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Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

***This was suppose to be posted March 26, but as usual life got in the way***

I love spring, the flowers, my birthday, the hope of longer days after the short days of winter, Easter, picnics, yard work and sunshine.  There is so much that is very renewing about Spring, it seems as if each day comes with it’s own dose of hope.  Some of my hardest things have start dates in Spring, some bitter to help me appreciate the sweet.  Today I was sitting in the car thinking for a moment about not just Hard Things, but my very hardest of all the hard things and I realized how overwhelmingly grateful I am for the atonement.  The rest of this post may seem vague, but it’s intentionally vague.  This isn’t about how I dealt with my very specific Hard Things, it’s about Hard Things in general.  We all have them, they all look different, and what is hard to one person may be easy to their neighbor.  This isn’t about comparing my life to yours, or your neighbors, or your uncle’s dog’s breeder’s neighbor who had something sort of similar (but not really) happen.

The opportunity the atonement gives to repent of  sins and poor choices is invaluable and completely necessary for everyone.  It’s taught through various denominations of Christianity starting at very young ages.  It’s outlined in steps during Primary Sharing Times and Family Home Evenings and follows an easy format (easy in listing the steps, more difficult in applying the principle into your life)

Today I’m most grateful for the “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you restfrom Matthew 11:30.  It’s less concrete to me, I’ve not found a list of steps to take to get that rest.  In fact there have been times in my life when I’ve been doing everything I’m suppose to very well scriptures, prayer, pondering (lots and lots of pondering), attending Sunday meetings and carrying the Spirit with me throughout the week but the Savior didn’t come and take my burdens away from me because I held onto them with all of my Erickson stubbornness.  I benefited greatly from those habits and often felt at peace but things were still hard. I didn’t see how to let go of my burdens and I was only dealing with Hard Things, not the smothering very hardest of all the hard things.

I don’t know that there is a set format to turn over a heavy load to the Savior, but it is possible.  It took time, patience, following some very specific advice, and lots of faith.  I still had to do all the same things but the overwhelming weight of everything was gone, almost as if I’d grown stronger but I hadn’t.  I had learned to rely on the Savior and trust that everything was going to be okay — whatever okay meant.

For that extra strength I am deeply grateful.  That when my world was shattered I could still find up, I knew that somehow I could get through even if it took my entire life I could do it, for the ability to repent of all my mistakes and the knowledge that there is so much more to the atonement than I can understand at this point in my life.


Spring Blossoms on my crab apple tree
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I believe not just with my heart but with every part of me down to my toenails what I said in my “Are You Happy?” post.  Some of the hardest times in my life have been the happiest.  While the difficulties were falling down around me I was actively dealing with the ones that could be dealt with even laughing at some of the attempts to derail me and I made a conscious decision to let others lie where they fell for the time being because I didn’t have the ability to clear them away.  I was in the midst of a storm  and I was happy, perhaps even dancing in the rain.

{Happiness aside, I’m using this picture that I’ve seen viral from FB, youtube, miscellaneous blogs but it’s mine.  I took it, it’s Charlet on the street in front of our house.  My image, my editing, my camera, my daughter, heaven’s rainstorm on a summer day.  Did I mention mine?}



Dance like no one is watching
I’m not certain where the strength came from but it’s not always easy.  Some days, weeks, months it takes everything I’ve got to roll out of bed.  Sure, having somewhere concrete to be will grudingly get me moving but reality is I’d rather be in bed or sitting on the couch doing nothing.  I’ve had days where my goal was to just get outside and see the sunshine but trying to accomplish it was like you’d ask me to do long division in my head.  Happiness was a fairytale I heard about and wanted to believe in but seemed as far away as Cinderella’s castle.  This winter has been particularly gloomy between working nights the short days and the bitter cold I’ve struggled more days than not to just get moving.

Please know that I fully believe in my happiness post, I do know that it’s possible regardless of your situation.  I also know that no matter your situation it can be difficult.  Today has been a good day, I forced myself to get moving early on and spent some time researching working nights and the use of light therapy.  I might just invest in a light and I think I’m going to have my Vitamin D levels checked again.

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Are you happy?

I’m going to preface this in a way that makes me grateful that my English teachers and/or debate teachers aren’t likely to be reading this because I can see my grade dropping regardless of the wonderful content that could potentially follow.  I’ve had a lot of thoughts on happiness floating around in my head the past month with increasing frequency but my thoughts aren’t forming nice words let alone sentences or complete blog posts so be prepared for the brainstorming version.  I’m also beat after a long night at work and that doesn’t help so please try to ignore my rambling.

There are people that I know that I’ve intentionally gotten to know better simply because they seem happy.  They have an infectious smile, a sense of peace, or their eyes always have that happy twinkle in them.  I enjoy being around them and find myself feeling happier just because I had the opportunity to spend some time with them even if it’s as brief as chatting in the grocery store line.

There is a point in my life that I was jealous of them, I wanted their life.  Obviously, if they are that happy nearly all the time their life must be better than mine.  Right?  I know that some areas that I was really struggling with they were not and they were always happy.  Their life is definitely better than mine.  Right?

Wrong.

As I’ve gotten to know a couple of these individuals better I learned that their life isn’t without struggles, they are lonely sometimes, sunshine doesn’t always fall before their feet, and just maybe their wonderful teenagers behave like teenagers.  They are happy because that is simply who they are.  Their happiness isn’t conditional on life letting you take the easy road and in fact I’m willing to bet that they are happier because of their trials, stresses, hardships, {whatever label makes you happy will work}  Happiness is not dependent on a perfect life free from conflict and stress.

Okay, great!  I can be happy!  I can do happy, I quite enjoy being happy in fact.

Until Mom Guilt shows up at least.  How dare I be happy when things aren’t perfect for my kids.  They don’t have fresh baked bread, the soup in the crock pot is cheater soup, I can’t buy every gadget and gizmo they want, and there is always a list of things that must be done that is never done.  The audacity of me being happy in the face of all that?!?

Wrong again.

If I manage to teach my kids how to find happiness in the mist of whatever life throws at them I will consider that a success.  In Finding Peace, Joy, and Happiness there is a quote I’d like to find about happiness that I am willing to attempt to paraphrase because you know as well as I do that I’m not actually going to come back and fill it in no matter how great my intentions are.  Richard G. Scott says that happiness is rooted in obedience.  It’s not in the flashy fun things of the world that disappear quickly but true lasting happiness is found in obedience.  Gospel teachings aside, I think there is an important difference for everyone regardless of religious beliefs between fun and happy. If I’m given the choice I’ll choose happy.  Dirty dishes, piles of bills, homework, kid shuffling, loneliness and all — I choose happy.

Kaede Spinning

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