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The Real “Key” to Happiness

#HAWMC Day 2: Key to Happiness

What do you think is the key to happiness? Is it being able to overcome a hard time? Laughter? Maintaining a positive attitude? Tell us what you think and why.

I’ve worked really hard over the  past several years to understand the actual question. I believe it’s really a lead-on question…but it uses the wrong word…the trick is in finding and understanding which word is the wrong word.

Is it “happiness”? Some people have blogged about happiness as a Webster’s Dictionary definition. Some people have shared articles with lists of what you should or shouldn’t be doing in order to find happiness. I can’t tell you how much I loathe articles of the “10 things you should/shouldn’t do” variety…because it indirectly makes people vividly believe that if there’s even one thing on that list that they do or do not, they are automatically a failure or, worse yet…sub-standard. But, that’s a post for another day. *shifty eyes*

Nope. It’s not “happiness.”

It’s the “what.” It’s wrong. For “Me.”…it’s ridiculously wrong.

It’s supposed to be…”WHO.”

Happiness is the umbrella.

The “Who.”…is “You.”…and the resulting answer as to what the “key” is, is this:


Thus, “Choice.” is the key to happiness.

I verily believe that what ones does with said umbrella of a term, “happiness”, is exactly what each of us chooses, or doesn’t choose, to do.

Case in point: Several years ago I was miserable. My life was shit, my relationships, even worse. I couldn’t wait to ditch the people who were making my life a living hell.

Then a psychologist my son was seeing illustrated a point to me, as a parent, that I should apply to my son.

The day I applied it to myself, it changed “Everything.”

What was the common denominator to my misery?


Thus, “Owning my shit.” was born. I was personally adding to the “Everything” by blaming the Cosmos, the baker, my fourth grade teacher…everyone but “Me.”

Own your damn shit, people. It’s the common denominator.

Own your shit + Choice = “Happy.”

Hobbies bring happiness. You choose to “Do.” them.

Family brings happiness. You choose to do activities and give time and love.

Laughter brings happiness. Moreso if it’s so hard it makes you pee. 🙂

Positive attitude? You choose to persevere.

Or? You don’t. It’s why I will never, ever, invalidate when I’m having a less-than-stellar day. I choose to have a certain reaction when things are going tits up. Sometimes, it’s anger and resentment and whatnot. My choice. My shit to own.

Chronic disease ain’t all purple painted ponies pooping butterflies jacked up on SugarSmacks, people.

Thus, it needs to be said that I recognize that when I’m *not* happy…I require more effort to redirect my focus from that which is making me want to punch the Cosmos in the junk, to something which is more amenable to “Happy.”





If there’s anything I’ve ever learned the hard way…it is most assuredly the correct application and personification of the word, “Choice.”

You have it. Own it.
You have it. Own it.


  1. Heidi

    Damn…. truer words are hard to find…. and crying at my desk at work at 8:30 in the morning realizing that I have NOT owned my shit in a while is **pause to wipe eyes** a realization I was not ready for. This is why, Pattie, you are my hero…. and Thank you for opening my spirit and heart, and I will try to Own my Shit… but right now I am shitting on my own… But I will persevere and make it happen… but I may need some help and lots of inspiration.
    Thanks Pattie, my goddess of inspiration.

    • Brynn

      You are far too kind, dear friend…it’s taken me a LOT of learning the hard way, which is why I want to share the perspective. Sure, it’s not likely for everyone, but just like herbalism and illness, the goal to get to the “root cause”…not the bandages we plaster on ourselves. My root cause was myself. I don’t invalidate the bad days. They help us with our perspective, right? Hell, even perspective is a choice. 🙂 xoxo

  2. Wendy Kool

    Hi Pattie…. another thought provoking, discussion prompting, topic. May I use this for our next lupus support group meeting:
    “thought / discussion” round table share-challenge?

    • Brynn

      Absolutely, Wendy! I wonder if its perspective might resonate with someone. It really has made a difference for “Me.”…and it took me a good long “hard way” to learn about how my happiness differs in proportion to whether I’m acknowledging my own part in the “what ails me”…from happiness to health to body to soul. HUGS

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