Thursday, March 6, 2014

What will really make YOU happy? ... and oh yeah, it's my birthday so you have to read this post :)

I didn't intend to write another post so soon after the last, but I can't shake these thoughts rattling around in my head, so I need to put them down somewhere ...

Suzanne Baars said "Where there is no joy, there can never be enough pleasure."

She also told a story:
There are two dogs. The young, enthusiastic dog tells a wise old dog, "I have figured out the meaning of life!" The old dog smiles kindly and says, "oh really, what is it?" The young dog replies, "to achieve happiness!" The old, wise dog asks, "And do you know what happiness is?" The young dog yips excitedly and says, "Why YES! I do! I have figured out that happiness is in my tail. And all I have to do is catch it and I will be happy! I haven't caught it yet, but I will soon - I can feel it! - and then, when I do catch it, then I will be happy!" And the young dog proceed to excitedly run in circles chasing his tail.
The old dog said, "now, wait a minute there." The young dog stopped and looked at him. The old wise dog continued, "you know, I once thought exactly how you do. I realized that indeed happiness was in my tail. But what I have discovered now is that if I keep going forward, the right way, happiness follows me wherever I go."

As a society we are seeking, seeking, desperately seeking to fill that self-satisfaction, that need for - hunger for - happiness. We want to feel good in life. But are we missing the point?

I find myself turning 35 today. And life is not always cheery; sometimes it is challenging, sometimes downright heartbreaking. Yet, almost miraculously, I realize that I still have joy. I have a deep, anchored joy in my heart and my soul that is not shaken by the rough waves of life. I'm at peace.

And yet, I do still find myself, at times, grasping for what is supposed to make me happy or feel good (whether it is self image, or to be praised in my field, or even a stiff drink), and it is in those moments, I catch myself running in emotional circles. That's when I need to stop, take a breath and just keep going, because how true is it that when we keep our eyes on God and walk forward, happiness follows us wherever we go!

So, my birthday girl wish for you? That you can take a pause; breathe; God's got this; look to Him; let go; and you will find Joy in your heart!