Happy: feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
I often question my happiness in life.
When people ask me how I like my job I always reply with, “I love it!”, but is that the truth? There are often days I am swamped with emails, get a headache from the stress, and don’t even have time for lunch… do I love my job then?
When people ask me how school is going I always reply with, “Great!”, but is it really great? I dread going to class, I forget to do my homework, and studying for tests seems nearly impossible… is school great then?
When people ask me how I am I always reply with, “Tired, busy, but good!”, but do two negatives really make a positive?
All the things I do and that I am involved with are inherently good things like, education, work, small group, family and friends! No one would argue against that, but on a daily basis they have turned into things I dread.
Becoming obsessed with the idea of happiness is a dangerous game to play, but you also should not live your life in misery. But where is the balance? Where do you draw the line?
Unfortunately my answer often to just throw my hands up, ignore it all, and shut down. Internally that is. I am a very outgoing person, I love talking, meeting new people, and having a lively social life. I don’t stop any of this when I become overwhelmed, I just internalize it all. I become anxious, stressed, and extremely irritable. I have found recently that all these feelings get unloaded on those I care about. My family, friends, and my boyfriend, even when they are doing nothing other than trying to help me.
We live in an unbalanced world, a world that tells us that we deserve to be happy. A world that tells us our happiness is the most important thing and should be held up above all else.
I make no claim that we deserve happiness, but can’t it at least be something we strive for? What is so wrong with that?
While I understand as Christian women we should always be pursuing Jesus, and when we each make the commitment to follow Jesus we are made no promise of happiness. But at what point do we make changes in our life to attempt to achieve more happiness? At what point is it okay to start to try to bring balance to our lives ourselves? While ultimately everything is God’s Plan we still have freewill. How much are we to exercise our free will, and how much are we to trust God?
I suppose the answer is to fully and wholeheartedly do both to the best of our abilities.
I have started to make an effort to try to start taking hold of my stress, acknowledging it, and examining it. I ask myself why am I stressed? Sometimes they are practical things, like I am living in filth so need to clean my apartment or I have no clean clothes so I need to do laundry. If that is the case I make those things my next priority above all else. If my stress is coming from things I cannot change like long term plans, waiting for a response to an email, or something of that nature I put it on a to-do list a put it in a box in the back of my mind. There is no use to wasting your precious time and energy on something you have no control over.
My daily prayer has become… God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to know the difference.