If you battle with mental torment, panic, anxiety, depression …Many people are mournful about what they think they should be doing to have fun. About what they perceive they are missing out on. In this post I just want you to reflect on who you are and understand more fully that your goal is to find joy!, which is everlasting not just happiness which is transient when it is attached to materialism and social standings. Yes, anxiety does get in the way with how you want to live your life. So, lets set goals of the type of happiness of internal peace and joy that brings about a full and productive life.
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Everyone else is having fun you think so there must be something wrong with me. With some having fun is like an obsession. But Fun does not bring peace joy and contentment it just brings a desire to want more fun until the methods of fun become an idol. When you find true peace and joy – you could find yourself in a jail cell, in the hospital, at a funeral of a loved one and yet you would be content. In other words, you would remain positive despite the conditions that surround you.
Let’s evaluate just what having fun means. It may surprise you but if your happiness is based on having fun you may be in for a surprise. FYI Idolizing things and acquiring them does not bring about true joy and happiness. For as soon as the activity that you call “fun” is over the happiness disappears. That is until you find another “fun activity” to engage in and because it lasted only while a short time people mistakenly feel they need more of it to stay happy.
Could it be that you are too involved with your tales of woe to miss opportunities?
Today it is all about keeping up with the Jones on steroids! People judge themselves on their social media presence and possessions in comparison to others.
People can idolize others lifestyle. Do you desire idols to run your life? Don’t YOU want to be in control? With the lack of so called happiness many feel the need to smoke, or drink, use drugs, or seek out new and hazardous relationships. As if belonging to a group, any group even if it is not a good choice, fulfills a need. Surrounding yourself with others in the same boat, just keeps you on that boat. This is a way to describe self-pity. This is another way to look at the difference between having a positive attitude vs a negative attitude.
Looking around the neighborhood, listening to people talk, (some friends, some not) the most common question is what’s new? That is code for; tell me about your newest purchase, your latest adventure or how is your love life.
Somehow people feel they are judged if they say nothing is new. Or woe is me same ole same ole. Why do many think that way?
People want to talk about themselves, display their material gains, talk about their conquests. Guess you could sum it up by saying people want to feel worthwhile, who doesn’t! Take stock in how much things mean to you! But stuff, acquisitions, conquests does not cut it. They can be stripped away. I would much rather be joyful without anything and then just happy for the moment. Two of the greatest compliments are being considered a positive person no matter what the circumstance and being humble! That is respectful, and modest – NOT boastful, conceited, egotistical, or prideful. We all know some of those people.
DO NOT FALL INTO THE TRAP LABELING YOURSELF BY YOUR ANSWERS TO …WHATS NEW?
Many that have nothing new to boast about, feel they must answer and end up gloating in their misery to accomplish the sense of belonging. We see it in todays schools where children wear labels of depression, and anxiety like a badge and pridefully list off all the meds they take?
Today, there is also a manufactured need to be entertained, instead of being “self-made and independent. Instead of finding joy in personal accomplishments. Ask a child of yesteryear they had imagination in their play using ideas and make-believe. Today society feeds into this need for gotta have stuff, gotta be entertained. Have you ever heard a kid say I am bored? Back in the day we made our own “fun”.
So, you are happy when you get a new dirt bike, buy a new wardrobe, maybe go on a cruise, or purchase a bigger or better motor home with all the bells and whistles that you just have to invite everyone over to see what you just purchased! Some hang their hat of unhappiness because their house is not the way they want it, they do not travel enough, or they do not have enough friends. Stuff is nice but not necessary! Friends are great if they are truly friends that support you and encourage you.
I have been there substituting peace joy and contentment with stuff and then too I was anxious…. In 2015 – 2016, cancer, loss of job, death of son and father, divorce, getting lymes disease, and its ongoing side effects could have caused much anxiety and or depression. But with internal joy not once did I shed a tear. New doors opened and I am the most content I have ever been.
Happiness and joy shouldn’t revolve around the feelings or emotions that signify fun. True joy is internal and not dependent on stuff.
Test yourself. What if you lost everything right now from some devastating catastrophe? Would you be able to be happy or would the loss of things and maybe a person set you on a path to slow destruction?
AS FOR ME HOW I OVERCAME ANXIETY
I opened up my vulnerabilities and in faith trusted in our Lord and Savior. When you do the will of God overtakes our will and peace, joy, and contentment follow. With the acquisition of stuff how many times along the way did you discuss with God your plans asking for His guidance. Thanking Him for what you have? Remember most of your thoughts and actions are birthed by your emotions, the way you feel. And whenever your life revolves around emotions you are a prime target for the devil sets a trap keeping you from being effective reaching your potential and experiencing the life God intended you to have.
Key point is that our emotions are not designed to lead ~ they are to follow the will of GOD.