Finding one good blog often leads you to another. Today I jumped from Ann Voskamp's link list to a new blog -- Gitzen Girl. I jumped around a bit here and there; you know, nosing around the nooks and closets of her blog to find out more about this person, if she seems interesting. She is.
She has a chronic illness involving her auto-immune system, which keeps her in constant pain, and always indoors. Very difficult. But I found this one paragraph which just nailed me to the wall and hurt my heart. Convicted me. In the middle of her trials (and they are significant, read the post), she can say this:
"... I am filled with joy. I'm exhausted, I'm in pain, I'm just getting by. But I am so incredibly blessed. I have a lovely home, an adorable pup, family and friends who care and people who love me, not despite my disease but because of who I am. I am blessed because I take nothing for granted. I love what I have instead of yearning for what I lack. I choose to be happy, and I am. It really is that simple, people. Start every day by being thankful and celebrate your life instead of devaluing it. I am so very grateful for each of you who lift me up and celebrate my life with me, and you should know I am celebrating each one of you every day."
"I choose to be happy, and I am. It really is that simple."
Is it? It's so hard for me! I'm a person who is rarely ecstatically happy. My glass is usually half empty. If I sit down at a supposedly happy moment -- in the back yard, on a perfect day, with the birds singing and the bees buzzing, and the children happy -- something in me is dissatisfied, wants to get up and do something else. Contentment, peace, joy. Can you really just decide to have them?
I have that "Take joy" quote at the top of my blog. Pom Pom has a fabulous joy quote also. We all want joy. We know it's not connected to circumstances. I know something inside of me is really broken, that I can't be happy in my situation. I'm always ruminating, always wanting to fix things. Always worried about what will go wrong next. Always trying to avoid regrets later. There's a coiled-up spring inside me -- not just nerves or stress, but unhappiness also. I want it to go away. I want to wake up each morning, smile, and say, "Thank you, Lord!" Why is that so hard?
Forgive me if I make a study of this. It's something I really want to figure out. Many thanks, Gitzen Girl, for giving me a signpost on the way.