Monday, December 22, 2014

Choosing Happiness (by Debbie Ivins)

Guest Post: Debbie Ivins

I met Debbie at school. We haven't seen each other since then but through social media, I have been aware of her difficult journey. There are a few big ticket items which can seem like real obstacles to happiness. Debbie has struggled with one of the toughest and found a way to come back at it hard so that despite this heartache she is able to enjoy life and create meaning. She has chosen to be happy. She has also chosen to bravely share her struggles and approach so that within that others can gain strength from her. She is a champion.


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Choosing Happiness
by Debbie Ivins

I have been battling with infertility for many years and have tried all sorts of treatments and procedures. I felt like I had failed as a woman when I wasn't able to conceive,  and this was only highlighted when friends fell pregnant with ease and I was left wondering why something that came so naturally for them was impossible for me. I was completely focused on the one thing I couldn't have, a baby of my own and slowly lost sight of all the other blessings in my life. 'When, God, when?' was my frequent cry. I let excessive questioning and reasoning rob me of my peace and the desire to be a mother became more important that it should. It is easy to lose your joy and at the start of my journey I often let this happen and frequently fell prey to self-pity. Something as simple as a baby in a TV commercial, could leave me overwhelmed and ruin my entire evening.

Deciding to be happy, despite my circumstances, was more difficult but I am learning to enjoy my life, while waiting and remaining hopeful. I do my best to be a witness with my countenance, and live life to the full. Even though things haven't turned out like I hoped, I am taking what God has given me and making the most of it. I have made a decision to focus on what I can change, and leave the rest in God's hands. If I am only going to be happy when I fall pregnant or when I am holding my child in my arms, I may spend my whole lifetime waiting. Instead, I need to start embracing where I am right now. I like to always plan ahead, but another lesson I have learnt, is that God only give us grace for today, so I need to enjoy the present and stop spending all my energy worrying about the future.


Keeping a grateful attitude is important too and when we step outside ourselves and look around, it doesn't take long to realise how fortunate we are. Everything is never going to be perfect and there will always be obstacles to overcome, but we can do our part and trust God, knowing He is in control, and let Him work through us. Supernatural joy is released when we bless others, and it is important to do this, especially when you are still hurting. This infertility journey has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. There are pieces of the story I wish I never had to experience but they now play an important role in how God uses me to reach others. Trust God enough to embrace the pain you are dealing with and see what He does. He will use you to show His grace and restoration. Decide to be happy no matter what and enjoy each and every day. Remember, happiness is a decision, not a feeling.

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In writing a blog about several topics in which I admit to being a complete beginner, I am going to have to rely heavily on the people I am writing for who cumulatively know most of what I am likely to learn already. I would love it if some of you found the time to write a guest post on the subject of happiness or learning. The framework I use for thinking about these things is what I call the '5 + 2 points' which includes proper (1) exercise, (2) breathing, (3) diet, (4) relaxation, (5) positive thinking & meditation, (+1) relationships, (+2) flow. Naturally if you would like to write about something that you think I have missed, I would love to include that too. If you are up to doing something more practical, it would be awesome if you did a 100 hour project and I am happy to do the writing based on our chats if that is how you roll. Email me at trevorjohnblack@gmail.com 
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