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Why Is Trying to Be Happy Making Me Miserable?

Most of us just want to be happy. The problem is that most of the things we seek after for our happiness are consumeristic or selfish. For years I went about looking for someone or something to make me "happy." It might have been a shopping trip that would make me feel good. Some days it was a pint of ice cream or a gooey chocolate brownie. Other times I thought being fit would make me happy and so I tossed aside the high fat, sugar loaded goodies for long runs, yoga, or biking. And sadly, too often I placed my husband and children as the sole providers of my happiness... I don't recommend this. Did any of this bring lasting fulfillment? Did anything bring the happiness that I was searching for? You guessed it. (Ummm, no.)

Maybe you find yourself doing the same thing. Moms, there's much to be said for taking time for yourself and indulging in the things you love (with moderation). We can't run on adrenaline forever and we need to find joy and satisfaction in living! But I've discovered that all of this longing after things, spending precious time and energy just searching for my next fix of happy left me as empty as ever. And do you know why I think this is?

Because it's all self-centered. It's all about ME. And do you know what? That's a recipe for UN-happiness. American eyes have turned to true trouble and suffering these last couple of weeks. And it should be a reality check. Are we thankful for our home... food in our pantry... our precious family? These are the things that I am most likely to take for granted because frankly, these can be the things that make me unhappy.

I think things like, "I wish I just had one more room so I could..." or "I am so tired of having to go grocery shopping every week!" or "If he does that one more time I'm going to..." Sounds pretty miserable.

And all my inward focus has kept me from finding joy in my little patch of the world. As a Christian woman, I can turn to the Lord for help in finding the happiness lurking in my everyday life. And even if you aren't sure about that yourself, I promise you that enjoying all of the little blessings in your life - just stepping back, taking a breath and seeing how good you really have it - will give you some happiness.

Then go have a brownie... you deserve it!

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