Have you ever told yourself that if you just got that one item everything would be better? You feel like your whole well-being was wrapped up into purchasing, or consuming that item. You build that item, look forward to that item and end up coveting that item.
But when you finally get that item, yeah, you’re excited for that moment, but then the excitement wears off, and you are just left with that item looking forward to consume and covet something else. We all know it, yet we all fall prey to the same idea. Sadly, it becomes a vicious cycle, until we learn what will really make us happy.
Knowing True Joy
Lately, I have been thinking about “joy” that we surround around items–things. I’ve been thinking about the minor things that can make or break a day, and try to understand what are my breaking points. However, no matter how far I look, and how much I can say that something is not right, I cannot help but remember how well off I am.
Every time I say to myself, “Ohh, I can totally be happy with….” I know that it’s only for the moment. And I’ll be completely honest, there is no real happiness that we can have surrounded by things. It took years to figure out that it doesn’t matter about the model of my camera. What nail polish I have, how many books that I have on my book shelf. True happiness, for me, is tied with my love for Christ, and knowing that I am a child of God.
Life is so much different now that I’m expecting my third child. While waiting for my second child come into the world, I became obsessed with what I was not able to do. There were so many things that I wanted to do, and I was determined to not let a baby slow me down. I surrounded myself with women who saw children as a burden, and didn’t take their families into complete consideration. They were interested in opening businesses, and growing themselves (which is not bad in itself), but I didn’t see myself at that point yet. While nothing was wrong with these women–they were nice women–just saw differently in our goals and where we were going.
That environment was toxic for me. I always felt like I was living up to someone else’s ideals, not what was truly my calling. It wasn’t until I dissociating myself with those people, that the clutches of unhappiness started to leave. I no longer had unrealistic expectations, and I began to live by what expectations are.
Time Can Show Us Our True Priorities
Over time, I learned to separate my goals from other people’s dreams. I have learned that my happiness is not surrounded by items and material things. While I agree that there are many things that can contribute to our happiness, they are truly the few things that need to survive:
- Food on our tables
- A roof over our heads
- Clothes on our backs
- A job to sustain our family
Anything beyond that is truly a blessing. My happiness these days comes from a place knowing that I do what I can for my family. Giving prayers and time to people who actually need it, and showing my children that sacrificing is not a sullen thing, but something we can do joyfully.
To get to this point was years. There was always this fear of missing out–that while I’m doing something, I could always spend my time doing something better. Time. Time has gotten me to this point where I realize that I am right where God wants me to be. That if I am to do all the things that I feel like I should be doing, then I wouldn’t learn the lessons of life today.
This reminds me of a song from my daughter’s movie:
Now I won’t say that we will never have a bad day, but the bad days won’t truly be that bad. Especially if we remember what our true purpose is.