Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Nearer Thank You Think

Everyone wants to be happy. I think that's a pretty safe assumption. Not even the most masochistic of people will enjoy going through a life they don't enjoy. 

Yet so many people are unhappy. 

There's even a term for people suffering from a sort of depression at aged 25. The quarter-life crisis. Before, it had been the mid-life crisis where people wake up one day and wonder whether their life really is as good as it's going to get. Now it's striking people even sooner. 

And you know, maybe that's a good thing. 

You see, we sometimes wake up and find ourselves trapped in our surroundings. So our first response is to find escapist entertainment. Because if we can distract ourselves long enough, maybe being trapped won't matter so much. As a result, we have multi-billion dollar industries catering to short term entertainment. Movies. Games. T.V. 

I have nothing against those, but when I was seeking escape, I soon noticed that it never really made me happy. Sure, it kept me entertained. But once I left the cinema or turned off the T.V. I was still trapped. And still not really all that enthusiastic about it. 

So I decided to change. I'd make happiness my goal. True happiness. You know... the sort where you're grinning all the time. 

I learnt two things after that. 

Firstly, that happiness is much closer than you think. It's literally one meaningful activity away. I'm not necessarily talking about devoting time to activities. But I am talking about stuff that add meaning to your life. Devoting time to your children. Or getting back to jogging, if you really want to be fit. To me, it's art. I like spending time on activities where I have something to show for my time spent. Everyone has something like that. And when you make time to do it, you're making yourself happier. 

Secondly, I've found that happiness isn't about singing, dancing and laughing all the time. It's about knowing that, no matter how bad things are today, you could have been worse off. It's about loving the life you have, even when you know there's more work to be done to make it better. It's about living in the now, enjoying the small but wonderful things life has to offer, and having it sooth you in ways you never imagined. 

The always smiling, never fighting, stage musical that is the happy life as seen on T.V. is a lie. And I'm glad. Because smiling or not, peaceful or not, with music or without, the joy in my life is there. And it always is. 

I only need to tap into it. 

Prayer


Lord, 

Thank you for giving me so many opportunities to be happy, to live my life the way You intended it.

I just want to ask that You please help me see them now. I've spent such a long time chasing after cheap thrills in order to simulate happiness that I'm not used to the real stuff any more. 

Help me find what adds value to my life and to the lives of those closest to me. 

Help me to find true happiness, the way You intended. 

I pray this in Jesus's name. 

Amen.

5 comments:

Megan said...

Amen sister! Thanks for sharing this.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Love the prayer! We can search for happiness, but it's not something we find in things, people, or places.

Christine Rains said...

Great post! I agree that happiness is there if we just reach out for it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amen, Misha! I need to print out that prayer and keep it by my desk.

Jessica Peterson said...

This is a nice post! I think happiness is better than close, I think it's ever present, you just need to be aware of it. Every day holds so much beauty and when we are able to recognize all that we have to be grateful for, we see how much happiness we truly have in our lives already.