One Way to be Happy

Do you wake up with a smile on your face? Eagerly anticipate your day? Look at the world with childlike glee?

It is possible to learn to be happy or at least to learn to be happier.

Chances are you already have everything you need.

 

smiling child

God provides us with everything to enjoy.

One Key to Being Happy: Choose to Enjoy

Somewhere deep under all our responsibility and appropriate behavior there are happy children longing to come out and play.

I have learned this about myself. I need to play.

Many young children play thoroughly. Their whole imagination is thrown into their play. They feel deeply, and dramatically. They don’t eat ice cream they smear it all over their faces, enjoying it.

When I savor my food, pausing to be grateful that I have easy access to fresh delicious food, I find I’m satisfied with less of it.

All of life, even the boring-hard-work parts are better when I find a way to turn them into play, to enjoy them.

Work is doing things we have to do.

Fun is doing things because we want to.

The same tasks can be drudgery or fun. We can choose to create parts of the experience to enjoy  and look for the good stuff like we would seek buried treasure, choose to enjoy.  I create games, have competitions with myself, use candles and hot tea to set a enjoyable atmosphere.

(I am not talking here about catastrophically dark days, days of grief or illness or deep loss. I also believe that God made every facet of humans, including our emotions and he expects us to us the full range he gave us.)

Learning to Focus

 

focus and be happy

Another side of this resolve to enjoy is learning to focus. We have so many distractions from our devices, technology, busyness.

I’ve noticed that I am more satisfied with a tiny piece of chocolate when I nibble it slowly focusing on the flavors, letting it melt slowly on my tongue. I eat the appropriate amount of food when I consciously taste each bite and enjoy the flavor. I can shovel food into my mouth without thinking.  When I read or catch up on the news or do something else as I eat, I finish unsatisfied, wanting more, instead of grateful for what I ate.

The same principle applies to almost every area of life.

Happiness doesn’t come from more

What if I remember to be thankful to the God who loves me for putting me in this place at this time? What if I  give everything I don’t enjoy or don’t use to someone else who might need and enjoy it more? I’ll have less but enjoy everything more.

I have so much to be grateful for, physical things like a comfortable house and many conveniences, but also less tangible things. I have parents, a husband, friends, and sons and daughters who love me. I can see both the sunrise and the sunset. I am strong enough to move around and enjoy feeling my muscles respond.

The trick is to be fully awake to every good thing and remember where it all comes from.

Ultimately good things are gifts. My talents, my relationships, the tastes and sounds and smells of my days all ultimately come from God who has given them to me to enjoy.

You already have everything you need to be happy.

I am trying an experiment.

I am going to try

savoring,

enjoying,

playing my way

through the good stuff,

and so much of life is the good stuff.

 

I want to find out if I am more satisfied when I focus my attention, intentionally enjoy, and thank God.

When my heart aches

When my heart aches, I am going to be fully  honest and aware of that too. I am going to be alive in the hard times confident through my tears that the God who loves me is always working things for good. He is moving and doing the best good even in the worst circumstances. Some days I can’t imagine how he could be present and active, but it is true, even when I don’t have the eyes to see it. That opens a topic for another day.

Enjoy your day today. You are loved.

“not to…set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy,”

I Timothy 6:17

 

 

 

 

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