Life Is a Gift But Happiness Is a Choice


I am such a glutton for admiration and affirmation, wanting to be constantly praised. And recently, I had to go through a series of bouts of doubts and depression because of this insatiable thirst for ego-stroking.

I withdrew from the world and even from people I loved, hoping they will come forth and lead me back to normalcy. I was hoping they’s notice “something was wrong: with me and “nurse” me back to “health” with their care and attention, their hugs and kisses. Instead, they gave me room to allow me to sort things out for myself.

I withdrew from social media, even proudly announcing that social media has been a bad addiction for me and that I was quitting it cold turkey. I was hoping that there would be an outcry for me to come back and continue sharing my “thoughts, inspirations, and wisdom” online. People hardly noticed and they went on with their lives, totally oblivious to how I wanted to be noticed by my absence.

I don’t deserve praise doing what I am supposed to do. Non laudem merui si vitavi culpam, wrote Horace many centuries ago. Whatever praise and affirmation I get is already more than I deserve. What and who I am, I have received gratuitously. I have done nothing to deserve life. I can either squander that life or make of it something worthwhile and meaningful. And what I become, I do not keep for myself but share it gladly and in happiness with the people with and around me. My life is indeed a gift but my happiness is my own to create and to share with others.

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
For God is the one who, for his good purpose,
works in you both to desire and to work.
Do everything without grumbling or questioning,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you shine like lights in the world,

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