Not a Choice

I find something so beautiful and intriguing about people who have experienced  suffering and heartache in life due to circumstances out of their control. Yet somehow they still radiate positivity and happiness. People like this have always stood out to me. I’m mostly intrigued by the fact that they are rare and abnormal. Let’s be real; when you think of someone who has had a fucked up childhood or shitty life, you imagine a person with a plethora of mental, emotional, and psychological issues that in turn causes most people to write these individuals off as unstable- and very often they are.. But every now and then you will come across someone who was dealt a bad hand over and over again, but for some reason they don’t use that as an excuse to be a miserable or shitty person- but why?The reason is because they chose not to take the easy way out, not to let themselves be defined by their past, or let their heart be hardened by mental or emotional scarring; they are fighters. From my personal experience with these people, I can truly say that happiness is a choice NOT a circumstance.

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If you are as fortunate as I have been to encounter even one of these beautiful souls you will know, so pay close attention. I would even go as far to say that encountering someone of this nature is one of the essential steps to achieving Nirvana or Enlightenment. These people nourish our mind and spirit in a way that helps us to develop mental clarity, and awaken our entire being. Being overcome with a feeling of peace and serenity, they give you the tools to find yourself. When used properly, these tools will help you realize something you will feel like you should have long ago; you are exactly where you need to be, and you are exactly who you are meant to be. You will most likely wonder why you had not come to this realization prior, but it is important to remember that this transformation occurs once you use the wisdom given to you by these mentors. The wisdom to dissociate yourself from the ego, and become one with your soul.

When you find yourself, you will realize that you are everything that matters. You will develop an overwhelming feeling of appreciation for all the bad you have ever experienced, because you remember that every. single. time. it was teaching you something that you needed to learn about yourself, others, or life in general. and for that you begin to accept anything you cannot change. You will find yourself trying to make the best out of the worst situations, constantly laughing and smiling without a reason why. Most of all, you will finally understand why people see life as beautiful. You choose to be happy.

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Although there have been countless beautiful souls that have contributed to my transformation and journey to happiness, there is one that I would consider the primary person to help shape me from beginning to end, and for this I will always hold very close to my heart. This person is my very dear friend Arianne. The story of how we met is a rather unlikely one, but a beautiful one indeed. Arianne and I met my freshman year of college when my group of friends from home and I all decided to reunite and attend a music festival together. Arianne happened to be dating one of the guys in the group who I had known for a long time but never really got along with because we had conflicting personalities. I was a little nervous prior because I knew he had a new girlfriend that he was bringing and I did not really know what to expect, but it comforted me that another girl would be joining us so I figured I might as well give her a chance.

When Arianne and I met for the first time I was both shocked and surprised, not only because she was so kind and genuine(pretty much the opposite of her boyfriend) , but because she chose to give me a chance and form her own opinion of me. An opinion ba9200712_origsed off of our connection regardless of what she had previously been told.  The fact that I clicked so well and so quickly with another female spoke volumes to me. It was very rare that I felt I could be myself around be someone. It was refreshing. I found her character admirable, the kind of person I would like to be, and the kind of friend I would like to have. Now that I have the ability to see things for what they really are, I now realize the significance this weekend holds in the grand scheme of things, and why the universe really led me to go. They say things have a funny way of working out and ever since that weekend I know this to be true.

That weekend both marked the beginning of my spiritual journey and the meeting of my spiritual mentor. When we returned to our normal lives, Arianne and I stayed in touch but only as acquaintances because her boyfriend absolutely loathed the thought of us being friends. He did everything in his power to prevent our friendship from growing. While it did upset me, during this time I learned a lot about myself and life from the brief conversations we would have every so often. The things we discussed gave me a different outlook of the world. She gave me insights on being a product of your own thoughts, and the world being what you make of it.

9200712_origOver time we gradually got closer and her relationship with her boyfriend came to an end. While I do not wish heartache on anyone, the end of this relationship allowed her to realize the importance of letting in those who actually matter. I did my best to be there for her and help her find closure and to use her pain as a learning experience. She taught me the importance of treating others how I would want to be treated, and that in order to find inner peace I must not let the way I live be determined by the words and actions of other people. To this day I can truly say that I learn something new, and develop an alternative outlook, every time Arianne and I talk. I am so thrilled for the future and to watch the way we will grow as individuals, sharing that through our friendship for many years to come. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have you as a spiritual mentor and friend.

Thank you for teaching me that happiness is a choice.

By  Avionna Pyles

Artwork by  @MurjArt

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Mark Hutchinson

Man of many moods, writer, philosophy lover