Thursday, December 2, 2010

Being Happy... Really

Life is a funny conundrum... Sometimes it seems really complicated, and then when you look at it a different way, it appears as simple as black and white. Sometimes you can say the same thing at two different times, and both are true, but both are different... 

Truth be told, over the last month or two, I've been more easily discouraged by different things. I still have things that make me happy, but it's a different quality of life, and not very fun. Some days I feel awesome, happy and grateful, and other days I feel like a failure at life and wonder why I even try. The happiness I feel during seasons like this is still a positive feeling, but it's not quite what I'm looking for. It's not what I had in mind as I started this blog. So, I apologize for the lapse over the past month or so.

I'm turning myself around though. The transition probably started 2 weeks ago - I think it was the Sunday before Thanksgiving - and it's still going. It was the night I got a priesthood blessing. It's strange and kind of difficult to relate the difference... I still went through many of the same motions before as I am now, but there's a different intent and quality to them. It's changing my mindset. Slowly, as I redirect my focus to trusting in Jesus Christ, I'm regaining the happy quality of life that I experienced before. 

When I make Christ my ultimate source of safety, peace, happiness and comfort, I have a solid foundation for happiness. Then on top of that, I'm able to better and more consistently find enjoyment in other things. I just can't make those "other things" the base because they're simply not enough for a strong foundation. They are bricks to be added on.

So, what is that meaning for me in my life right now? It means that I don't just read the scriptures because I'm supposed to - I'm reading the scriptures to feel the Holy Spirit and to learn. I don't just pray because it's part of the routine and I ought to - I pray for strength, and to bend my will to Heavenly Father's. I need to be interested in other people for more than just politeness' sake - I need to do it because it's Christlike (having charity), and I'm trying to be like Him. It means that I need to endure the end and enjoy the journey, not just suffer through it.

For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Moses 1:39
...having no joy, for they knew no misery... But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that man might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
2 Nephi 2:23-25
 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
2 Nephi 25:26

This is what the Christmas season (and all life, really) comes down to: the "glad tidings of great joy" (Luke 2:10), for "unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" (Isaiah 9:6) and "he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). Is not this enough reason to rejoice? "All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6), and because of the gift of our Father's Son, his great atoning sacrifice, we have hope for a new life. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is joyous. It is the only thing that will bring true, deep, neverending happiness; in this life and after. I testify of this in His name, Jesus Christ, amen.

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