Google happiness and see what comes up. Everything from books, DVDs, websites and counselors. Apparently our world can’t get enough of how to be happy. Oprah, in her prime, often talked about that feeling of “true happiness and fulfillment” where you are at peace and content with yourself and your life. A lot of it centered around self-visualization, self-discipline and self-enlightenment. Quite honestly I find most of that to be a bunch of bunk. The idea that getting your life in order will somehow propel you to utter peace and contentment is silly and near-sighted. Not to mention self-serving. Let’s face it: life isn’t perfect, it won’t be and it certainly isn’t void of stresses and failures. And not only that but I find it really disturbing how much time and effort people spend on bettering themselves to somehow become happier people. The weight loss program epidemic~TV shows, books and an entire industry~ are proof positive that you have to do something to your body to be happy.
Even the Home and Garden Network portrays elaborate lifestyles that we all love to drool over. ”If only I could have a house like that , I’d be happy.” Bigger houses, newer furniture, better TVs, fancier vehicles, nicer dishes, matching bedding, $500 end tables, more square footage, gold-plated cutlery, clocks, shelves, desks and more!!! When will it be enough? Never.
And then there’s vacations. Every year, more and more Canadians are flocking to warmer climates. We simply cannot be happy in our four-seasons even though we lived here our entire lives. In the winter we have to go someplace warmer, in the spring we have to go to Disneyland, in the summer we need an adventure or two and in the fall we have to just get away from it all. Sound familiar? We all know people who frequent Mexico, Vegas, Florida and California. It makes them happy~ right? They’re happier when they go away but sadly, not so happy to come home.
Contentment is what we’re lacking. Gratitude. Not happiness. Appreciating that which we already possess and being thankful for what we already are experiencing is the true path to happiness. As I was pondering this the other day I started to make a mental list of those things that make me happy. You know, the stuff that puts a smile on your face and makes you *sigh* out loud. Here’s a few of the things that I came up with(and none of them require weight loss , a plane ticket or a big bank account….thankfully!)
1. Bubble bath at midnight
2. Watching a sunset
3. Cheesecake(oh ya baby)
4. Storm clouds brewing
5. playing the piano when no one is home
6. watching a baby sleep
8. letters from sponsor kids
9. a phone call from a friend
10. Rollkuchen and Watermelon for supper(mmmmmmmm)
11. Sleeping in.
12. family reunions
13. reading the Psalms when life seems hard(it’s never quite as bad as when David writes about his life)
14.Picnic by the river
15. Sleigh ride
16. Christmas dinner
17. Fall leaves and warm sun
18. Standing in the summer rain
19. A juicy peach
20. Freshly painted toenails
21.conversations with a 3 year old
22. Scrapbooking with a friend
23. Holding my husband’s hand
24. Singing a hymn in 4 part harmony
25. thinking of Heaven.
I could go on….and on….
Try it. You’d be surprised and what REALLY makes you happy.