Choosing Happiness – by Nancy Zimmerman

I had always hoped for a life of happiness. I remember being a small girl and looking at those around me who were smiling, laughing, and playing. They seemed so happy. I was always smiling and laughing, but somehow I knew that I was not happy. I was always waiting and watching for that moment when my heart would sing. It didn’t happen.

My mother once told me that she didn’t think anything would ever make me happy.  I remember crying that night when I went to bed.  It was just heartbreaking for me, even at a young age, to think that I would never know happiness. As I grew up and got through school, I had lots of happy moments with friends, but even through the smiles and laughter, it never settled into me that I was truly happy. I always seemed to be on the fringe of that elusive feeling.

When I graduated from college and began my teaching career, I thought that would make me happy. I was on my own, in charge of my choices for about the first time in my life. I made some mistakes, sure, but none that paralyzed me or changed the direction of my life. None of the choices I made gave me the happiness I desired.

I met a man and fell in love. Surely marriage and love would make me happy. But it didn’t. I enjoyed my marriage, but I was not happy. I was elated when I found out I was pregnant with my first child and I think I saw, very briefly, what happiness felt like, but it was not a feeling that lingered. The birth of both of my children was a happy occasion, but not a source of true happiness. If you have raised children, you will understand. Love is there, but there is also concern.

My children were preschool age when my marriage fell apart and I became a single parent. That was most assuredly not a time for happiness and I felt myself sink into feelings of anxiety and depression. There were still moments of happiness even within the frustration, but they were brief  When would I find the happiness that I was seeking? I was in my mid thirties and it was still not there. How long would I have to wait, would it ever come to me? These questions followed me around through my forties and fifties. Situations would come and go leaving me more puzzled than before.  I would be in  a good mood one day then miserable the next. Even on the good days, it was not happiness that was surrounding me, and I knew it. I began to question whether or not I would even recognize happiness if it showed up.

Jump ahead to the decade of my sixties. I had resolved myself that my life was bland. Accept it and move on. It was then that I reconnected with a college roommate and her sisters. Within this cluster of three women was a profound awakening. These women loved each other and enjoyed being together. When I was with them, I was accepted into the group and I had a chance to see how people who were happy lived. None of them had an easy life. They had struggles with money, with relationships, or the lack thereof, yet they still really enjoyed themselves. People around them were drawn, as was I, to their energy.

It was then that I began a friendship with one of the sisters that was to change my life. She was very spiritual and suggested some books she had read.  We would talk late into the night about all sorts of things going on in our lives and her attitude was one of complete enjoyment about the life she was living. As I read more and more of the books she suggested, I added others. Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Neil Donald Walsch, Dalai Lama, Esther Hicks, and many others  I began to change my focus.  I set my intent and saw my vibrational energy rise. Along with this I began changing the way I reacted to the world around me and looked at  life with a feeling of much appreciation for all that was going on.

One day I remember sitting on my back patio, lounged in a chair with my eyes closed, just enjoying the day. It was a beautiful day in the summer….. not too hot, just right. There was a brief breeze that blew in from out of nowhere and a thought that …… “this is how it feels to be happy.”  THIS IS HOW IT FEELS TO BE HAPPY.  I had released any resistance to life and had allowed myself to BE happy. I opened my eyes and it hit me that all I had to do was BE HAPPY.  That had been there all my life but it was just now that I had realized that the door had never been locked.  All I had to do was turn the know and enter the room. All the years I had walked back and forth in front of that happiness door, thinking it was locked to me. It never was. I was the one who kept myself from entering.

It is with this that I leave you. All you have to do in order to live life as a happy individual is to simply choose happiness. It is there, always. Namaste.



About author

This article was written by Nancy Zimmerman

Nancy opened a flagship line of self help books centered around the work necessary to achieve ones “Best Self.” The first in the series was “Embracing Your Best Self,” which focused on identifying the habits that keep us from being and doing our very best. In this book Nancy focused on her personal storyand how she was able to overcome personal set backs on her way to discovering that a life without failure was a live void of true self discovery. “If you truly wish to live, learn how to fail.” Her second book “Confronting Your Best Self” deals with how to keep from slipping back into old habits. The third book in the series, “Balancing Your Best Self”, was published in late 2015 and is the story of how to find ones Zen and maintaining your best self. “Great personal failure always pave the way to the abundance of great personal success.” In addition to writing for The Magic Happens Magazine, she is currently host of a show on TMH Radio called, "A Look at the Bright Side" with guests from around the world. She also hosts a local show in Anderson with the same title. She recently completed a learning based children's series of books, Sadie's Great Adventures, for children 3-8. Her current project is a new children's series under the umbrella, "Young Artist Series" offering high school artists the opportunity to add to their body of work. Learn more at her website,


Comments (1)
  1. Kathleen McCarthy says - Posted: April 29, 2018

    That is a truly profound sharing, as it is intensely personal. I found myself cheering for you at the end of your telling. Thank you for letting us all in Nancy!

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