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How many of the choices presented to us in life actually make us happy—not for a fleeting moment but bring to us real, deep happiness? Prevailing thought suggests that happiness is something that happens to us, as a result of something else…some grand achievement in life or in a relationship. What if we all were to acknowledge happiness not as a feeling that results from something else, but as a choice?
“To be happy one must choose to be happy, not respond to a circumstance that now controls your happiness.” ~ Dr. Joyce Meyer
It’s true events can and will occur in our lives that shake our inner peace and rattle our happiness. These moments, to paraphrase the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow*, are the moments “into each life that some rain must fall.” How we choose to respond to that ‘rain’, that trying circumstance, is what determines whether or not we experience happiness. Even in times of great sorrow, “behind the clouds the sun is still shining” if we only we will have faith and choose to wait for it.
The Tarot offers rich symbolism and wisdom about the pursuit of happiness, and can help us to discern the difference between happiness that is real and deep, and what is fleeting and unfulfilling. Using a three-card draw, I inquired of the Tarot on the topic of “choosing to be happy”:
The first card that, literally, flew out of the deck and onto my reading table was the Five of Cups. In this card we see a cloaked figure looking miserably upon three spilled goblets, which represent emotion and regret. At further inspection of the card, we see that there are two cups that remain upright behind this desperately depressed person. The two upright cups represent our choice to change our perspective and find our happiness. All the person in the card need do is change their perspective.
Our mothers used to admonish us not to “cry over spilt milk,” which was another way of saying, wipe up your mess and move on in life. It sounds easy, but is hard to do if we hang onto regret. If you find yourself struggling with how to choose happiness, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:
I asked in earnest of the Tarot again, what else might one do to choose happiness, even in times of difficulty? The Sun card emerged from the deck. On this card, we see a happy baby riding in perfect balance on a horse without a saddle. Children are thought to be quite innocent in the way that they interact with and respond to their environment. Sometimes, all we need to be happy is to ‘just do it’ as a popular sports slogan claims. Here, I was thinking that the Tarot was going to get deep and complicated. Instead, it was offering a simple answer: Just Be Happy.
Other symbols on the card like the sunflower give us direction on how what it means to choose to be happy. Sunflowers lift their blooms toward the east at sunrise to maximize exposure to the sun’s warmth and healing rays. At the end of each day, each sunflower tracks to the west with their large blooms in an attempt to wave goodbye to each sunset. As morning light dawns, they again face to the east ever eager to greet the dawn. Like sunflowers, each of us can stretch to greet each new morning with the same hope in our hearts, that no matter what happens during that day, a ray of sunshine will sustain us until a new day dawns. Ask yourself the following questions to find out what may be preventing you from just being happy:
The final card that I drew from the deck was the Three of Cups. In the card there are three figures dancing with full cups in their hands held high. The card suggests that to be happy one must share in another’s happiness, or create the atmosphere of “happy” together. Happiness then can be a state of mind that is chosen to express love for a fellow human being as they mark milestone moments in their lives. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, religious milestones, and even funerals all give us the opportunity to celebrate the life of another individual or a family.
On a personal note, I remember the song written by Mark Sanders and sung by LeeAnn Womack, a very famous country singer, entitled I Hope You Dance. I remembered this song well as it played on the top stations the year that my beloved grandmother died. Everywhere I went after her death the song played. In fact, I took it as a sign from my grandmother that she was telling me not only to “give the heavens above more than just a passing glance, but when I got a choice to sit it out or dance, that she wished I would dance.” The message was clear. Choose to be happy! If you are struggling to choose happiness, ask yourself the following questions:
On the topic of choosing happiness, the Tarot had asserted through The Five of Cups that happiness is a matter of perspective. With the Sun Card, we find that happiness is an action as well as an emotion. We can choose to “just do it” like the Nike slogan. Finally, in the Three of Cups we are shown that we have the capacity to share our choice of happiness with others through dance and celebration. Happy is a choice. I wish all of you perspective, the gift of taking action in your lives, and the ability to dance even if you have tears in your eyes.
* The Rainy Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
For more than 30 years, Psychic/Medium Karen Hollis has used her abilities to help her clients acquire wisdom from Spirit, reveal their soul lessons and understand how karmic patterns manifest in their life choices. Her private readings are highly regarded for their accuracy, integrity, and compassion. Karen teaches seminars and has worked with law enforcement to locate missing persons both in the United States and Canada.
Karen has been featured on Discovery Channel’s “A Haunting,” and the television show “Paranormal Survivor”. As the lead psychic/medium investigator with Ghosts of New England Research Society (G.O.N.E.R.S.), Karen is “the bridge between evidence and explanation.”