I have been thinking a lot about happiness or misery.
Why is it that some people generally live happy lives, and others don't?
Is it because of what has happened to them? Is it because life was unfair to them? Is it because they don't have support? Is it because that's just the way it is?
If that is the case, then life is miserable and uncontrollable and there is no hope for happiness because we all (yes, we all) face hardships in our lives.
So that can't be.
I just listened to Elder Hallstrom's talk from General Conference in April 2010. It hit me hard then, and it hit me hard again now.
We cannot always choose what happens to us in our lives, yes, that is life. But we do choose our reactions.
He says, "No matter the size of the issue, how we respond can reset the course of our life."
I have been greatly saddened lately by the burdens I see other people carrying. It is depressing and gives me little hope of being able to conquer my own challenges, and by conquer I mean becoming better than I was before and moving forward with greater love and joy.
My favorite scripture is: Men are that they might have Joy (2 Nephi 2:25)
But I just recently saw the MIGHT part of it. Why might we have joy, why isn't it a guarantee?
Agency. We are free to choose how we act and react.
Elder Hallstrom goes on to say,
"Throughout the world...there is great joy and great pain, both are part of the plan. Without one, we cannot know the other."
The scriptures, "Men are that they might have Joy" and "There must be an opposition in all things" are not contradictory, they are complementary.
I have been experiencing a lot of opposition lately, but that is life. I;ve come to realize that opposition is ok, but how I react is what will determine the outcome of my life. I am learning how to react when things don't go my way. I am learning patience and greater love for others. I am learning how to become closer to the one who created me, and that is the only reason I am experience JOY rather than misery at this time in my life.
Keep moving forward, and turn to God. It's hard to even make that step because we humans, we want to become angry and resentful...it feels better in the moment. But don't. Take all the courage that is in you, kneel down, offer thanks, and ask for help. In the long run, this makes for a good good even a JOYFUL life.
"Never let an earthly circumstance disable you spiritually."
It is how you react during hard times that ultimately determine how happy you become. It is easy to be happy when things are going great. Learn to find the good in the times you feel life is not so good....because in adversity are hidden gems and stepping stones to help us progress.