Deciding to Love Your Life


One of the mysterious gifts of this life is that my Joy does not depend on my circumstances. Regardless of how bad my life may be, endless Joy is available all the same. I just have to choose it. Even more paradoxically, it’s in the embracing of suffering where we find the strength to live despite it – and even to love it.

This story gives a good reminder of how every day all of us are presented with an important choice upon which the rest of our world hinges.

old man loves his lifeA 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. I love it,’ he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.’

‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ he replied.

Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.

Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged … it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. ‘It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away.. Just for this time in my life.

Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from it what you’ve put in.


7 comments Add comment

Annette July 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

Matt- thank you for sharing this. A couple of weeks ago I had to look after my mom, who’s in the mid/late stages of Alzheimers, while my dad was in the hospital for a few days. She still has enough cognition to know what’s wrong with her and several times during those days she expressed how she wished God would just take her and get this over with. When my dad was home from the hospital he remarked to me that she says this almost every day now. This is not the first time in a difficult time of life that we’ve heard her express such thoughts. It saddens me to hear her express this because of the lack of faith that it shows and how prevalent that lack of faith has been throughout her life.

Trisha Niermeyer Potter @ Prints of Grace July 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

This reminds me of my grandmother, who though she’s been through quite a lot in her life and often forgets things, is always very grateful to see family, to enjoy the beauty of nature, play cards…Even when she’s having a rough day physically and is very forgetful, she still finds things to be happy about.

Andy W. July 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm

A wonderful observation for us to know that WE are, to a large degree, the “determinators” of our life experiences. We can “find” what it is we are looking for in the people and things around us. Look for the good and for what is right. See it, acknowledge it, praise it, and expound on it. This man is an incredible example of someone with a spiritual connection that allows him to project happiness, not absorb it.

dancingcrane July 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm

This is the story I want people to be telling about me one day. Lord, strengthen my heart, make it fit for such joy!

Ken Mafli August 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

Great story and thought provoking. It is good to reminder that happiness comes from within. I appreciate it.

sage September 13, 2012 at 12:06 am

Well, hallelujah! I finally read something Matthew has written and agree 100 percent!

Matthew Warner September 13, 2012 at 12:31 am


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