Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” – from the Declaration of Independence, adopted July 4, 1776

Doesn’t that sound great? That you have the ‘right’ to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? But what if someone else’s happiness makes you unhappy?

Kind of throws a wrench into the whole thing. We can’t all be happy. Or can we?

I’ve never liked the concept of ‘pursuing’ happiness. I believe happiness is something that happens when we are caught up in a wonderful moment, like a child’s birth, falling in love, or a sunset over the ocean. That kind of happiness occurs without any real effort on our part, except simply being fully present to enjoy ourselves.

But more often I think happiness is a decision we make throughout the day to not let the ups and downs of life get to us. We can find or create something good in each day. We can decide that we can be happy regardless of our circumstances.

I suffer with bouts of depression, so I know that what I just said doesn’t come easy. It’s a continual attitude exercise.

Part of this exercise is letting go of control. The battle to maintain control is something that has caused me a great deal of unnecessary fear.

You’ve probably heard a billion times, “The only thing constant is change.” And it’s true. The best way to deal with change is to view what you had as a blessing, and welcome change as your new friend.

If you live in America, or wherever you life, please do celebrate this day. There will never be another one quite like it.

Cross posted on Vision and Verb where a collaborative group of like-minded women from all over the world share their passion for photography and the written word.

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