What would it take to make you happy?

 A lot of people spend a lot of time wondering about the "If Onlys" of life: Blog. Woman. Thoughtul. 6.2021

    If only I could meet the right person and fall in love, then all my dreams would come true ...

    If only we had better communication then our relationship would be perfect ...

    If only we had a baby then our marriage would be stronger ... 

    If only we earned more money ...

    If only we had a bigger/newer/nicer house in a better neighborhood, then life would be perfect ...

    If only our children were through school and had good jobs and were married to the right people then I could stop worrying about them ...

     If only I had the body I used to have ...  

    If only growing older weren't so scary ...

    If only ... then ...

    If only ...

    If ...

There's a term for that: "Mythical thinking"

That's how some mental health professionals label it. Mythical thinking keeps us dreaming of a place where everyone and everything is--or could be--perfect.  

Here's the problem. When we spend too much time daydreaming about Make Believe Land it's as if we put on blinders that shut out the sweet reality of our lives:

  • The beauty all around us, God's intricate creation.  
  • The small, kind gestures of people in our lives. (Like the stranger who held open the heavy door when we were balancing shopping bags.)
  • The fun of watching our children grow into themselves, little by little over the years. 

You and I weren't born wearing blinders

We pick them and put them on all by ourselves.

It can start with spending too much time reading other people's posts on the Internet, the ones that show their "perfect lives."  

In the blink of an eye, joy flies out the window. 

The thought and energy we invest on what could be/should be better takes us out of the day we're living. We risk becoming what I heard described years ago as, "Living a life fenced in on all four sides by the perpendicular pronoun, 'I.'"

That can blind us to God's daily blessings to us, large and small. We miss out on the joy of them and likely won't even think to say, "Thank you, Lord."

When we fixate on ourselves and our lives we miss a lot. We forget to encourage people around us with smiles and a few good words, such as: "Thanks!" "Good for you!" "I'm so proud of you!"

Some of us are thinking, Yes, but this is me and I don't know how to change. What am I supposed to do about that?

First comes being willing to be willing to change. With choosing to live in the now and to love in the now.  

How do I start?

We always choose the outlook we put on. What God said to the Israelites applies to us, too:

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.   Deuteronomy 30:19  

Any time at all we can ask for help from the One who never takes His loving eyes off us:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1   

Any time our past failings threaten to overwhelm us, the One who makes all things new is waiting: 

If anyone is in Christ he (or she) is a new creation; the old has passed away; behold, the new has come.   2 Corinthians 5:17   

What does it mean to be "in Christ?"

There's no big list of requirements here. When we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and aim to live by that faith, we are "in Christ." 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.    John 3:16-17  

That's the starting place and the ending place. 

So how can one be happy, whatever comes? 

Choose life! Choose to be alive in the moment and to see all the ways God has been--and is--blessing you. 

Choose to be in Christ and know true inner peace. Nothing and no one else can bring deep-down joy that fills in your empty places. 

This is not me, preaching to you. This is me sharing what countless millions of us over the centuries know to be true.

God bless you, my invisible reader friend,

Lenore

 

 


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