A few years ago, I attended a Christmas fireside presented by a multicultural dance and choir group I used to be a part of.
The group sang uplifting songs, focusing on the hope, healing, light and birth of Christ.
It is always so special to hear this group sing. It brings back so many fun memories and the music is p o w e r f u l! I always leave so inspired. Hopeful to try a little harder and be a little better.
But something different happened at this particular fireside, the remarkable lady that writes all of the songs stood and bore her special witness. This hardly ever happens.
She recalled an experience where she was sitting in Stake Conference and their stake President spoke about how he interviews hundreds of people and mostly all of them say that they are “almost happy.” That if they just had this or could change that, then they’d be happy.
And what was even more interesting is that she herself admitted that she was probably one of those people. That her family wasn’t perfect and they didn’t always get along. But she challenged the audience to join with her in letting go of those things that are keeping us from being truly, fully happy.
As she said those words, I realized that I was one of those people, too.
I was almost happy. I had a good life. A wonderful family. I knew I was blessed... But just like everyone else, there are things in my life that are hard. Circumstances I’m not a fan of. That may not change. And I found that I was relying on many of them to create happiness for me.
So what she said really made me evaluate the things in my life that were holding me back from creating this full and happy life. Because you know what? I don’t want to wait to be happy. I want to be happy now. And why not?!
Why not have a life that is truly happy? And I’m not saying a picture perfect life. No. Not a life that is without rough times. But a life that is full of “happy nows”. And gratitude. And perspective. And improvement. A life that is free from discontent.
Because life is too short to not be happy. We are meant for it. We are made for it.
“Men are, that they might have joy” right?!
Some days it feels like work. Sometimes I need SO MUCH help. Especially from my patient and understanding Savior. Nonetheless, it is so beyond worth it! I am so worth it. And so are you!
If you find yourself slipping into "almost happy" mode like me--or maybe you've already been stuck in that rut for a while, it's okay! It happens. I think it's important that we understand that happiness doesn't mean wearing a smile 24/7. But what matters is that if we fall a million times, we're picking ourselves back up a million and one times. Joy comes from the journey. Happiness does not exist without sorrow. Or hardship. Or mistakes. So as we endure and as we are refined by our struggles through a relationship with Jesus Christ, we will find ultimate happiness.
Don't wait for things to be perfect. Find joy now. It's there for us. It's meant for us.