“I don’t have a happy life.”
“Why is my life so terrible?”
“Why does nobody like me?”
These are all phrases and questions I hear from my daughter on a daily basis. I’m not really sure why she’s convinced her life is so bad, but it has never taken much to push her over the edge into despondency.
She does not have a terrible life. She has a lovely life, and I try to point this out to her occasionally by explaining that there are plenty of people out there who have much worse situations than her. Poverty, lack of education, hunger, illness, and the list goes on.
She will not be convinced. The issue is in her heart, not her mind. She is choosing to be discontent, choosing to believe that everyone has it better than her; and it is affecting her attitude, and stealing her joy.
Happiness is not a destination.
That is our family motto.
Pulling in to Happyland, CT or Happy, TX will not guarantee your happiness, even if the names imply it. It is so easy to fall into believing that “if I just achieve this one thing, I’ll be happy”, as if happiness were something to be pursued and obtained.
If we made more money,
If we lived in a better house,
If I finished my education,
If I found the love of my life,
If (insert name here) would just change, then I would be happy.
Happiness, the joy in our heart, the peace in all circumstances that certainly surpasses understanding, does not come from the external things that the world says will make us happy… Though you may pursue it, it will always be just out of your reach. Happiness is a condition of our heart. It is a choice that we make to be joyful in ALL situations.
Paul shared with the Philippian church, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” – Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV)
I’m not sure what makes one of my children tend more toward gloom than another, but I know that a heart that tends toward discontent and despair is not a heart that I want my child to carry with her all the days of her life. I pray for her to stop believing the lies of this world, and to discover the secret of contentment even as a young child.
There is a choice that each of us can make to rejoice right in this moment, to throw the “if onlys” out the window, and to truly believe that Jesus is enough. Then, like Paul we will say with a smile on our face and joy in our heart, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
What are your thoughts on Happiness?
Copyright © Rebecca Onkar, Moms of Faith®, All Rights Reserved
Paul gave us the secret of contentment, too: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). May your daughter, and all of us, learn that secret in our heart of hearts. :-)