It's Friday, and I'm feeling good. I've been feeling good for at least a couple of weeks now...and I'm a little scared. I haven't felt this good for this long for a long, long time, so I'm a little nervous that the downward spiral will start and I'll feel bad again.
I realize how silly that sounds, but I guess that's something I have to fight against because of my history of depression. I have had lots of good times over the years. I've enjoyed life for short periods of time, but it seems like my thinking often sends my emotions back down to a pretty dark place if I'm not careful (and it has become clinical depression a few times).
I've really been trying not to analyze my happiness too much, because I know that if I overthink it I'll ruin it. I'm trying to just enjoy it and make sure I'm doing all of the things I need to do to keep it going.
I think I'm finally on the right dose of the right medicine, so that's helping. I'm learning to think in right ways so that I don't think myself into a negative place when things don't go my way or stressful situations happen. I'm trying to make sure I balance my obligations with activities that bring me happiness. I'm learning to trust God completely and rest in His love instead of worrying so much about what will happen in the future.
Sometimes I can think myself into feeling bad because I compare myself to other people's lives and I feel guilty for feeling good. How can I deserve to feel happy when so many people are going through pain, grief, poverty, or injustice? That is flawed thinking, my friends, and I'm learning to reject it. I can care about the struggles that others are going through, but their problems do not mean that I cannot be happy. Choosing happiness in the midst of my own difficulties can be one of the best ways to show people what it means to trust in my awesome God. I'll have enough days where it's hard to choose that happiness; when it comes easily I need to enjoy it.
Here's something that's added to my happiness lately:
That's me and my "Peepsicle." I got it for just 18 cents recently. (A yellow peep is missing because I ate it before I got the bright idea to take a picture of it.) I'm going to be happy about that Peep sucker, even though I've had several people tell me that peeps are "nasty." They're welcome to their opinion - just don't take away my peeps!
I got the rubber stamp for 50 cents. I would never use it on a card and risk shaming someone who was feeling sad, but I set it on the windowsill in my kitchen and it reminds me to practice thinking happy thoughts. I realize we can't always think our way to happiness; sometimes we're just too overwhelmed or tired or sick. Many times, however, we are able to turn our thoughts around when we choose to think on things that are "true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable." (Philippians 4:8)
When you're feeling good, enjoy it! Thank the Lord for those happy feelings and pray that they last a long, long time.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"
(Philippians 4:4 NIV)
Are you feeling happy today? Enjoy it! How can focusing on God help you to feel more happiness and enjoy life more?