Here I go,
"...hope and happiness and joy are not products of circumstance but of faith..." Wilford W. Andersen
You should read that again! :)
Most of us allow our current circumstances to determine our overall happiness. Strange, since "stuff happens" all the time, which makes for a pretty downer life! But why is it that we allow circumstances to dictate our happiness? Well, easy answer is that we're human, and humans are imperfect and we don't always know how to react to circumstances.
It's helpful to know, for me, that peace, joy, happiness can come and is meant to come to us even during the hardest times in our lives. In fact, during the most difficult times in my life, I have had some of the most amazing experiences with experiencing overwhelming love and peace from a loving Father in Heaven.
It is easier and almost feels a lot better to turn to a different source, however. A source of anger, bitterness, hatred etc...For some reason, it feels good in the moment because we feel a sense of release by doing so. But true happiness comes when we turn to another source. In my case, a loving and perfect God who can replace those feelings with peace and a better outlook of things as they really are, rather than as they seem.
We choose our reactions. We choose our outlook on life. Sure, our life experiences help shape that, but make no mistake that it is our choice.
"It matters not how straight the gait, how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul" William Earnest Henley
This is a quote that Nelson Mandella lived by.
If we look at the lives of great leaders, we should not be surprised to find out that they did not have it so easy. Why? Because in order to be humble, selfless, and do things for the good of others, we often have to be chastened and tried so that we develop the characteristics we need to then influence others. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison prior to becoming president of South Africa because he was fighting against racial segregation. These many years in prison was a time of refinement for him, where he developed many important traits, such as temperance, that would lead him to do the things he did as President and to be the inspiration that he is.
Without trials in our lives, what would make us want to change and become better? After all, a diamond undergoes tremendous pressure to become a diamond, the end result is extreme resilience and beauty. Adversity is necessary.
Although life isn't always easy, we are meant to have JOY, and I have really felt a whole lot of that in my life. I believe God gives us or allows us to go thought certain circumstances each individually for a purpose, and that is to make us better people and happier people, if we choose wisely our reactions. It is our choice to find joy in those things we are given and the circumstances we may be placed in.
A huge key to being happy is to be grateful for what he have now, instead of waiting to be happy when ___________. There is so much to be said about enjoying the now and learning from the now combined with hope for the future. Be optimistic, life is really good, start believing it and it will start happening.
Oh and if you haven't already, you should watch "Invictus." One of my top fave movies.