“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus, L’étranger
This, from one of the darkest existential novels I read in Dr. Kinnan’s AP Lit class way back in high school. It’s true though.
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What is the trouble with getting wrapped up in grudges and bitterness? It makes you a prisoner to your own captive heart. All you think about is how the other person treated you or failed you. Soon enough, your life becomes a memoir to broken relationships and a testament to all things dreadful.
Is life unfair sometimes? Sure. Do we have days where we want it to thunder and rain acid on all our enemies? I suppose. Is it okay? No, not really.
This last spring, I told you about #100daysofhappy. While I didn’t get a physical reward from the challenge, after 100 or so days, I noticed how my outlook on life started changing. It wasn’t always doom and gloom anymore. I began documenting things I learned in small group, little DIY projects, or walks on the quad. It was enjoying the small, peaceful moments in between the spastic craziness and perpetual loneliness that was my last semester in college. One little snap of my phone a day, I grew more and more optimistic. The funny thing is, all it took was one little, positive thought to change an entire day. How crazy is that?
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I remember my good friend in high school, Hannah, told me how much pessimistic people irritated her. We agreed that it takes a lot of courage to banish negativity to embrace a more joyful outlook on the day. Sometimes, it’s not about conquering but just surviving the moments.
All of us have love and lost, won and failed, tried and given up…but if we just got up one more time than we got knocked down, we will still be standing.
I’ve never been in a successful relationship. Many of the ones I have been in, I was cheated on or the terms were so unclear that the whole thing just unraveled. I’ve said horrible things to my loved ones and done even worst things. I’m guilty of gossiping, resentment and lying, just to name a few. But you know what? Today, that can all change. I’m not the person I used to be. Each day, with new mercies every morning, I’m learning to be a little more selfless and a little less self-pitying, a little more helpful and a little less fed up. Day by day, thought by thought, action by action, we can pray to become more like Christ. Before you know it, you’re no longer victim to your own guilt or anger. That, my friend, is freedom.
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“Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 ESV
You see, it’s not really about making ourselves happy. It’s letting joy overflow when our hearts are too full to hold it in. It’s something to be shared, to give out and to live out.
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Let out your inner happy.