It is supremely easy to get dragged down into a rut of sorrow, complaints, self-pity, regrets, depression and even anger.  In fact, it becomes so familiar it’s almost like an old friend.  It’s easier to stay there than to try to dig your way out.

I have begun to notice something on this journey, as I write my way through healing.  If I find nothing to be thankful for, nothing positive to cling to, if I do not see God and his brilliance in anything,  then what in the world is there to look forward to?

I hear of a woman whose spouse has been stricken inexplicably with an undefinable illness and has not been awake for days.  Another learns to help her husband re-learn everything after a debilitating stroke, all while holding her family together and being the sole income provider.  A co-worker’s father has been diagnosed with cancer.  My uncle becomes my aunt’s caregiver as she fights a losing battle with Alzheimer’s.  I see parents with out of control children and families broken apart by addictions.

Every single person in this world struggles in some way or another on a daily basis.  Sorrow, complaint, self-pity, depression, regrets, anger…we all have the right to feel that way.  Some days it is just easier to get up and move on with life than others.  Who am I to think my troubles are more worthy of pain and suffering than any of the above mentioned individuals?

I am a human being.  That’s who I am.  I have every right to be sad and depressed, to feel beaten down and worthless, to feel hopeless and afraid.  But I also have the equal right, and privilege to find joy in life.  Even if that joy lasts for just a moment, I am learning to cling to it.

I want to wrap a joyful moment around my hands like gloves so the pain of my suffering does not burn me anymore.  I want to wrap it like a scarf around my head to keep the knowledge of better times in my brain.  I want to pull it on like hip waders so when I am knee deep in life’s garbage and refuse, I won’t get stained and dragged under by the weight of its pull.

And finally, I want to carry joy like an umbrella, so when the rains of sorrow and confusion and desperation come down, I will have some protection from the biting cold of the raindrops.

It’s easy to say, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” — a phrase which often sounds hollow and empty.  Worrying is as second nature to me as breathing (which is a problem, I know), and being happy is sometimes as elusive as trying to catch a butterfly.

So I am going to try (and will fail miserably on many occasions) to find one joyful moment in each day.  Just one.  My hope is that in each moment of joy, I will find an equal moment of God’s presence–something I sorely long for many days.

Who knows?  I might end up with less worry and more happy.


4 Comments on Don’t Worry, Be Happy

4 Replies to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

  1. About Administrator- wait…..that’s NOT who you are. This might be a problem. self definition. I remember when in elementary school each of the boys came home with a sheet of paper with his name on the top and the beautiful crazy handwriting of the kids from his class writing some description of him. Each one of my boys proudly brought this paper to me sharing what classmates thought of him. I figured it was validation of things my sons already knew about themselves but, in reality, it was permission to feel good and special and loved. Peer acceptance and admiration can be a defining thing if you let it. Find the high ground. You tell yourself negatives, some people tell you negatives, BUT some people give you positives and you should give yourself positives! and then… latch on! Latch on to the positives like a silly elementary boy who was told for the first time he is funny. Walk a little taller with each kind complement! WHO you are is Lynette, tender, funny, linguist, author, and flaneur (look that one up!) who happens to be a mom and happens to be single.

  2. I love your perspective. It certainly makes me stop and think. But I did get into a bad habit of focusing on the negative. That’s why I’m trying to get back to finding the positive. Who I am is a fluid creature right now. I am changing and growing each day! And I’m glad to have friends like you along the way!

I'd love to hear your positive thoughts...