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The Pursuit of Happiness

What is happiness? Happiness is something I feel deep within me. Happiness is an internal soul feeling. You look around you, and something in your soul says, “This is good, and I’m peaceful. I’m just happy.” Or you find that you can look around at your life and feel peace. I feel happiness when I can just look at everything and say, “You know what? I don’t have any concerns right now. My kids are having fun, and I had a great date with my wife the other night.” I don’t know if I can explain it. Something in my soul just says, “I don’t know, I’m just so happy!” Happiness is an emotion, but it’s not an emotion I can really describe. It’s just a feeling of completion that you have.

Why is happiness such a struggle? I think it’s because life is not easy. From the time you’re born, it’s just not easy. Think about it. I’m watching my sons grow up, and even my 16 month-old struggles with happiness. When I start to put him to bed before he wants to go to bed, he throws an absolute fit. He lets me know, “Man, I am not happy. This isn’t what I want. This isn’t what I think is going to be fun.” And my 4 year-old goes through it too. If I don’t let him play a certain video game, he gets mad. There’s no happiness there.

Then you grow up, still looking for happiness. One thing you learn is that money is not going to buy you happiness. Pretty much everybody in the major leagues is a millionaire, or about to be one, and a lot of them are very unhappy people. They’re miserable, and they are complaining about it. They’re complaining about why something is the way it is, or why something else isn’t the way it could be. They’re miserable when another guy makes more money for doing the same thing they do. So money, I can tell you, is not going to bring you happiness.

Does it bring some fun? Yes. Does it bring security? Yes! It does! But you don’t sit at home with your paycheck and say, deep within your soul, “I feel complete.” Money does not create that feeling. It does not bring that feeling of contentment. You don’t sit there, at peace with yourself, and say, “Ah, I am so content. I am complete now, I have money.” Money actually creates more issues. Your bills get higher. Your responsibilities mount up on you and there’s more stress. All kinds of unexpected issues come into play. So if you’re really looking for happiness, becoming a millionaire is not going to work.

I think as human beings, we always want certain things, and when we don’t get them, we feel a lack. And then we get angry or frustrated. We’re not happy. We wanted life to go a certain way, or we wanted things to end up being a certain way. This is just being human! And I think that in our selfishness, it is impossible to be happy, really. We need that hot water.

Happiness is a feeling you experience in your soul. Happiness is about God. When you’re separated from God, there is a lack of joy. When you are not feeling connected in your communication with God, there is a lack of happiness. And every person is craving joy and happiness. I think that’s a part of being human too.

More on this Saturday. Meanwhile, are you happy? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think of happiness.

5 thoughts on “The Pursuit of Happiness

  1. When I am exposed to someone or something that gives God glory, it gives me happiness. The lie I struggle with is my glory gives me happiness; this happiness does not run deep, nor does it last.

  2. I lost two loved ones in the winter. What I feel now is the deep, yearning sadness that we call grief. I think it is the polar opposite of happiness. It was the worst when my cat died in January. He wasn’t the first cat that I loved and lost, but this one was really special. He and his sister came to live with me when they were little babies, and Davey and I just fell in love with each other. I know he was just a cat, but despite the narrowness of those little feline shoulders, he put me on them and carried me through cancer and the tumultuous years of preventive treatments that followed. I never missed a chance to be utterly joyful and grateful for his presence in my life,because frankly, I knew I’d outlive him. I knew I had to appreciate him for every moment that we had together. I don’t know if anyone can believe this, but because of Davey, I was happy even when I wasn’t happy. That’s what I think the “soul feeling” of happiness means.

    For 10 years, I thanked God every day for Davey, and every day, I looked to Davey for lessons on how to give selfless, non-judging, encouraging, transforming love. It was so easy to love like Jesus with Davey right there doing it. All I had to do was imitate him. And the joie de vivre that cat had! I followed his example and believed, with all my heart, that if the sun was shining or if the sun was not shining, it was the Best Day Ever. I realize now, after struggling here to learn the lesson of the copper pipe, that Davey was my hot water. As long as we were together, I was connected to God. When Davey died, I lost my hot water. For 10 years, I was happy. I know how lucky I was, I really do. I knew it for 10 years! I’m not insisting that I deserve more. But now, I’m just so sad.

    I know life has its seasons, and I know I’ll be happy again. But I miss that hot water, God’s Spirit, Who really is at the heart of happiness. I had ten years of hot water delivered in a constant 24/7 stream in the form of a strong, bouyant, hilarious, loving four-pawed bundle of grey fur. I knew I was blessed and I was grateful every day. And now, I think all I can do is just pray. But this post really hit me. Gut-punched me! Because I’ve been groping in the dark. When Davey died, I thought it was time to stop being grateful. I’ve known nothing but sadness since. Now I realize how wrong I was! You’re awesome, Jeremy. Sorry to babble, but I didn’t want to keep this in. Thank you so much for this.

  3. What do I think of happiness? I’ve come to the conclusion that happiness is controlled more by circumstances and things that are happening around me. Often those things are fleeting and fickle so I’d rather have the joy of the Lord. That way, I’m not relying on circumstances to keep me happy. I can be going through a rough time but still have the joy of the Lord, I can grieve and still have the joy of the Lord, I can be sick and still have the joy of the Lord. I could lose that joy if I got focused on anything else but the Lord but I choose to believe that “He will never leave me nor forsake me” even if others leave me or forsake me I know He will always be there. Do I always walk around with a silly grin on my face, no. (Although, I should!) But on the inside, I’m smiling big :-) The joy of the Lord is my strength! (Nehemiah 8:10) God’s Word in James 1:2 even says to “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials”. When we learn to keep our eyes focused on Jesus, He helps us through every situation and it’s always for our good. God is faithful and that is something to be joyful/happy about! God bless.

  4. Reaching a state of happiness and joy has been a lengthy process for me, but I finally feel at peace with where I am. I look back at how negative and unhappy I used to be, and I cringe a little bit. Now I believe that happiness is all about perspective. Each day, I wake up and decide that it’s all on me. I decide if I am going to be happy or unhappy. Circumstances might change and bad things will always happen, but how I react to those those changes is what influences my level happiness. For so long, I was unhappy because of things that I didn’t have (no boyfriend, no buzzing career, family problems, etc.) and not having these things made me so bitter inside. I realized I was holding grudges, refusing to forgive, etc. The moment I let go, and learn to love and forgive, I felt free and HAPPY! God has a plan for me, and knowing that is extremely comforting. Happiness doesn’t cost a dime– it’s all about how you deal with the cards that are handed to you.

  5. For me simplicity is happiness. It’s everywhere, but a simple approach seems to work for me. That and a sense of gratitude.

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