Are you happy, really deep down happy?
Everyone has coping skills. We all have ways to deal with the ups and downs of life. As a child, we faced difficult times as a family that brought confusion and chaos. We had more questions than answers, and while we made it, thanks to God’s hand that we did not recognize at the time, we each had our own way of facing the world in the midst of our mess.
My way of dealing with life was to paint the happy brush on everything. No matter what, I could find something positive in most situations. It was justified by my logic of looking at the cup half full, or finding the bright side, smiling all the while. This worked for years, and I must say having that positive mind set boded well professionally and personally. That is until one day my system failed miserably and my world crumbled.
Years later as a wife and a mom of two, we entered into our own season of crisis. Facing gut wrenching decisions involving our teen daughter, I was brought to my knees in despair. The happy brush was no where to be found, I simply did not have the skills to understand how to accept my unrelenting feelings of sadness and fear of failure as a mom. Having been referred to a Christian counselor, after a few visits she helped me face reality. Through uncontrollable tears I shamefully admitted, “I’ve completely lost control of my emotions.” It’s the first time in years I’d really cried, and once I started I could not stop. Her response came as a shock. “Good, now you are where you need to be.”
While I’m a work in progress, over time I’ve learned that living life through the lens of my happy brush is the same as living a lie. It took a while to accept, but the season when my emotions demanded attention was season of growth and healing. This time for our family was difficult, but it was the process that God used to teach me that He wants all of me, not just the happy me I want the world to see.
Happiness now is different than happiness then. Then, it is was self protection, now, it’s surrender of control.
Two ways to be happier:
- One, accept that you have been pardoned. Completely pardoned! Jesus death on the Cross settled our sin. I don’t know about you, but for me, that is reason to be happy happy happy. We are forgiven-our sins are covered and Jesus took that guilt so we no longer carry the weight of our own selfish desires and stupid decisions. Once Christians fully grasp what was done for us on that Cross, we begin to get what salvation really means. We have been saved from ourselves. Happy that my sins are forgiven is the happy that sticks (got that line from Beth Moore).
- Two, accept and learn from your emotions for they your teacher. Many of them linger with haunting thoughts of past mistakes. Fine, go there. Let them lead you deeper into your soul where you can take God’s shining light into your innermost needs. You’ll never succeed at controlling your emotions. Let them have the attention they deserve with appropriate council and God’s tender help. Don’t wait for crisis to learn to navigate heart ache and brokenness.
Now that I better understand my emotions, I realize they are no longer a threat, but a tool that brings peace and healing. Most of the time, my happy brush is back at work, but now it’s authentic and from a heart of gratitude and understanding of what’s been done for me. Giving up control is a daily struggle, but I might as well because I don’t control one single solitary thing when it’s all said and done.
These concepts go hand in hand. Accepting our pardon completely makes way for our emotions to become the asset that brings truth and authenticity to our souls. This is where freedom becomes real, God takes His rightful place in our life, and we become an infectious soul bearing fruit in this world.
Happy Easter. Accept what has been done. It is finished and it is real. And that makes me happier than I’ve ever been.
Pardon Me, Today’s Pick of the Day.