The Thing About Happiness

Here’s an outrageous theory: I think we’re afraid to be happy.

To be really and truly happy.

A few days after the New Year and posting my 2013 word, I got hit by the usual post-New Year’s quarter-life blues. I was brooding over several things, thinking about things that I want to have and want to achieve in the coming year and then I felt that familiar grip of fear, the one that makes me wonder what the heck do I want to do with my life now, the one that makes me want to curl into a ball and hide and wish that I’m one of those people who gets handed things on a pretty silver platter.

Then I got up, took a deep breath, gathered courage and told myself: Keep calm, it’s only January.

So in the next days, I found myself brooding again, more on the financial side. I was thinking about something that I wanted to get, something that I’ve been meaning to get myself for a while now but never got around to because I prioritized other things over it. Now it felt like the best time to get it, but then maybe it’s not because there’s this big trip I’m planning take this year and it’s either one or the other. So I let it go.

Then the next day, my boss offers me the thing I want, for a lesser price.

And I was all, I can’t believe you’re doing this to me.

It feels like a huge coincidence, someone selling that thing I want just as when I was thinking about it. I didn’t want to get it, because it felt like an impulse buy and I couldn’t possibly afford it given the other plans I have. But it niggled at me. I talked to my brother who told me that it’s too good of a deal to pass up on, and taught me several ways for me to get it. I considered what he said and did some computations, and realized that I may actually afford it. It’s going to be a bit tight, but I can afford it, and it will really be way cheaper than if I get the same thing brand new.

But I didn’t know if I should do it. Like I said, it felt like it was an impulse buy. It felt like I shouldn’t get it. It felt like it’s a test, it’s something that I shouldn’t fall for and getting it would mean I won’t be going to the trip I want to go to after all.

But what if it isn’t? What if this is God’s answer to my prayer?

Before all this happened, I sat down and wrote a list. It was a list of things I believed for in 2013. I got it from her blog, and I thought: hey, why not. Like I said, I was brooding over some things and I was battling the first case of quarter life crisis in 2013, so I was definitely game for things to shake things up. I never really wrote a list of things I believed for, as far as I can remember. It’s not that I don’t believe in it, but I never thought about it. What’s to lose, right?

Now when all that happened up there, I checked the list again and saw that the thing I wanted was on the list, and there was a good offer in front of me. A very good deal. It was going to set me back, but it’s not like getting it brand new won’t set me back either. It just came…early. Or perhaps, just in time.

I honestly had a feeling that God was asking me to jump when I got that offer, to believe that He’s answering my prayer and that this is Him. While I was seriously considering if I should accept the offer, I felt a sense of peace, that maybe this is really the right thing. Perhaps this really is God’s provision. His answer. And I felt that it would be foolish if I said no to this, no matter how fast things seem and how scary it may be because it means I’ll be spending a little too much and I’ll be losing some of my money a little too fast.

But when has He ever failed to provide for me, anyway?

It made me think of happiness. Of joy. You know how they say that life is a wheel — sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down? That life goes round and round? And how sometimes we feel that we shouldn’t be too happy when we feel happy because that just means something bad will happen soon because you’re on your way down? I think this is why we are — or at least, I am — kind of wary of feeling truly happy because allowing ourselves to soak in that too long means we’re going to have a longer time being sad, too. That’s how life works, right? Isn’t that always the case?

But what if it’s not?

They say happiness is a choice. You can decide to find joy in the situation you’re in or not. It’s your call.

But wait, there’s more: God wants us to be happy. He wants to give us joy. I believe He’s so willing to make us truly happy that sometimes He’s bewildered why we choose not to in fear of being sad. So we choose to not be truly happy and just…I don’t know, steady or something, thinking that if we stay that way, we won’t be sad. Or we won’t be too sad when things we don’t like happen, because we were never truly happy in the first place.

Let me repeat that: We won’t be too sad when things we don’t like happen, because we were never truly happy in the first place.

I don’t know about you, but that feels sad.

I don’t want to be fear being happy because I’m afraid of being sad. I don’t want to refuse God’s provision because I’m afraid I’ll regret it later on, or I’m afraid that it’s not the right thing. I don’t want to refuse to acknowledge that God is actually answering my prayers because I’m am afraid that it’s not real, that it’s not going to hold up, that I will just be disappointed in the end.

I don’t want to keep on saying no to joy.

Maybe…choosing to be happy and accepting happiness (and blessings) is some form of courage, too. Don’t you think so?

Back to my story. So did I accept my boss’ offer for that thing I wanted?

Well…let’s just say that I am going to have to lessen my everyday expenses for the next few weeks and be more prudent about my finances. I still feel a bit overwhelmed about it, but I am at peace. :)

Oh, and there’s definitely going to be more writing done with it around. :)

Image from we heart it
Image from we heart it

4 thoughts on “The Thing About Happiness

  1. The thing about happiness? It gives the notion that it wants to be chased. Not true. It’s always there around you. You have to choose it! :)

    Let’s be courageous together this 2013, Tina =)

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