Have you ever seen those happiness quotes? “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” Or something equally confusing that makes you think “how profound” and “then why am I not happy” all at the same time? Or is that just me?
I have a dear friend that has always amazed me with her ability to be happy in every situation. Not FIND happiness. BE happy. For her it is not something you find. It is something you are.
This was never made more clear to me than about four months after James was born. Cady had come down with what I thought was “just croup” but turned out to be a serious respiratory illness. Serious enough to have her rushed to the hospital via ambulance and have to stay for three days.
At the same time my friend was pregnant with a baby girl she knew was not going to survive the pregnancy, and if by some miracle she was born alive, she would die shortly after being born.
I did not call my friend while Cady was in the hospital. One reason was because I did not want to add to her burden. Another was because my situation just seemed so minor when compared to what she was going through.
She found out afterward and called me, very indignant, “Why didn’t you call me when Cady was in the hospital?”
“You were going through so much already. Plus my problem was so minor compared to what you are going through.”
“Stop it. Stop it right now. This? It is what it is and I’m not going to let it take anything away from the rest of my life.”
Wow. I was blown away by her attitude. I still am. Here she was going through the worst thing I could ever imagine and she was determined to not let it steal her joy. And this wasn’t a one time thing for her. The girl has lived a life that just one of her life events would have you pulling your problems back out of the pile as quick as possible.
While she was pregnant she had multiple friends and family members try to convince her to have an abortion. She refused. She said, “God gave me this baby and I will be a mother to her for as long as He allows.” Once again. Wow.
How many of us are going through something where we say
If I just lose this weight…
If I just get that job…
If I could just find a boyfriend/husband/partner…
If I could just get pregnant…
If I could just get this bill paid…
If I could just get through the school year/ summer/ Christmas…
If, if, if… I know I do this. I’m horrible about it. But what are we losing. We are trading the happiness we could have today for… for what? For the ideal? For everything to be “just right”? For the perfect time?
Newsflash. There is no ideal, no just right, no perfect time.
Happiness is not a destination. It is also not a journey. It is an emotion hidden in our hearts waiting for us to take it out and let it shine.
I want to offer you a challenge:
Just Be Happy. Now.