Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Forget About Happy

If ever there was a word in the English language that I would like to eradicate from the dictionary, publications and speech it is the word 'happy'.  This word is shear misery dipped in chocolate.  It looks wonderfully appealing from the outside. Who doesn't want some happy?  Everyone is trying to get some, why not you?  There is even a right in the U.S. called the 'Pursuit of Happiness'.  Even our government wants you to have some.  So much so that they made it part of ensuring you'd get some, if you went after it. 

I spent a lot of time hunting it down.  I looked for it in relationships.  They always started off well and I felt happy.  I thought that this was happy then and I settled into thinking I'd found some. It always diminished though.  I didn't feel as happy as I did initially.  I started to think that happy went bad after a while.  I concluded that happiness was not found in relationships.  I moved on.

Disappointed that it was not to be found in another person, I turned my attentions to stuff.  Stuff could surely make me happy.  The commercials always had people on them that looked blissfully happy for having their wares.  I supposed that stuff would give me that happy edge that I was looking for.  I started to buy stuff.  Lots of stuff.  Clothes, jewelry, trips, cars, spa trips but nothing made me happy for very long.  In fact, the more I tried to buy happy, the more stressed out I got.  You can't find it in the mall.  Not to mention, the rub of having to get your credit card bill in the mail to pay for the stuff that didn't make you happy.  Talk about total unhappiness. 

Someone tried to convince me that happy was just a thought away.  I could make myself happy just by making up my mind to be.  Sounded easy enough. Just think happy.  Say, "today I am happy".  Focus on happy thoughts and immediately dismiss the thoughts that make you unhappy.  I started out with the best of intentions but when you aren't happy, trying to think yourself happy just makes you frustrated.  I couldn't buy happy and I couldn't think myself happy for free.  I kept trying.

All the times I had a glimpse of happy only to see it go away so easily.  Maybe you need to pursue it because it keeps leaving.  Is that how you keep it, you run after it?  Maybe happy likes to play games.  Maybe that is what makes happy feel happy by making you cranky.  I don't want happy any more if that is how happy wants to treat me.  I give up.

I've got a new thing.  It started a year and a half ago.  It's called joy.  It's way better than happy.  I love joy because it usually brings it's best friend, peace.  This whole time, peace was just waiting for me to give up looking for happy and come find joy.  The good news is that peace does not come from anyone one person.  You can't buy joy because it isn't for sale.  There is no need to run after it because it doesn't leave you unless you want it to go away.  There is only one way to find it.  Stop running, be quiet and ask God the joy that can only be found in Him. 

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