I once read a quote….
Amazing things will happen today if you choose not to be a miserable cow.
At the time I read it I thought it was humorous and could see the truth in it, but I didn’t really apply it to myself.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about happiness and what that looks like for me. For the most part, it has been a very situational emotion in my heart. It has been attached to location, events, people or actions, which are temporary.
Today I learned that happiness is literally a commandment from God. I have always known that keeping the commandments He has given us will always bring greater happiness. BUT I never really understood that happiness is part of those commandments to follow.
As I thought about this, it became clear that it is truly a choice to keep this commandment like the rest. We truly choose our happiness. We truly choose in our hearts and souls if we are going to be happy. Once we make that choice either way, our actions follow.
Another powerful thought was God has literally called following Him and Jesus Christ the Great Plan of Happiness. For some reason, I thought that was the ultimate destination and we would experience bits of it along the way…because “this life is meant to be a test”. I have equated this to mean it is supposed to be hard, frustrating, pass/fail, trial, etc. All of these things are definitely part of life. It is part of how we learn and grow.
Through it all He wants us to be HAPPY and live life in the manner of happiness. The opposition truly wants “all men to be miserable like unto himself”. And they are out there working hard to pull us down by whispering lies, tempting us to make choices that are contrary to God’s commandments, doing little things that pull us away by giving us a moment of pleasure (not happiness), convincing us that we are not enough, rigidity in life, closing our hearts, isolation…etc. You get the point.
Think about how often you have felt something from the list above or from the etc. portion. Even if it feels justified. It is not happiness and does not lead your heart back to God. It is the root of pessimism. So the question to ask yourself… Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Today I realized within myself that the times I have attached my happiness to things, people, situations, etc. has backfired. IT. DOESN’T. LAST. When I choose to cultivate and grow my happiness from within my heart, it is deep and lasting. It is my responsibility and mine alone.
The times when I have made the choice to reach out, to lift others, to be creative, to share time, to try new things, to see things differently, I have felt happiness in my heart. It is not always easy, but in the end it is worth it.
It is a game changer to fight for and cultivate happiness. I have found that it rewires my brain and changes how I perceive and think about things. It doesn’t change anyone but me, but I can use how I feel to help others out of a dark place.
Happiness is truly a choice. It is where we see Him, where we hear Him and where we feel Him the most. It is possible to be happy in the depths of trial and struggle. I am grateful that He loves me so much that He gave a commandment to be happy.
I love Him. I am happy. I am growing. Amazing things are happening.