This seems to be a common theme in many of the people around me these days. If I just made $xxx.00 an hour and could pay the bills and have some left to save, oh and go on vacation, THEN I would be happy! If only…… enter yours here_______________
What is Happy? I am not being a smart aleck, I just wonder if we ask that question, what kind of definition do we come up with? Is happiness having plenty of money? Is it great friends, good health, finding a parking spot close to the door on a rainy day? Obviously happiness isn’t generic, it’s as different as the number of people you ask, at least their definition! But I wonder if you were able to ask someone and then had the ability to fulfill their definition, how long would that happiness last? Hours, days, a year? Not likely! We like to believe as we mature we figure things out and yet…when a child receives a gift, they may run over to you and exclaim, “I will be happy always, thank you so much!” Within hours or days that thing that provided a pinnacle of excitement and fulfillment, lays unused in a corner somewhere, the promises of eternal contentment forgotten as the latest and greatest next must have thing blares from the television. Then we grow up, and we get “mature”, and essentially act the same way.
So, I will ask it again, “What is Happy?” Do we really know, or are we content to go through this life chasing this ever elusive concept, and riding the emotional roller coaster.
I am happy, or am I? Maybe I am just content. The realization that I am not in control and never have been, and that my God is in control and always has been, lifts an incredible weight off of me. I have firm conviction, no it’s more than that I have faith that God has my life in his hands… Some who read this may say, it’s a cop-out, no worries if that is your take, so be it. I am not writing this to change your mind about God, in fact I am incapable of changing your mind, God can do that, but He won’t(change your mind that is), and if you are looking for some answers and God decides to use people and situations to draw you to Himself, give Him the thanks not the people or situations. But I digress, I am “CONTENT”.
What I struggle much more with is perhaps a related question, “Am I happy?” You might be thinking how can you be content and yet not happy? I guess because I equate “content” with an internal peace that is ever-present and not tossed about in the emotional storms of this life. Emotions are fickle and subjective, run by the various ups and downs of daily life. Unfortunately I observe many around me who run their lives on this emotional roller coaster and frankly it breaks my heart, usually I see decisions made in these emotional times that have deep and sometimes long lasting impacts not only on their lives but people connected to them as well. Contentment I define as an acceptance of the moment ie, the neighbors just bought a new TV! I am so happy for them. Whereas, discontent might lead to me saying, I wish I could afford a new TV!
I think happy and contentment are like siblings, perhaps our desires cause these skirmishes between the siblings so that happy and unhappy battle with discontent and content respectively?
I know that when my focus turns from myself to looking for ways to help or serve others my contentment and happiness increases, likewise when my focus is turned inwards on my desires, needs and wants I end up unhappy and discontent!
Maybe the key to truly being happy / content, can be found in these observations. I will try to look more closely at these things in my life….would you do me a favor and let me know if you find similar results in your own lives?