Living In This Moment, Enjoying This Moment
Nobody gets exactly what they want in life. At least not all the time anyway. So if someone hurts you and you wish them to feel pain in return, you can count on it happening because life is like that. There are conflicting needs. Take for example this Christmas. I needed to have the whole evening Christmas Eve with my brother and his wife and kids. But his wife desparately wanted to spend Christmas Eve practicing with her kids and sisters and nieces and nephews for a show they put on at her home church. I wanted so much for Christmas Eve to stay as close to the same as it did before my Dad died, but it did not and I was alloted 2 hours--4:30-6:30 pm on Christmas Eve only. So I drove 1 1/2 hours to spend exactly 2 hours with my brother and his family. We had a nice two hours. But no pictures. No fanfare. It felt very unChristmas like. And I was hurt and angry and I was wishing for my sister-in-law a fair share of misery I admit. And although I know that is not my most honorable moment, it is the truth. But I have begun to realize that it really doesn't matter. Sure, I wish they had more time for me. But my sister-in-law...even though it appears that she got her way on this one special night of the year, does not get her way on everything. Let's face it, if she did her heart would be more generous towards me. The very fact that her heart is not tuned into my needs shows that she is reacting and acting on her needs.
That was a long example, but the point is we just can't get everything we want when we want it. So it has occurred to me that the biggest hindrance to my own joy and happiness comes from my dwelling on the past or my fears for the future. And that doesn't get me anywhere but to a town called miserable where the torturer is your very own self. So let go of the past and let it be what it is...memories. And let go of the fears of the future...let them be what they are....not real....merely vague shadows of darkness. And focus on this time, this moment, this beautiful day. Seek out what is good about it. Enjoy the feel of the sun. Enjoy the laughter that is afforded to you. See the colors of the world, the textures, the whirling life dancing around you trying to get your attention. God gives us grace for the moment. When and if the dark shadows solidify and become reality, He will give us grace at that time to face them. And as far as the past, God is not a God of the past. He is a God of hope and to give us a future so any thoughts of the future should be on His plans for us...to prosper us. So live this moment...drain every morsel of flavor out of it. Therein lies happiness and joy.
Stop thinking that happiness comes in some particular life circumstances...married, 2 kids, white picket fence, 2 story house, a dog, a cat and a swimming pool with trips to Paris in the summer. Even someone who has all that has bad days and does not always get what they want...maybe the dog throws up in the swimming pool and maybe it rains every day they are in Paris. Whatever. Joy...is joy...no matter the cause behind it. If you experience joy because you found a penny on the sidewalk and it made you do a happy dance all the way to the bank is that joy any less valid than the joy of someone who just won the lottery? I don't think so. Joy is a gift. Embrace it. Don't try to put it into a little box to define it's value. Let it flow in your life. Look for it...seek it...embrace it...dance with it.
And finally, do not let the 2 C's of emotional torture getcha! What are those 2 C's? Competition and comparison. If you want to make yourself miserable fast, then just put yourself in competition with friends, neighbors and relatives. And to further add to your misery don't forget to compare your life to those who seem to have it all and that will GUARANTEE your ongoing misery. Cause you can always find someone smarter, prettier, more popular, richer, more traveled, more exciting....and you fill in the blank here with your own personal comparison vice_____________. So don't do that...let it go. OWN YOUR OWN LIFE AND LOVE IT. It may not be great, but it is all yours and that MAKES IT GREAT...because YOU are great and beautiful and marvelously and wonderfully made by God. Never forget that....forget the competition and comparison. Embrace who God made you to be...somebody unique and special and awesome...just as is. You don't have to go to Paris to impress God, just hang out with Him and He will love that. He desires time with us all. that's pretty cool. Never forget that you are the amazing author of your own life. Don't worry about what you don't have...feel jealous? Turn it into an action plan of what you REALLY want for your life...don't copy cat just to "look happy" but figure out what you really want and write that on into your life even if it is just something little to add some spice to your life. And if you're not sure, then ask God what you can add to your life or what He wants you to do. It's good to give God the pen. May your life flow and may you find peace and love and dance with joy in 2009 and onward and may the love of our Lord Jesus Christ flow freely in you and through you to others in need of a bit of love in their life!