Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Happy Face

I slept really well last night. One little pill and I feel 100% better. I still have pain in my hands. I'm still tired but I don't feel as bad as I obviously did yesterday and for the last month. I'll probably take these for a few more days at least. The sleep is what helps the most and the pill helps with the anxiety. 

I'm in a place where I'm not happy. In fact, I begin to wonder if I've ever been really happy. There is nothing anyone can do about that so don't offer consolation or solutions. You don't know what it takes to make me happy. I don't either. So, it is my problem to solve. 

Happiness, in a general sense, is not found in people. People constantly disappoint you. Or they go away. No one is who they say they are, even though they think they are and will argue with you till the cows come home that "what you see is what you get". It isn't true. Most  of the time, we all are pretending something. So, depending on people to make you happy is self delusion. 

Happiness is not in things. Things get broken and if you rely on them to feel good, you're going to feel bad a lot. At the least, you'll be dissatisfied with something else. 

Happiness is not about where you're located. You can live in a palace and be unhappy. And while I suspect that all of these things can pacify a person, that is not happiness either. That's a drug.

Does anyone actually like people who always seem to be happy, without a care in the world? Don't lie. You know that you don't. I don't either. Because below it all, we know we're being deceived. We don't like that.

Most of us, in my opinion, don't really know what happiness is or how to get there. Yet, I've learned one interesting thing. Your physical condition does impact real happiness. I don't care what anyone says about people who are stoic in the face of critical illness and how some of them are happy despite being terminal. That's a bunch of poppycock. They aren't happy. They just recognize they can't fix it. They make the best of a bad situation. Pardon me if I cry because I'm sick. I'm not happy about it and I refuse to expect people who are suffering to act happy. I expect them to act civil, not overjoyed at their state of being. I forgive the grumpy old man who is hooked up to oxygen and will never leave his wheelchair again. He has reason to be grumpy. I forgive that and try to make him smile. It isn't happiness he feels and I can't give him that. I can give him a moment's relief from having to pretend.

Here's a quandary.  I'm a Christian and there is this warped idea out there among my brothers and sisters in Christ that no matter what the situation we are supposed to be overjoyed all the time to just be Christians. Our problems are not supposed to get us down and if they do we somehow embarrass God! I have no idea where anyone got this concept. It is not scriptural to me. Maybe someone took something Paul said and made it fit but I've read the Bible, several times, in several orders. I don't see it. 

Let me tell you misguided folks something you seem to ignore. When Jesus carried that cross, he was not dancing up the road to tune of "Singing in the Rain". He was dragging that thing behind him on a back filled with open, bloody gashes that exposed the bones. And when they nailed him to the cross on that hillside, he was not singing "The Hills are Alive". He was in agony and he showed it. He was in pain. He was suffering. He cried. He did not smile at the crowd and say, "It's ok, folks. I'll be fine." He even asked, "My God why have you forsaken me!" Does any of that sound familiar to anyone but me?

So, if I hurt and seem to moan about it and sob and cry...I'm in good company. I'm not happy about my condition, my position, or my location, I'm just thankful God has forgiven me for my failures.

I don't know where this post came from but I think sometimes I moan and groan too much and I feel bad about it. I dislike not being "happy" in a recognizable way. I get embarrassed that my blog contains so much grief, disappointment, and pain. But I realize that is what this societal conception of happiness has done to people. It has made us feel ashamed when we suffer. It tells us that we must greet pain with a smile. We must put on a "happy" face that says, "Don't mind me while I'm bleeding here. Just carry on with the party."

It is just a facade, a word that means a false face. You know it better by its more common name. A lie.



10 comments:

  1. You write powerfully.

    And I agree, no one ever said being a Christian would make you happy in life - just that it would allow purpose and forgiveness and hope.

    Greet pain with understanding and fortitude, yes, but don't be happy about it. Be honest.

    Basically, I agree and you wrote it better than I did.

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  2. I'm so sorry you are in a bad place and truly hope you find a way out soon. But I think in the midst of all this misery you have discovered truths that so many people never find. I agree when you say happiness isn't found in other people, or in 'things', or in location, in fact I would go further and say happiness can't be found in any thing outside of 'self'. I have friends who are forever dreaming of losing weight, or finding a relationship, or having more money, or getting a better house or a million other irrelevant things and they firmly believe that once their 'wants' are realised, they will miraculously find happiness, and of course they don't, It sounds as if you know happiness, or at least some form of peace, is only found internally not externally, and even though you are going through a lot of pain now, I’m sure these insights will help you find peace and happiness later..........I hope you don’t mind me commenting on such a personal blog.

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  3. Were you thinking (maybe) of Paul's: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

    That from a man who told us of his "thorn in the flesh". Maybe we're just supposed to give thanks that it's not as bad yet as it's going to be?

    Most of the verses that mention "happy" also include scenes of violence and despair (there are 25 of them, so I won't repeat them here - just do a search on 'happy') I'd just as soon not go there myself. Frankly, I settle for being content with a few moments of joy along the way - interspersed with pain and sheer terror.

    Obviously, there are many readers that understand. Can't change a thing, but understand.

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  4. Dixie, I feel your pain. I am in pain from arthitis in my knees every waking hour. I can't stand people that pretend to be happy all the time. FAKE. I try not to complain too much. People think I'm crouchy and all I can say is "if you were in so much pain as I am every day, you might be crouchy too." I try not to let it get me down, but to be honest, it does. I think about all the things I would like to do, that I can't, and it depresses me. Dixie Girl, I'm here for you.

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  5. Ladies, thank you so much for your comments and your honesty! And your friendship.

    and I never mind honest responses to my posts. Sometimes, the comments people leave have been comforting, helpful, or insightful. So, I welcome those that may not agree with me. That'd be really boring if they all did!

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  6. There are people who enter a room and you can feel a presence of sunshine and warmth, people who genuinely love people and it shows. Happiness is not always a facade and I tend to be drawn to bubbly joy filled people and NO that doesn't mean that they never experience sorrow because they do, some deep sorrow.
    I agree that we should allow people to grieve or not expect them to go around with a huge smile on their face when they are hurting inside. No one knows what another experiences in their life and emotions. Depression is not something many do not understand until they experience it. I broke down at a ladies Bible study a few months ago . It seems to me a little strange that in one study (video series wish I could remember who the lady was) we had we were told , taught not to put on a mask or stuff our feelings inside and another one weeks later a comment came up that we just need to "suck it up" and get over it. By the way I hate the s word I just typed. There was a person at the study who had just gone through cancer treatment and I felt like and in fact I know that the point was coming across that she was always cheerful when visited and filled with praise. May be so and I won't judge that. God bless her but who is anyone to judge how another should act under times of sadness and turmoil or stress or hurt? And why compare people? It's like growing up and your sister does something that pleases a parent and you are asked "Why can't you be more like your sister?" (Just an example) I felt like that at the meeting. I broke down and cried and was shaking. And who knows what can effect a person . There have been suicides have happened because of a situation someone may have judged as trivial.
    People are judgmental towards depression. As Christians I have felt guilty in times of depression and all of us experience it at some time howbeit at different levels. It's of recent that I have went to get professional help with anxiety and depression . The mind is part of the body and effects the body so why not get help for depression and I believe medicines can help . They have helped me , that and feeding on the Word of God and whatever things are lovely, pure, of good report. I have had a couple counseling sessions but the missing equation for me was spiritual. There were great people of God who went through depression and poured their hearts out before Him. I surely do think that we should be able to be real with each other and find compassion and love and acceptance especially with those who are in the household of faith .

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  7. Meant in my typo depression is something people do not understand unless they experience it ..

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  8. I agree with you, and many responded better than I could. Happiness is fleeting, for sure, and it is not something that comes from others or from things. We have to find it inside ourselves. Acceptance doesn't bring happiness, but perhaps instead it brings a level of peace. Happiness can be found in peace, but again it is something we have to search out and recognize within ourselves. I think I can be happy with acceptance and peace. Once we accept 'it is what it is', we can get on with finding that peace, and even find some happiness along the way. Cheryl speaks truth about depression. My sister suffers from depression. Chemical imbalances can really mess you up, and thank goodness there are medications to help!

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  9. I think we as Christians get mixed up with the idea of happiness vs. peace. I don't think we can always be happy in our circumstances, but we can have peace through Jesus Christ no matter what we face in life. He is our strength - there is nothing we can find inside of ourselves short of Jesus that will bring us peace or true happiness for that matter. When we seek Him, He will be our source of strength and peace. Praying for you.

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  10. Dixie, you must thank God that you have wonderful friends who love and support you, like they do here. There are those who lack these blessings and have to scrape through life alone. You don't need to be happy all the time; like you I think it is a myth. You seem to have no lack of joy, though, which is deeper than happiness; it is that joy that is keeping you going. Have a blessed Easter.

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