Monday, April 18, 2011

Sources of Happiness

I was reminded today of a song that a friend and I actually made up a dance routine to back when we were young - the song "Lucky" by Britney Spears. The chorus goes, "And they say she's so lucky, she's a star. But she cry, cry, cries in her lonely heart thinking, 'If there's nothing missing in my life, then why do these tears come at night?'" I feel like my life is kind of like that sometimes. When I'm with people, I'm usually pretty happy, friendly, and interested in others; but even when things are going just fine, when I'm by myself in the evening, sometimes I feel down and wish for the blessings that I lack. [I don't like admitting my weaknesses to people, but I probably need to learn how to do it in an appropriate - honest, but not overdramatic - way. I might as well practice here.]

I was experiencing some of those feelings tonight, and tried a few different things to deal with them. First, I just listened to the music on my laptop for a while. That was nice because I enjoy the music, but its effect was more comparable to wallowing in an emotional ice bath: I mulled over the feelings, but slowly numbed myself to anything else. It wasn't really helpful. I tried ice cream too (cookies and cream with caramel and chocolate toppings), and that didn't work either to deal with the feelings of wishfulness and insecurity.

Then, I finally decided to turn to the things I knew would work.

I opened my journal to the notes I took on the priesthood blessing that I got this week. Just reading through them was enough to open me to the Spirit and get me facing the right direction. It was like I'd been hiding in a corner, facing the wall, with a blanket pulled over my head and eyes squeezed shut; reading the special, spiritual experience in my journal was like gentle hands covering mine and helping me pull the blanket off, and then those hands carefully turning me by the shoulders to face the bright lamp in the middle of the room, allowing me to better evaluate my surroundings in the full light.

When my heart is turned inward, nursing my inner wounds, I am turned away from the source that will heal them and give me strength to move forward. Journals, scriptures, and praying are really good ways for me to shift my focus away from my problems and to Jesus Christ, who offers solutions. Obsessing over the things that are wrong in life isn't going to change them. The change I need comes when I'm meek and humble, and willing to be changed myself. My prayer is that I can turn to Christ more quickly instead of dawdling along side paths that don't get me where I want to go, and can often make existing problems worse. I testify that Jesus Christ offers the only solutions that will lead us to find happiness in life; as we practice coming unto Him, we will be able to experience this peace and happiness every day.

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