Friday, June 22, 2012

Choose Happiness

There's a lot of this going around….and as much as I like to see positiveness among people, I also like to see some balanced realism.

It's a bit like saying, choose slimness, or choose good health. Because many people aren't slim, and no matter their diet, won't be. And many people would love to be in perfect health, but their genetically shonky heart won't allow it.

Happiness is a byproduct, rather than a choice. Some find it easy to attain. Others wish they could taste a bit of it.

I've been suicidally depressed, and I've been happy. But I've never been able to hit a switch and flip from one to the other.

Ah, you say, but it's about making choices.

Let's get a bit real folks, when you are depressed, (and I'm not talking about feeling 'a bit low'), choosing to get up off the couch may be beyond you. Choosing to 'be happy' is out of the question.

These images are 'feel good' fluff. And to those who are deep in the pit of despair, insulting.

The 'foundation' of our behaviour, (the way we live) effects everything we do. And that foundation is our beliefs. What we do (our behaviour) springs from what we think (of ourselves and others). So if we change the way we think, we change the way we live. 

A lot of people stop there, thinking that's enough to enable you to 'choose happiness'. But, there's another level. What we think springs from what we believe. 

So we have to work on what our beliefs are. If a person believes they are unlovely, all their thoughts will be along those lines (I'm useless, I'll never be any good, no one can love me...) and their actions will follow those thoughts, self harm, eating disorders, depression, possibly suicide. 

So then, when a person can believe they are loved, their thoughts are uplifted, they think of themselves as of value, as precious, wanted, and they are able to think of others that way also. Their action follow their thoughts, they are happier, they participate in life, become more outgoing, look after themselves and so forth. 

It's not a quick fix (like 'choosing happiness'), but may require decent counselling, and the support of family and friends to change from one belief system to a better one.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Forgive and Forget?

Forgiving someone of a  wrong they have done you can be very healing, both for them and for yourself. You no longer have to carry around that load of hurt, day after weary day. 

Sometimes we are told we should 'forgive and forget', which sounds all noble and good, but is it really good advice, or even do-able?

We may have grown up being told this from the pulpit, held up to us as an 'ideal' we should aspire to, but where did this ideal come from? 

"For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And their sins will I remember no more." 
- Hebrews 8:12. 

Sounds like 'forgive and forget' doesn't it? Yet it isn't. God doesn't forget anything! Yet here He says He will remember our sins no more. There's a difference there, an act of will. An act of love.

God chooses to not bring our faults to mind, He chooses to not hold them before us, or hold them against us. He knows all about them, but puts them aside, "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us." - Psalm 103:12.

What if we forget? A large part of our experience in life that brings us wisdom and maturity comes from remembering things we go through. If we forgot those things, we would being going backwards in our growing! We aren't asked to forgive and forget, but to emulate God's ideal, forgive the hurt and choose to not hold it against them.

It's still a tough act to follow, but it is an act of love.