Today I was visiting with my home teachers and they asked me an interesting question. They said ‘we’ve met many single individuals over the years but not many who seem to be as happy and content as you are. What is your secret?’. After thanking them for the compliment I had a hard time putting into words why I am happy. Its kind of a hard question to answer? There are lots of things that make me happy. How do you sum it up?
They then talked about all of the different activities I’m involved in and how I take control of my life. I again thanked them for the compliment and made a fumbling attempt to explain why I am happy. Here’s a better explanation:
About 7 years ago I was seriously unhappy. I think only God knows how low I really got. Its again hard to explain because I wasn’t doing anything wrong per say I just felt this cloud over my life. I hated my job. I didn’t get to spend enough time with my friends and things I loved like school and church callings were getting crowded out by long work days and other responsibilities. In the end, it doesn’t even have to do with that particular job. It was this ghost of unhappiness that haunted me every day.
I related many times on this blog the events of that period- how I pushed the feelings of depression inside until they burst out in full blown panic. It still amazes me that with all the challenges I had on my mission and being bullied at school the thing that really broke me was a perpetual stupor of unhappiness. It makes no sense to the outward observer. In fact, one could claim I was suffering from first world problems and should be grateful I had a job, and I was. Still, that feeling of grayness in my life is something I will never forget.
Once I had shown the world my unhappiness I had little left to gain by pretending and started to take the leaps of faith necessary to remove the cloud-cover from my life. I lowered my hours and eventually quit my job. I graduated from school with my MBA. I moved to Draper. Found out that working from home was right for me, started taking voice lessons, was introduced to open water swimming, and started a book club, the list could go on and on.
Everything good in my life is because I learned what it felt like to be unhappy and chose to never allow myself to hit that kind of funk again. Of course, I have unhappy days, even months and been through severe disappointments and anxiety in the last few years but nothing like it was in 2007.
So that’s why I am happy now. I am happy because I know what it feels like to be unhappy and the great thing is that God was with me through it all. He never stopped telling me that He loved me and He helped me learn the lessons I needed to learn. He kept reminding me that I needed to make a change. He never gave up on me. He never will.
Probably most importantly I learned from that period that God’s plan of happiness is not simply a checklist of big things to do, ordinances to make but literally a plan for our happiness down to where I worked and what I do with my life. If he is so involved in these microdetails how can I not faith in the big things such as finding my Mr Sunshine out there. Regardless, I will never let myself feel that way again for an extended period and that is a life-changing lesson. I am happy because I learned that I mattered to God and His happiness requires my happiness not just my obedience.
To happiness! (Hopefully someday I can find someone to share that happiness with. All in God’s timetable).