September 25, 2017

Happy through the story

I have done a lot of soul searching the past few weeks. Asking myself questions to which I didn’t know if I wanted the answer. Why am I the way that I am; why do I do things the way that I do? Am I happy? What would I have to change to become the person I want to be? What in my life needs to be different for me to be happy? Questions keep rolling through my mind—challenging me to be better, hoping to make sense of the parts of me—and others—that are harder to love. Some of the answers have been simple. Fear has been at the core of them all. Beliefs racked with this fear . . . motivating frustrations and destructive patterns.

So here are some of the beliefs I have been reframing:

1. Everyone but me feels joy all the time

We have this expectation in our mind that if our days are not filled with joy . . . we are not truly happy. If bumps in the road come along—we feel as if life is not truly worth living. We have a standard set for what happiness looks like, and if that standard is not met in ourselves—or in those around us—we are miserable.

2.  Everybody but me has it all figured out

As our lives feel as though they fall apart daily, we look out to others for a standard at where normal should be. We compare our imperfect lives, to other’s perfectly portayed Instagram/Facebook realities. Only—while we are at home feeling everything but joy—we do not see what is going down on the other end of those perfectly posed pictures.

3. When I become _____________ . . . I will be happy

It is worthy to have goals—finish lines of something worth achieving. But the more we live, the more we will realize that the goals are not what is going to bring us to a state of happiness. Happiness is what is found along the way—realizing that the journey is what makes us who we will become.

4. If we were normal . . . we wouldn’t have issues

Normal: the standard for which we all measure our lives—ironically a made up scenario of perfection in others—a status at which we believe we will never achieve. “Normal” is a dream we sometimes dream . . . a quiet, simple life with no hiccups or battles—a version of our life without the messes to clean up . . . but full of constant joy.

So what really needs to change for us to be happy? Is it everyone else? Is it our story? . . . Or is it just us?

If happiness is a choice, how come it feels so hard to choose?—maybe because if it was easy, everyone would do it.
We have to find those beliefs that are holding us back. As simple as they sound in our head, they may be the reason we are not living to our full potential. We don’t have to wait any longer. The choice of happiness is in our hands.

I want to be happy. I want to find the little glimmers of joy in my days. I want to make a difference for others—even those that seem a little harder to love. Because that is what Christ did. He loved. He forgave . . . and He lived. His life wasn’t perfect, but He was.

Our lives are not perfect, and unfortunately neither are we. We are not going to achieve perfection . . . not ever. But we can feel joy. We were created to find it—in the little imperfect glimmers of light on this path we call life.


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