Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unhappy?

So many people I know lately are going through great difficulty. And it breaks my heart every time I think about the pain they’re experiencing. Some are going through a health crisis and yet a few others, a marital crisis. These types of crisis often leave us exhausted, frustrated and undeniably unhappy.  

I’m discovering through experience as I observe how people respond to life and through my own life experiences that when we struggle with the BIG stuff in life, it causes us to feel unhappy. And sometimes depending on your level of happiness, everything in life inevitably seems affected by it. You try not to, you try really hard not to, but it does. Sure, we may wear a fabulous social mask that allows us to hide our unhappy feelings for a while, but when we get home and close the door, the noise inside of us is deafening. When I say “unhappy,” I’m not referring to those who suffer from depression due to a chemical imbalance. That’s a completely different category. I’m also not referring to feeling mildly dissatisfied. Mildly dissatisfied is manageable through copious amounts of chocolate. This I know from experience. The unhappy feeling I’m focusing on today is circumstantial unhappiness. Something in life happened to cause that kind of unhappiness to enter into your life. Feelings of unhappiness while intangible in nature are real and they’re a part of life and we all experience it at some point. For example, if you have siblings and survived your childhood, I’m pretty sure you felt unhappy at some point, probably when one of your siblings got a bigger scoop of ice cream in their bowl. Yes, we measure those kinds of things when we're children. And when they happen, it grieves us immensely! But we eventually get over it with the help of a great therapist, right?  

All kidding aside, sometimes our unhappiness feels unfair for sure and sometimes a bit consuming. Feeling unhappy is often triggered by a host of different scenarios and leaves a person feeling loss or hurt or wounded, or they may be feeling great disappointment or fear. It’s a lot of different things, wouldn’t you agree? A personal or marital crisis for example will undoubtedly cause a person to feel unhappy. What ever the situation, I think we’re in agreement that unhappy feelings are real joy killers. Friend, if you’re feeling unhappy today, please be assured that “unhappy” happens to the best of us and its always temporary. That being said, I’ve discovered that we have a choice about our unhappiness. And how we choose makes a huge difference. How we choose to see the situation will determine what our days will look like. When life feels hard and it causes me to feel unhappy, I work really hard to turn the situation around by asking myself what hidden treasure might be discovered within this difficulty. I tell myself that if its happening, surely there has to be something I’m suppose to learn from this. When I ask those types of questions, my perspective of the situation changes and when that takes place, I change how I deal with the situation. I’ve learned that my whole being is affected by this choice. I’ve learned that burying my head in the sand gets me no where really fast and always leaves me feeling stuck. But when I make a choice to change my perspective and to look at the bigger picture and choose hope, I allow myself to go beyond the situation and that is often where I find treasures to be discovered. It’s during life’s difficulty that I remind myself that God is still in control and nothing is impossible with Him and for Him. And if your unhappy state is filled with profound disappointment and feelings of chronic emotional pain, you should extend yourself some grace and lower your expectations regarding the recovery time, your healing time. We all want to feel better quickly but sometimes “feeling better” takes time, a lot of time. Some wounds and hurts and some disappointments take more time than others and its different for everyone. When those difficult seasons surface, I remind myself that the only thing I can control is how I Iove and trust God. I love what the Bible has to say in Romans 8:28. It says: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Friend, I love God, maybe not perfectly but I do love Him with all my heart. I may not always get it right and I may never be able to love Him as richly and as deeply as He loves me, but I’m pretty sure I will probably die trying.

Are you experiencing some kind of difficulty in your life today? If so, is it something that could be turned into a new perspective, a treasure that will enable you to learn more about yourself and grow more into the real you? May God who understands each need, who listens to every prayer, bless you and keep you in His tender loving care. Remember, you are never alone. 

Blessings and until next time, grace and peace to you always,

Ruthie

Once you choose hope, anything is possible. ~ Christopher Reeves