If you’ve woken up over the last few years feeling a bit demotivated and that your purpose seems void, it could be from brainwashing. It could be from the commercialized world we live in that tells us we constantly need more and should want more than what we have. I’ve talked a little bit about this in the past, but these last two weeks it really became a bit of an eye-opener to me from two sermons I listened to from two different pastors. One pastor was talking about how the American Dream has killed dreams and has killed the tribe like spirit we should still have with our neighbors, family, and community. The inability to achieve the American Dream has possibly lead to depression and worse, maybe even suicide.
The American Dream is no longer just a simple way of living life. It was simply finding a good paying job in a quiet suburban neighborhood with 3 kids, a white picket fence, and a green lawn. While we all are striving to make our little piece of pie in the world the best we can make it, it’s now become a source of greed. When we get greedy, it leads to unhappiness, depression and an altered perspective. When we feel blessed for what we have, and I mean feeling truly blessed, which means you are no longer yearning for what your neighbor has. It comes from one of two places. You either really truly do have it all, or your heart has tapped into how truly blessed you are. Now here’s the thing, if it’s not the latter, then your happiness is temporary and there’s nothing more that will make you happy. You’re kind of SOL from here on out. Having it all does not mean happiness. Some of the world’s billionaires are also some of the world’s most unhappy people.
As I was explaining to my children this morning when talking about happiness and gratefulness. I was talking to them about South African tribes. People who live in clay huts, people who have to grow their own food, hunt their own food, wash their clothes on washboards and hang them to dry. We might feel sorry for them….yet God provides for their needs and they are immensely grateful for their lot in life and what they have. Most of them likely have healthier spiritual states than we do here in the U.S. living air-conditioned lives, food and drink at our fingertips, indoor plumbing and our laundering situations are much easier…even if you have to go to a laundry mat. I say all this because our perspective on our lives is what makes us unhappy. We have lost the ability to be grateful. We are taught that we need more and more and it is making us depressed and unhappy.
Truly being happy with what you have will need to come from a place of simplicity in your life. A place of knowing what you need, and knowing that anything extra is an extra blessing in itself. It comes from the expectation and training of your mind to want less things in life, and more from relationships in life. That’s a hard mental battle to change. We are immersed in that culture daily!
Once we learn this, once we know that trouble is a guarantee and that blessings are a gift and anything extra is just more….then we can find true happiness.
Today I am happy because I am abundantly blessed. Blessed beyond what I deserve in life. I don’t live in a mansion, I don’t have a private airplane that takes me where I want to go. But I don’t want it or need it. In fact, I could have some things to be depressed about. Our mortgage is going up $200 next month because of a newly imposed property sales tax. My cat has to have all her teeth extracted and that bill will be $2500 dollars. My air conditioning unit has to be replaced. You know how much those things cost. We’ve had thousand dollar expenses outside of our normal monthly expenses every single month for the last 7 months from replacing car air conditioning systems, replacing two batteries in the same car within a month’s time, along with new tires, to reregistering our vehicles (which by the way is super expensive in Colorado compared to to other states) to buying computers to work efficiently from home and so on. We don’t have a savings account anymore. I’ve let our dwindling savings account make me feel sad and angry at times, I’ve let all of these extra expenses that all seemed to happen at one time, depress me.
But I still have a roof over my head, food at my fingertips and I am still blessed far more than what I deserve. Far more than what I need. When we finally realize what we have and are happy with it and when we stop comparing our lot to another’s, that is when we will be truly happy.
Do you let circumstances in your life change your perspective and make you think you have a bad life? If you do, stop and think about what you actually have. It is guaranteed in life that you will have problems. God says that. There is nothing you can do to come to a state in live where you won’t have problems. You’ll always have them. Knowing this, should ease your mind going further. Knowing this should empower you to make the best of what you have and should teach you to feel blessed, grateful and humble.
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