Who’s happy with storms?

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Note:  This is an article that I contributed to Networking Times, the premiere publication for network marketing professionals worldwide.


Happiness

As I prepared to write this article on happiness for Networking Times, I wondered at the appropriateness of the topic for me. You see, I have just been through one of my most hellish and emotionally brutal 2 weeks in recent years. And it’s not over yet.

So as I began to write this, I decided to throw out my prepared outline that I was struggling to work on and chose instead to go for my fail-safe, which is to just speak from my heart.

Being happy is usually seen as dependent on circumstance, people, or both. Most people would see it as a feeling that results from receiving, accomplishing, experiencing something good or being with someone who makes them feel good.

So what happens to happiness when circumstances go awry, when storms come, when people hurt us, when instead of the good, the worst happens?

I think of The Beatitudes, and its seemingly paradoxical truths.

Blessed are the poor in spirit…

Those who are at the end of their rope.

Blessed are those who mourn…

Those who experience great loss.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness…

Those who dare stand for what they believe in, even at great cost.

I think of how easy it is for those who are undergoing these circumstances to NOT be happy. It was easy enough for me. I got hit with a triple whammy, a perfect storm that blindsided me, knocked the air from my lungs, hurled me underwater and altered my coastlines forever. Very easy to feel lost, dejected, hurt, betrayed. No happy feelings there. And feel these I did- heartbreakingly so.

Yet, how did The Beatitudes describe those people? BLESSED. One definition of being “blessed” is being “blisfully happy and content”. Talk about raising the happiness bar! There obviously is a way to not just be happy during the storms in our lives, but to be blissfully so.

How can we be happy amidst difficulties? I look at what got me through the past couple of weeks and came up with these:

1. Happiness is a CHOICE.

I’ve been through enough storms to last me a couple of lifetimes, enough to teach me that ultimately, all things happen for a reason. The biggest reason being that there’s something that I need to learn, to let go of, to change. And so when I choose to focus on the silver lining, on the positive, my perspective changes and am able, by God’s grace, to give thanks for the good that’s ahead. That’s something to be happy about.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you…”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

2. Happiness is a CONDITION.

Happiness is not just a result of the good that happens, but more importantly, a condition for it to happen. They say that after a hurricane, the shoreline can look pristine and even sparkly, as a result of the intense pressure it had undergone. Storms have a way of also bringing out the best in us, but only after we choose to view these with an attitude of joy.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4

3. Happiness is a CONSEQUENCE.

Yes, happiness is a choice that we make before and during the storm, a condition crucial in determining how we emerge from it. Yet, it also is a consequence, an exhilarating outcome resulting from knowing we have overcome by God’s grace, and for His purpose.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28

So as I assess how I’ve been faring in the happiness department recently, I asked my daughter Lalli, who along with other family and friends stood with me, to rate me. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being unhappy and 10 being blissfully happy, she gave me a 3.

To have gone through what I did and still get that score means only one thing- that before it becomes a feeling, happiness is a matter of being.

So my friends, choose to BE happy, BE blessed, BE victorious.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Romans 8:37

 

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3 Comments

  1. Heri Setiabudi
    May 22, 2013

    Very Nice from sharing information.
    Thank you so much

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    • Donna Imson
      May 23, 2013

      Thank you, Heri!

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