Why is it that we feel this desperate need to always be happy. Me included. As if happiness is the end goal and if we aren’t there then we have failed? While happiness is a beautiful feeling, intoxicating even, it isn’t realistic to be in this state at all times. In fact, I believe that if we were always happy, all the time, we would no longer even recognize it and turn to another goal to meet. Most likely something like success or maybe the joy of peace. So no, happiness is not required. Happiness is the temporary gift given to us to feel joy when our hearts align with our actions. Our intentions meet our soul and magic is made.
So if we aren’t happy, what are we? Well the first few thoughts that come to mind for me are stressed, worried, anxious, discontent, sad, lonely, disappointed, angry. Yes, these are definitely the opposite of happy. They are what seem to rob us of our “happy”. These are also normal, common, human emotions. These were wired into us as precursors, warning signals if you will, to let our minds, our hearts, know that something is not right. This could be a place of unsettling worry that tells you the path you are following may not be healthy. This could be a feeling of anger that is alerting you to the toxicity of the relationship, guiding you to pray and find healing. This for me often looks like the disappointment of others that reminds me they were never made to please me. Sadness, loneliness and isolation are usually married to hurt, abandoned and forgotten. This is our heart sending out an S.O.S. that we need to surround ourselves in truth and love.
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Proverbs 3:13-18
So I ask us all today, can we stop seeking just mere happiness? Can we see that it is our sadness, anxiety and even anger that can point us to the path of righteousness (being right with God). If you, my sweet friend, are feeling overwhelmed today, unsettled, unsure of where or what you are suppose to do, just know that those feelings are real. They are put their, I believe by our Holy Spirit, to guide us to our truth. We are all here to love. To love God, our neighbor, our enemies, the hurting, the broken, the forgotten. What if in the sadness or loneliness, we sought to just find one person that may need US today? That stranger that looks lost or that child that needs a hug. That friend that you estranged or that parent that lost your trust. Who can we love today?
I pray that we can all stop seeking happiness and start seeking goodness. Goodness to do the right thing. Goodness to stop judging. Goodness to be content in the hand we were dealt. Goodness to be God’s eyes, ears and feet. To walk to those who need us and listen to those who are hurting. While we will all slip into dark seasons, I promise it is the goodness, His goodness, that will see us out of it. Our sadness is a catalyst for compassion on others. Our anger is mere passion for those who are mistreated. Our loneliness is the truth that we were never meant to do this life alone. Our anxiety is just fear trying to creep in and take over. But our goodness is the foundation that will guide our hearts back and surround them in peace.
So as I place my labels before you…loving but judgmental (I hate this one the most), forgiving but frustrated, content but confused, I ask…what are your labels? How do you see yourself? If happy doesn’t fall on your plate, you are not alone. Happiness is not required.
“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.” Proverbs 14:13
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
This writing was prompted to me the moment my eyes opened this morning. The words flew off my fingers as if it was someone else’s mind. I know these words were intended for someone special, I hope they get to you….