Thanks for joining me today for our Coffee Hour and more on this topic of chasing a characteristic instead of a feeling. Grab whatever you’re having, your journal and your strand of faith and let’s explore another feeling we tend to chase!
Last week we touched on chasing control; today we will talk about chasing the feeling of happiness! Everyone longs to find happiness and our search for this feeling often blindsides us and takes us to bad places where we spiral toward more bad choices which literally take us away to more bad places until we’re so far away from “happiness,” we wouldn’t recognize it if it came and blew right in our faces. We keep this downward spiraling effect going by convincing ourselves, “If only I was skinnier, then I’d find happiness.” Or, If only I had a boyfriend, then I’d find happiness.” Or, If only I had more money, then I’d find happiness.” I mean, the list goes on and on and on. When you read this, does something come to mind that you think is missing in your own life?
The truth about happiness is it is based upon our circumstances; hence it is equivalent to a “feeling,” something that is neither right nor wrong. Happiness, aka a feeling, is something that waxes and wanes with the wind and just is.
For much of my own life, I was ruled by the desire to capture this feeling. After all, as a young girl, I literally had the rug of happiness literally pulled out from underneath me several times. I could be likened to a little girl chasing a butterfly in a huge open field. I’d come up to it, think I’d captured it within my grasp only to take a peek and see that it was gone! Maybe my mouth would drop open and I’d scratch my head only to dig in my heels and continue the chase! I’m so glad that chase is over!
I’ve learned to chase “being” happy instead of trying to grasp the “feeling” of happiness. Do you see the difference? To chase the characteristic of being happy is actually a state of contentment that no one or no circumstance can take away from you. It won’t be like that butterfly that flies out of your hands the second you open them up to sneak a peek. It is an endless supply within you that keeps pouring out, like a well that never runs dry.
When we are truly happy within, we are in a state of contentment. Contentment means: abounding and satisfied, which means nothing is missing. If nothing is missing, then there is wholeness, and if there is wholeness, then there is peace. Contentment says, my needs have been or will be met, while happiness only shows up in favorable circumstances.
This is beyond understanding, unexplainable until you land there. “The one who rests in contentment is not moved by trouble.” We can’t get internal change by seeking external things…..
When we take the X out of external, what do we have? Internal…may you pursue internal contentment and not get caught chasing happiness.
Until next week,