I imagine that all of us like to feel good. All of us want to experience happiness, right? Yet feeling good and being happy appear to be somewhat elusive and mysterious, don’t they? So that got me thinking (a dangerous proposition I know). How many Facebook memes give advice on being happy? Happiness is ___________ (you fill in the blank)! Happiness is reported as being a sunny day; a loving family; your dog; the beach; solitude; a son, a daughter, a Mom etc., etc. With so many ideas; so many choices; so much disparity out there, maybe it’s time to look at things from another angle.
It seems that the general consensus is that feeling good or being happy are emotional states that just sort of happen. You know what I mean. “I feel good today!” “I’m feeling really happy right now!” Yet those apparently inexplicable mental states are more a rarity than the norm for most folks. According to my highly unscientific best guess estimates, people seem to be happy about 20% of the time and seeking happiness the other 80% of the time. Maybe that’s the old 80/20 rule again? Is it plausible to consider that maybe life is supposed to be like that? Were humans created to enjoy a few good times and spend the rest of their lives pursuing good times? Is it really about the chase or the wait; the long, long wait?
Cliche’ man says, “I think we’ve got the cart before the horse!” Feelings are really emotional states. Emotions come and go, have you noticed? While feelings are wonderful, they aren’t any guarantee for truth (said a great man once). Our emotions are really barometers; internal sensors that react precisely to what we are thinking or were thinking or think about the most. Feelings aren’t reality checks, they are thought checks! Your emotions reflect back to you your mental climate. If your mental weather is stormy, you feel unsettled. If your mental climate is sunny and calm, you feel pleasant and peaceful. Now get this!!! You don’t feel first, you think first! Okay, I will say that again with volume. YOU DON’T FEEL FIRST, YOU THINK FIRST!!! The real trouble is that most of us aren’t really very clear about what we are thinking about. Thoughts sort of hit our minds and we go with them. And worse, we have learned to accept our often fleeting thoughts as truth! So, here’s a shocker, just because you thought something doesn’t make it true! Your current thoughts or prevailing feelings may have absolutely nothing to do with reality, but since you are an insider looking out, you beg to differ. For example, suddenly (it appears) you feel discouraged. The feeling is very real. No future, no hope, no sunny days ahead! And, in your discouraged state you long for happier times; times when you felt hopeful and encouraged about life and its infinite possibilities. Ya feel me? Okay now slow your roll for a minute here… What thoughts preceded those discouraged feelings? What little snippets of mental picturing led you and of course your feelings to that conclusion? Trust me, something did. The problem is that you were woefully unaware of those thoughts and where they led you. Now all you’ve got left is discouragement. Do you see what I’m getting at here?
Waiting on good feelings or waiting on happiness is like waiting to eat. The sooner you decide to put the food in your mouth, the better you are going to feel. Can you imagine having a banquet at your disposal; starving and yet still waiting for the right time to eat it? Waiting until the sun comes out… Waiting until the conditions are perfect for eating… Waiting until you get your new job; new boyfriend; new car… Seems the simple solution is to decide right now to eat! So you say, cleverly, “Yes but what if there isn’t any food to eat?” Well, if I were a betting man, I’d say that once you have decided to eat in your hungry state, you are going to find some food! However, happiness and good feelings (despite my thrilling analogy) are always available to you if you will decide to take them! But, you don’t decide to take them. You know why, because you are waiting for them (your feelings) to decide for you. And in that perpetual ruse, you will be waiting a very long time (80/20)…
Our great God Who created all there is, wants you to be happy and feel good always! I know that sounds fanciful to you, but it’s true. Sure there’s a time to cry, a time to mourn, a time to overcome, but God wants you to be happy! And good feelings follow good thoughts, so you got to learn how to control your thoughts. You’ve got to challenge that malarkey that enters your brain! (Remember just because you thought it doesn’t make it true!) The good book says, “leading captive every thought to the obedience of Christ (like he controlled his thoughts).” God wouldn’t have asked us to control our thoughts if it wasn’t possible, right? The endgame of controlled thought isn’t bondage it’s happiness and joy and love and peace. (Man, I felt good just saying that!) You learn to rein in that thinker and stop letting it get dragged down the path! The whole world is afraid of disease, but God heals! (But what about the C-word? Yeah that too!) The economy is in dire condition, but God promises prosperity! Good feelings flow forth from good thoughts like water flows over Niagara Falls!
So, stop waiting for the sun to come out in your life. Stop waiting for the stars to align. Stop waiting for anything to happen. Decide right now, today, at this moment, that you ARE happy. Decide that you feel good, even if you are a little under the weather! Decide you are going to live the life God promised you instead of the one the world keeps telling you is available.
Try walking on sunshine instead…
Just some good thoughts…(and feelings :-))