Self-Help Success Story: Terri Lynn: “I Chose Happiness”

Contributor: Motivational speaker and author Terri Lynn of

As a young child my mother told me that God is always watching. At four or five I went searching everywhere for that God until one day I became aware that I was not alone. I felt the presence within me. At a young age I developed a friendship with God. Later in life I made a prayerfully guided decision during my divorce. Years later that divinely guided decision led me into a living hell. My two young sons moved two hours away with their father. “How does my life look like this?” I wondered. After going through every emotion you can imagine, wanting to die rather than face the next ten years of pain, I came to accept my life and I made the commitment to live happy.

I trained my brain to think happy and became grateful for the divine strength from within that carried me through each day. I learned to play games with my mind to keep it focused on something positive. As I look back I see just how I was divinely guided to the positive side of pain. Pain is a catalyst and is a sign we need to change. Today I am grateful for those years because my sons and I are closer because of our separation. We made every minute together count, and we still do.

To be happy, no matter what, requires taking responsibility and acceptance. The decision to be happy is what creates the experience of being happy and your happiness depends on you.



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  1. Divorce allowed me to enjoy all the time with my children without worrying about it. I didn’t always do that. It took my little daughter to remind me that I should spend every moment with my children that I can when they are little. Because of that, I enjoy a wonderful friendship with both my children, even the son who lives on the other side of the US. It’s all about choosing to be happy and be positive and doing it.

  2. It is enlightening yet labor intensive when you come to the realization that conditions do not create happiness, HAPPINESS is a choice, and when achieved, all conditions thrive through it.
    The vast majority of us are attempting to create the perfect conditions, ( at the expense of our happiness) to bring us happiness. I call it the “Bass- Ackward” syndrome!
    The endeavor to choose happiness as a way of life in the face of lack, need, grief, and pain, is the most difficult obstacle to navigate along the Journey of Self Discovery. WE must be able to separate ourselves from our desires, focus only upon the journey and not the destination, release all attachment to outcome and live for the very sake of living. Then, and only then, we will see the manifestation of our desires.
    The dichotomy of life is “You have to release it to receive it, give it away to keep keep it, and not care about it to create it.
    I am on that roller coaster ride daily. Here in “The Garden of Knowing” it is a blessing and a curse to have seen behind the curtain. My search for self has me at times ambiguous about my resolve. I vacillate almost daily between steadfast determination, and indifference, releasing and holding on, being grateful and damning the cosmos, dwelling on only positive outcomes, and lamenting the lack there of.
    Yes Molly, life IS a contradiction. To find true happiness, you first must BE happy. The conditions we tirelessly attempt to manipulate, hoping they will open the door to our much sought after dose of peace, tend to align with no effort AFTER we have chosen peace regardless of situation.
    This is a monumental TRUTH of which we have have uncovered, and a quantum leap forward in the Journey Into Self, but bittersweet it is. Much easier said than done, at times,almost a curse to have uncovered.
    Be careful what you pray for,,,,,,you just might get it!
    The Journey IS the Destination.

    1. Excellent thoughts, John! I totally agree. It’s like when Neale Donald Walsch said (in, I think, “Communion with God”) that you are enlightened once you realize you are enlightened. That is the secret. Choose it for yourself NOW, and the details will fall into place.