Psa 146:5 O the happiness of him Who hath the God of Jacob for his help, His hope is on Jehovah his God,
This topic is a bit challenging for me to write about at this particular time. My body, and thus my mind, don’t do well during November’s grey, dark, damp, raw, chilly, windy, YUCKY weather. The challenge at this time is to look at my life, outside my grumbling body, and really pay attention to the many blessings I have. So here goes:
Do you remember the song from childhood, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands”? Well, if you could hear me through cyber space, you would hear me clapping my hands – not all the time, and not always loudly, but still, I clap my hands.
In this day and age, it seems like it is uncool to confess that you are happy. Well, at the risk of being thought to be a total “square”, I confess that I am happy! Now, I am not happy ALL the time and I am not happy for the difficult circumstances which tend to show up, unexpectedly and unwanted, like a wet fart. But for the most part, I am happy. In fact, I feel happier now, at this time of my life, than I have been at any other time.
My state of happiness is a work in progress and has come after enduring many years of unhappiness. Through my most difficult times, I have learned that I have to look for and actively pursue those things which bring me happiness. When I have felt lonely and purposeless, I sought out opportunities to help others. Being kind, compassionate, understanding and helpful towards others, brings it’s own rewards of fulfilment and happiness. When you are a blessing to someone else, you are blessed in return. I always feel really good when I help others.
Pro 14:21 … he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Being open and aware of even the smallest blessings, can help you get through rough patches. I remember one dismal day when I was living alone and exercising on a ski-gliding machine. I was looking out the window and feeling isolated and lonely. All of a sudden, a beautiful male cardinal, in all his crimson glory, landed on a branch right outside my window. That wonderful flash of bright red against the white snow and evergreens did much to alleviate my spirits. That little bird brought a smile to my face.
Simple pleasures often seem the best at providing opportunities for happiness. I love sitting in a sunbeam reading a good book while my cat, Emma, snuggles on my lap, purring. A cup of creamy hot chocolate and a slice of toasted raisin bread dripping with melted butter is sure to bring a smile to my face – and my tummy!
I think that it is also VERY important to surround yourself with people who are also happy. I spent many years living with someone who oftentimes was not happy, peaceful, joyful or content. Someone like that tends to drag you down with them. That kind of relationship is TOXIC. The constant stress made me VERY unhappy.
While I know that we must have compassion for those who are hurting, and that we should be helpful whenever possible, I don’t think that it is healthy to invest a lot of time and energy on those people who are chronic “Sad Sacks”. I am not singling out people who suffer mental health issues, such as clinical depression and anxiety (of which I am one) but rather those people who seem to get some sort of perverse pleasure from being chronically negative and pessimistic. The people who refuse to see any good in any thing or any one. The kind of people who choose to remain wearing their “poopie diapers” (see Nov. 6th post).
I think that happiness is something that you must actively pursue. You can pursue it by choosing to think “happy thoughts”, by helping others, by participating in activities which you enjoy, and by surrounding yourself with people who make you happy.
All of the above have been a challenge to me at different points in my life, but I have found the effort to be well worth it. I think that the more you actively pursue happiness, the more happiness becomes an integral, in-dwelt part of you.
I pursue happiness by thinking about: all the blessings and the promises that God has given to me in His Word; what I am and what I have through His son, Jesus Christ; and all “my daily bread” that God provides for me.
Pro 16:20 … and whoever trusts in Jehovah, happy is he.
I pursue happiness by volunteering at a Senior’s Centre, and by facilitating a women’s fellowship. I also spend time in activities that I enjoy such as crafts, nature walks and photography.
And I spend time with people who bring me joy, primarily my wonderful hubby (of whom I can’t say enough good things).
I pray, that even in your grey and dismal days, you too will be able to pursue and attain happiness and that you will be able to sing that song and clap your hands with me.
Psa 128:1 A Song of degrees. Blessed is everyone who fears Jehovah, who walks in His ways.
Psa 128:2 For you shall surely eat the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and all is well with you.