Saturday, October 24, 2009

I don't wish for happiness...

People often think "What does it take to make me happy? What do I need to do to obtain this elusive thing called happiness?"

I think we've got it all wrong.

Happiness is fleeting. It's how you feel on a crisp, fall day when you and your kids are outside playing in the leaves. Two minutes later maybe, one pokes the other in the eye with a stick and they're both in Time Out. End happiness.

Perhaps it's that feeling you get after you've just purchased that flat screen TV you've always wanted and have settled down to watch your favorite football team. Then they lose miserably, and you caught it all in 50" high def. End happiness.

Or maybe it's accomplishing a project at work and receiving big praise from your boss, only to find out the client hates it. End happiness.

Just so you don't think I'm being a Debbie Downer, here's my point. We all seem to search for something that is going to make us happy - and it's usually temporary.

I've changed my mantra - I don't seek happiness, I seek peace.

The dictionary defines peace as "the freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquility; serenity." To me, this is something that takes much more effort than happiness. And though from the definition you may think it is as fleeting as happiness, peace to me is a trait that can be found whether you are happy or not.

Today I am happy. God has definitely blessed me with many things to be happy about. He's also given me many challenges, some of which make me very, very unhappy. But through it all, I think I've finally found the peace to deal with them, whether I am happy or not.

So know that as you enjoy this beautiful fall day, it's OK to find things that make you happy, as long as when things go south (as they do), you still find that you have PEACE.

1 comment:

  1. Happiness is funny, isn't it. As you mentioned... always fleeting and hard to hold on to. I do love the idea of happiness but realize that it's so ambiguous. It's such a simple idea - full of complexity. What works for one doesn't always do it for another.

    I think that I do seek happiness when it comes right down to it. I look for little gifts of happiness hidden around me all of the time. It's like going to a re-sale shop. What little treasure is existing right next to me that I've yet to stumble across. I love the hunt and am often surprised & HAPPY with the outcome. :-)


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