Happiness. We are all seeking it. Looking for it. Buying it. But what is it? Really, how do you and I describe what happiness is? Society is telling us we need to be happy. As parents, we want to make our children happy. Our hearts are yearning to be happy. But how? As I scroll through social media, I am told by drinking this, having this, reading this, living this way, I will be happy. I see the best of the best pictures posted and compare myself and my messy double chin selfie. I flip through a magazine seeing tanned, slim, big busted, smiling women frolicking around… well they look pretty dang happy. The world tells me so. It must be true.
Recently, I have been told by two different people they are just looking for their happiness. Yet, they hurt me in the process of their journey. Is that how it works? I wonder if they found it yet and how many more people they will use to achieve it. I see it more and more. We all want that magical feeling of happiness, we will do whatever possible to get it. IT. As though it is concrete. It is a possession to be had. Where do you find happiness? The gym, work, shopping, a relationship, booze, social media. External objects and people. The effort is on something or someone. Do you try to create this picture perfect life? Happy family, beautiful house, perfect marriage. Pinterest worthy. Is the facade stiff and hard to maintain? Is it really making you happy? Did it make me happy when I was trying to find it there, too? No. I was miserable.
Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. -Democritus
I am happier today than I have ever been. My therapist calls it self-realization. I just call it, I finally stopped resisting God. I finally stopped trying to be perfect. I finally stopped showing only the good. I finally stopped. I learned to accept my flaws and weakness, to acknowledge my sins, to ask for forgiveness, and to take the steps to change. Finally, I listened to the questions in my head about who Jesus really was and I acted on them. I bought a Bible and read it. Finally, I accepted His words and teachings. I brought them into my heart and established them as a way of life. I stopped living for myself, but for God and His son Jesus. Every thing I am doing is for them. Little by little. I am making changes daily to be a better me. First, to be more like Jesus. Second, to show my children. Third, for me. And this little seed of joy is beginning to bloom. Slowly. Patiently. Emerging deep inside of me. From the depth of my soul to the smile on my face. I can feel it.
This didn’t happen overnight. Yes, something drastic happened to me which made me see life and people differently. It did force me to starting doing the way I lived differently. But don’t we all have moments and events like that in our lives? Where we are made to wake up and decide if we are going to make a change or not? We either have to decide to keep living the way we have been or finally stop resisting.
I stopped resisting. In the beginning, I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I wanted to get away from my pain and thoughts, so I turned my attention towards others. Praying more. Calling a friend. Donating clothes. Participating in more play dates, group meetings, and prayer groups. Making friends with the other moms. Extending friendship everywhere I was. Working at the church. Sending a simple text to say hi. Buying someone coffee. Saying kind words to a stranger. Smiling.
As time went on, I wanted to do more. I wanted to give more. I learned who Jesus really was. I finally discovered Him. Thus, I found that by being more like Jesus, I was happier. I am happier. Loving my neighbor. Extending forgiveness. Practicing patience and sacrifice. Being truthful in my sins and faults. Actively looking to better myself. Speaking kindly.
How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you. -Psalm 128:1-2
Happiness is not external. It is something inside of you. It is how you live your life. It is how you love. It is how you speak. It is how you treat others. You will never be happy if you aren’t happy with yourself. I see joy in my life. I see it when I make others happy. I see it when I work to be the best person I can be. The woman God sees. Happiness is not an end result. Once you have it, it doesn’t stay. It is a constant process of growing, making mistakes, standing back up, and giving of what and who you are. Happiness is always changing. With the seasons of our life, we are always changing.
The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home. -C.S. Lewis
I now know, I will never have complete happiness. I now know, I will only obtain complete joy and happiness when I am in heaven with my Father. And that true joy and happiness I seek is everlasting because the source is everlasting. But I get a chance to be here on Earth to give happiness to others. I get a chance to make a difference in someone else’s life. I get a chance to suffer, love, grow, hurt, give, sacrifice. I am happy. Because I CHOOSE to be happy. I choose to live according to God and Jesus. And I am just getting started. I can’t wait to see what awaits me. I can’t wait to feel the inner joy and happiness that is in store for me. I can’t wait to share and teach it to my children. And my friends. And my family. And the world.
This is happiness. Right here. Inside of me.
Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. -Psalm 144:15