Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Know You've Heard That Happiness is a State of Mind

There are self-help books, website articles, and Bible studies that delve into why people are unhappy and how to change the way you think.  There are songs and witty little posters telling us to just be happy.  It's never been quite that easy for me.  If you have ever thought "I will be happy if _____ happens," then you know what I mean.  It used to be "I will be happy when we have money for retirement," or "I will be happy when the house is finished," or "I will be happy when I have a job," or.... the list was endless.

But this morning when I was cleaning the bathroom (yeah, plenty of time to think then), I realized that while I am not deliriously happy, I am content.  And I have been content for quite awhile and never really noticed it.  We don't have enough retirement savings, the house isn't finished, and I have no job opportunities on the horizon.  I still think about all that but somewhere along the line, I quit obsessively worrying about it.  Worrying didn't solve any problems, and in fact caused more problems.

And there is a poster for that too.

Used with permission from

I'm not sure what I did to end the worry.  I prayed, certainly.  I also kept busy, connected with friends, and tried to help others.  One or all made the difference for me.


Nancy said...

Money certainly doesn't bring happiness - ask any of the celebrities that turn to drugs or alcohol. Happiness is not something you find: it finds you.

Life in Pieces said...

I was once really into self help books and in one I found the comment that the only thing we have complete control over is how we choose to respond to anything that's happening in our lives. Understanding that has helped me be happier most of the time.

Karen said...

I will probably step on toes here, and if I happen to do that I am sorry (at least somewhat). My faith tells me that money or anything else from this physical world in which we live will make me happy. Because Jesus died for my sins, and God, the Father, sent his only son to do this I am saved. This should make me happy. I get (and this is going to bother some) very upset with some of the preachers out there with their gospel of riches. One in particular with his basic premise "God wants you to be happy." I don't think God really cares about us being happy" or not. He wants us to strive to live as Jesus did.

I like you are content. I know I am saved, and I know my role here on earth is to serve others.

martidiy said...

That is a good thought, and true.

That statement also makes me think about the way we respond to things in our lives. There are those who respond without thinking and those people often get themselves in trouble by sounding off or jumping in half-cocked, and those who are so controlled that they don't seem to respond at all. I'd like to be somewhere in the middle.

martidiy said...

LOL, you hit on our pastor's favorite pet topic, that the Bible never promised that Christians would all be blessed with riches, health, or happiness. While I don't think happiness is automatically placed on a Christian, I think it's easier to achieve happiness when you are in a right relationship with God. For a long time I nurtured a hurt and unforgiveness of a former friend. I knew that God forgives us when we just ask, but I just couldn't let it go even though I knew it was keeping me from the relationship with God that He intended us to have. I prayed about that too. Over and over. And finally, I let it go. I'm probably not ever going to be able to have a friendly relationship with that woman again, but now I can think about her and what happened without feeling any hurt. And I think that's another reason I am content now.