So, I was doing some “reflecting” today while Josh was at work…reading some old journal entries, looking back at some old pictures, and realized that we (as humans) are completely and totally incapable of being happy. Seriously. Think about it. No matter what goes on, what situation you are in, where you are in your life…we are never satisfied. We always want something else…something more.
First, I pulled my journal from my Freshman year at Troy. Back then it was all parties and fun. But, even though I was surrounded by good friends and tons and tons of things to do and keep me busy, I was lonely. The only thing I kept saying that I wanted was “that someone” that I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with. Pretty much the whole time I was at Troy, I remember my roomates ALWAYS having someone. Always going out to the movies, always having guys chase after them, always meeting up with some certain guy at a party or something. And me…I got to play 3rd wheel. I was usually never dating anyone. Which was partly my choice, because I simply had no desire whatsoever to just date around. I’ve always been one for a serious relatioship, and that’s extremely hard to find in a college town surrounded by frat boys that have no intention of growing up and settling down. Then, when I came back home from Troy, I wanted to be around my friends. I had a good job making pretty good money. But, aside from that, I was miserable. At that point, I still had no “someone” and all of my friends lived an hour away. And even though I made good money, it was expensive to drive back and forth to Troy all the time to hang out. Then I met Josh and we started dating. Pretty soon I had my “someone.” But even then, even though I had Josh and we knew we were going to get married, I decided that even that wasn’t enough. We were dating seriously, and knew that eventually we would get married. But I was ready for more than that. (Fortunately, so was he.) When we got married I guess I expected everything to be peachy from there on out. He was going to be in the military, we would get to travel all over the place, and I would have the opportunity to make tons of new friends and we would have this picturesque lifestyle that everyone else envied.
Not that I don’t love the life that I am living right now…because I do. We have a nice house, Josh has a steady job (and doesn’t have to worry about ever being laid off…which to me is a big deal the way this economy is going), and we are about to have our first baby. But, even though I have so much that I know other people want, there is still a part of me that wants more. That feels like I should have something else. We’re doing a bible study at church on Linda Dillow’s book “Calm My Anxious Heart” and it’s really hitting home. The first couple of chapters have been about finding contentment in our lives. Why is it that no matter how wonderful things seem to be going, we can always point out the negative and find a reason to not be happy?
Is it just our human nature to make ourselves miserable, even when everything is going exactly the way that it should? Or do we live in a society today that gives off the constant vibe that “you will never have enough?” I think, that it’s a little bit of both…I think they feed off one another. Society is screaming that we should hope for more, strive for more, and achieve more. The economy failing the way that it is, just yells out that “If you want to make it in this world, you need to work harder for a better job. Work longer to get ahead.” Media tells us that we need the most expensive and best of everything…the designer clothes, the flashy cars and jewelery. Magazines everywhere exemplify women as sex objects with 25 inch waists and toned bodies…sending the statement that that is what we should be…that’s what we should break our necks to become.
So what do we do? We buy big expensive houses or cars, spend money on designer clothes and accessories (or knock-offs) to show off to people, we kill ourselves at work putting in ridiculous hours, bending over backwards to get ahead-which takes away time from our families for those who have them, we buy gym memberships and over exert ourselves to become something that we aren’t. And for who? How many of those things do we do because we want to and how many of those things do we do because that’s what we think others want? Think about that…ponder it for a while. How often do we cast aside what we want and what we truly desire, just to please those around us?
This isn’t really a blog with an answer…not really anything that I can come to a conclusion about…or even anything that needs a conclusion. Ultimately we are the only ones that can be happy and satisfied with our lives. We have to find whatever it is that makes us that way. Does true satisfaction exist? I don’t really know. I haven’t found it yet. I know that the bible says that our contentment and satisfaction should lie in Jesus Christ. That we should strive daily to rely on him and know that he has our lives under control and will provide for our every need. Paul says in Phillipians 4:9-13 that he “learned” it. He learned how to be content and satisfied…I guess rather than putting our emphasis and our effort into the “things” that we think will make us happy, we should focus our attention on the “one” that can give us that…Jesus. That’s the only real answer that I have.