Happiness is a fleeting state, or so it seems.
One minute incandescently happy – the next annoyed at everyone around. I mean, really. . . Who hasn’t been there at least a time or two?
Sometimes it’s the tiniest detail that can ruin a good day. Other times it’s worrying about minor issues that pop up out of nowhere. Perhaps it’s a self-made to-do list of optional or wishful thinking items that’s become too much to handle.
Whatever the triggers are — I’m plain fed up with them. Done. Over.
I’m tired of letting small things or unmet, wishful expectations or random, dumpy situations get in the way and – frankly – create opportunities for my happiness to leak out.
Sometimes it’s our perspective that is just whacked — for lack of a better term. We overthink, We overreact. . . We get in our own heads.
We react wrongly – for the most part. I firmly believe that the way we react to situations determines the rate of happiness leakage in our lives. Do we CHOOSE focus on the positives? Do we downplay the negatives? Do we deal with things and just move on? Do we expect too much from those around us? Do we ever stop thinking about OURSELVES?
Seriously, friends. We are selfish. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. We want more than we need, we ask for more than we should, we complain more than we compliment, and we sigh more than we smile.
In fact – (personal confession) – two days ago, I had a “lightbulb” moment. God let me see that sometimes I’m the one who creates holes for happiness to seep out of my own life.
Don’t get me wrong here – I’m newly married to the man of my dreams, working an incredible job, and now involved in a new ministry alongside my husband. Life is good, and I’m blessed abundantly. I have no complaints that are substantial. However, instead of enjoying and cherishing the moments, more often than not I feel that I need to meet the next goal, check the next item off my list, compare my wardrobe with the newest fashion, or plan my next vacation. When did I get so self-absorbed without realizing it? My focus is out of balance.
Instead of creating an environment for unhappiness or discontentment to sneak in and happiness to leak out. . . I want to establish a new trend that focuses on thankfulness, positive self-talk, and proper balance.
Yes, I can be disappointed the day didn’t go as planned, but that gives me no excuse to treat those around me worse or project my feelings of frustration on to them.
Yes, I can listen to the problems of friends and family and offer advice, but I shouldn’t make those problems my own and let them zap my emotional energy. (And – P.S. – I definitely shouldn’t gossip about those problems and build myself up off of another person’s insecurities or baggage.)
Yes, I can expect those around me to treat me with respect, but I shouldn’t expect those people to be perfect – because they are human, too, and are in need of as much grace as I am.
Yes, I can be frustrated that minor problems or miscommunications come about, but I shouldn’t blow my minor problems out of proportion and discredit those friends and family members who are facing much bigger troubles.
And the list could go on and on. . .
I challenge you! Take a moment or two and look at your own life. . . are there happiness leaks that need fixed? Is there a focus that needs balanced? Is there a grateful attitude that needs cultivated?
A Practical Application: In order to work on this new, balanced focus. . . One of my friends suggested that us Bible Study ladies keep each other accountable for a gratefulness check EVERY DAY. For the next week or so, my two friends and I are texting each other just one thing we are thankful for each day, and there can be no repeats. We do this in the morning – before work. I have personally noticed a change in my attitude going into the work day. I’m spending time praying and thanking God for so many things on my (long) drive to work, and I notice the day starting a little bit brighter. What practical applications can you start that will help your focus start to balance? (Comment or message to let me know!)
Side note: I’m not trying to be harsh. I’m not downplaying the struggles we all face. We have frustrations, problems, and disappointments. We have sick family members and friends. I’m not saying you’ll always be “happy.” I’m simply saying – don’t let happiness sneak out because of a dumpy outlook on life.