Wednesday, February 22, 2012
More Than Fine- Toya
When I wake in the morning,
I want to blow into pieces.
I want more than just ok, more than just ok.
When I'm up with the sunrise
I want more than just blue skies.
I want more than just ok, more than just ok.
More than fine, more than bent on getting by.
More than fine, more than just ok.- "More Than Fine"- Switchfoot
Almost two months into 37 and I tell you; I have never experienced so much non-stop craziness, sadness, and drama in my entire life. It's only February! I'm hoping that 2012 is in the process of doing a 180 where it starts off craptacular but by December it is absolutely wonderful. Because right now? This ain't cuttin' it. But with shifting comes realization and one of the things that I have realized is that I am not happy. Now before I really get into this, please know that this is not a cry for help. I'm not depressed at all. Well not anymore anyway. I did have a good two week long pity party not too long ago that involved Chinese buffets and long hours of zoning out and playing Angry Birds but that's an entirely different story. What I mean is that I have been doing myself a disservice for quite sometime by acting happy for so long, that I never really checked to make sure that I was actually BEING happy. And the truth is, I can't remember the last time that I was actually consistently happy. Not at all.
Now grant it, I've recently had some happy moments. My friend Anne Marie's wedding last year was the happiest day of my life. That's right. HER wedding was the happiest day of MY life. And while that's sweet and all, I am concerned that I have not spent enough time being concerned with my own happiness.Outwardly I am one of the happiest people you ever wanted to be around. I spend so much energy and take so much care to make sure it comes off that way. However inwardly, not so much. I don't think I've been faking it. I just think that when it comes to my own need for happiness, I've been ignoring it. I'm not sad...currently. But I am definitely not happy. I'm just...okay. And by okay I mean the bare minimum of what constitutes being okay.
I think within Christiandom (which is different from Christianity by the way. Christiandom is culture based on Christianity but sometimes in no way reflects what Christianity is really all about) we are encouraged to "fake it 'til we make it". We are sometimes made to believe that as long as you have joy, that is all you need. I remember being in a church and feeling like if in any way I asked about what I wanted to do for me versus what I could do for others, I was in complete sin. But the fact is you need to protect your own situation. It's like being on an airplane. They tell you that if and when the cabin starts to lose pressure that the oxygen masks will drop. When they do, PUT THE MASK ON YOURSELF first and THEN try to help someone else. And when I think about Jesus, which I've been doing more and more of lately, I wonder what He did to ensure His own happiness. For instance, yes I am happy when I know I have helped others. There are certain moments when I have blessed someone with an encouraging word where I have walked away happy. That's my sweet spot. However, sometimes you have to ask yourself what have you done that makes you happy that is independent of what you have done for someone else. I don't think that's selfish to ask. In fact, I think that you are doing others a disservice if you don't find out what those things are for yourself. Because if you depend on people to provide that for you, you are going to go home feeling more and more empty over a period of time.Of this I am a witness.
I am at a crossroads career wise where I do feel that what I am being led to do may involve what needs to be done for others over some other personal interests that I'd like to pursue. And that's okay because I actually see the greater good in that. I just think that it's important to remember that you need to be extra sure that you can identify the things you need to do for your own happiness, especially if your life's purpose involves people. If you don't you will get burned out. You will actually start to hate the people you so desperately want to help.
So what am I going to do now? For one thing, I intend on being more aware of when I am actually happy versus when I am only acting happy. I have to be honest with myself. Life is too short to just be walking around here doing just okay. I think for some more than others, happiness takes work. I now see it as a responsibility. We are living in some rough uncertain times right now and I think we all owe it to ourselves to rationally and responsibly take care of our own happiness. Note that I said rationally and responsibly. Some people are really out here wil'in right now in the name of "I've got to do me".
Secondly, I need to develop some more hobbies. I got a new camera for Christmas and I love taking pictures and writing about where I go. That makes me happy for sure. Thrift store shopping makes me happy. Lord knows that I can't wait for spring! I think we all owe it to ourselves to try new things. Don't take your friends for granted either. You need them and they need you. By friends I mean real friends. Friends that won't let you lie about how you are really feeling. Even Jesus had homies outside of the disciples that he got away and chilled with. Even he knew when to get away from the crowds to be alone and get himself together. Why did I think I was any different?
At this point happiness is work but with the uncertainty of life that is more apparent now than ever before, it's so worth it. We don't just owe it to ourselves to be happy, we owe it to others. Have you done a happiness check up lately? It's worth considering.