Happy Starts Now

“I’ll be happy once I lose the weight. I’ll be happy once I have a boyfriend. I’d be happier if I had more friends or a better job.” We all have at least one belief, if not more, about something we don’t have now that’s going to make us feel happier in the future when we do actually have it.

Sure there are things in life that do leave us with a sense of fulfillment, things which support happiness such as a loving family, a warm meal, or a close group of people you can call ‘your people.’ But that doesn’t mean we cannot allow ourselves to be happy today without those things. Happiness is about now, in the presentmoment.

I often find myself with my head far off in the future, looking at all that I don’t have now, which I somehow will have in the future, and that thing, whatever it might be, is my key to happiness.

In reality, most of those things I never attain, and the things I do, I end up being even more unhappy with because I realize that whatever it is I was hoping would make me happy hasn’t. And then I get even more frustrated with myself for still not being happy!

Here’s the thing. Happiness is only found and felt and experienced now, in the present, with what I have now- not what I will have tomorrow or the next day and not about what I may have had in the past – good or bad.

This moment is my chance to be happy, to be content, to be grateful and even to find hope. You can’t really plan to feel a certain way in a situation that hasn’t even happened yet. Reality check.


Being happy tomorrow means making peace with the present moment and continuing to do that as tomorrow comes.


I remember my dad explaining to me more than once that all you really have is this moment now. The past is the past. Meaning even the moment that literally just past while you were reading the first sentence is now past. Now we have this moment. Right. Now. We don’t yet have the moment that is soon to come (or maybe it won’t.) But we have right now. And that’s what life is. A bunch of little right nows one after the other.  In any moment we could lose all that we have built our happiness around. And once again we realize all we really have is right now and all that is here with us right now.

If you want to be happy, you can be, even in the midst of the hardest circumstances life has to bring. This is the hardest part of it all because it actually makes us responsible for our attitudes, outlooks, and emotions, in other words, our lives. Which who wants to be responsible for their own misery??

I have passed through my fair share of hard times, and believe me, I am not happy in every single moment of the day (cause that would just be weird and fake and probably unhealthy.) It’s good to feel sadness, anger, or fear in certain situations. But some moments were made for happiness and in those moments we ought not to let anything steal that, even when the sh*t hits the fan.

It’s those moments, when I’m waiting in the rain for the bus, with no umbrella, but I’ve got my best friend by my side, or when I’m stuck in traffic with my dad and we get to spend a little extra time together; or even when I finally make it home and get to take off my bra, cause ladies, we all know that is indeed the best part of the day.

These little moments, made of up of a million little factors, can either be stored up in appreciation to create for myself a happy life or they can pass me by as I dwell on past hurts I haven’t let go of and complain about the rain.. or that wearing a bra is still a thing in this feministic age??

I imagine this is what Mary was doing after Jesus was born when it says, “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” That girl went through a lot. She could have been thinking about the fact that her fiancé almost left her, probably almost everyone she knew thought she was crazy, or that she just had a baby in a barn, but all that was past and the future hadn’t made itself known yet and now she had found a way to see those little moments as treasures to be stored up.

Stop waiting for happiness to come your way. Stop believing that something or someone is going to make you happy in the future and don’t make the past responsible for your present. You’re the only one who can choose to see your life as the gift that it is. And that gift is here, happening now, in this moment, and soon this too shall pass. So, may your happiness start now, in this moment, my friends.




“Never … commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.”

– C.S. Lewis,  Mere Christianity



 

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