Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt


Happiness from the Outside, In

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author Pic“Happiness is a by-product. You cannot pursue it by itself.”  Samuel Levenson, American humorist (1911-80)

My page-a-day Old Farmer’s Almanac calendar often has pithy quotes that stir my thinking. The one above, on Thursday’s page, struck me as tremendously appropriate for those of us living with chronic illnesses. How often have you said, “I just want to be happy,” while feeling the weight of pain, meds, and restrictions imposed by health challenges?  How often have you winced at someone saying, “Just have a positive attitude – that’ll make you feel better,” knowing that the energy it takes to muster up that ‘positive attitude’ isn’t in your proverbial emotional reservoir?

The quote above offers a clue to a more realistic look at happiness in our lives. Happiness, to the author, is not something isolated or attainable “as is.” Rather, it’s something we achieve by doing something else, by going after something else. That ‘something,’ if positive and productive, yields a sense of self-worth, accomplishment, satisfaction, and, yes, happiness.

But what to achieve? What to pursue? How can we possibly do something so monumental that it stirs happiness up from the ‘swamp’ of sadness, frustration, pain and other negative feelings swirling in our souls?

I don’t think it has to be anything huge or newsworthy. Nor does it have to be long-term. Those positive actions and pursuits can be as simple as doing one, small thing a day toward better health or seeking to do one, anonymous act of kindness. We can remember to celebrate the good things that happen in our world, however truncated, and we can look upon our prayer time as an oasis of calm and peace with God that then brings a warm glow – yes, happiness – to our fragile spirits.

Happiness from the inside, out? That’s a tough proposition. But happiness from the outside, in – that’s infinitely doable!
Blessings for the day,

Maureen



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

TLC Tuesday: Give Yourself 15 Minutes!
Lights! Camera! Action! Today, TLC Tuesday, give yourself 15 minutes - 15 minutes, that is, of time during which you report on and spotlight all of the things you're doing right. Don't let one, single, negative action or word creep into your mind during the whole 15 minutes. What kindness did

posted 8:22:59pm Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Food for Thought: Jackson's Run
Jackson Stone's journey throughout the movie "Jackson's Run" is mined with potentially rich subject matter. A teen bent on self-destructing at the movie's beginning, he is doing all the wrong things with all the wrong people and shutting out his mother and younger brother in the process. But Jackson

posted 10:22:07am Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

A Praying Spirit: Too Many Requests?
How long is your prayer list?  Mine is lines long, full of requests from individuals, from my heart, and for the world around. Issues crop up every day and, yup, they get added t

posted 1:15:14am Sep. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness and Pain: Are You Afraid of Complaining?
For sighing comes more readily to me than food, and my groans well forth like water; For what I fear overtakes me, and what I shrink from comes upon me. I have no peace nor ease; I have no rest, for trouble comes! Then spoke Eliphaz the Temanite, who said [to Job]: If someone attempts a wor

posted 7:36:39pm Sep. 25, 2014 | read full post »

A Blessed Rosh Hashanah
Each time a Jewish holiday arrives, I think about centuries ago, in Jesus' day, when Our Lord also observed these holy days. Sometimes, we Christians forget that Jesus was a

posted 1:54:14am Sep. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.