all of this is the basis of happiness. Thanks for making my day with your post! Jane Culligan

  5. Thanks for this insight, Shan. I spoke in Stake Conference last night on happiness and used some of your suggestions. I love the idea of doing a better job making eye contact with people I pass. Thanks for the challenge to do a better job with that.