Thursday, March 8, 2012

It is Spiritual To Be Happy!

I love what the late, great Norman Vincent Peale used to say, "you can't keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair"!!  So very true on many levels.
We don't always have control over our circumstances and there's a lot of "poop" flying around out there.   We can keep ourselves from obsessing over negative, destructive, unhealthy situations by focusing on being productive and working on making the world a little better place to live. 

My son, Bobby has been speaking about happiness for the past few weeks in his church, "Tree Of Life".   If you go to treeoflifeoc.org you can listen to his messages in their entirety.   For now I will just share with you a few things that I have taken away from his last couple of sermons.
  The first week I heard Bobby say that happiness is a spiritual responsibility because how we act around others can either bring them down or lift them up.  (my last blog about a rising tide lifting all boats, etc)   I happen to agree with him.   Miserable people are hard to be around.   Up-beat people attract many and are fun to be around because their happiness is contagious!  Bobby challenged us to "fake it 'til you make it" which might seem a bit phony or contrived at first but after further thought it makes a lot of sense.  As a natural health practitioner I see too often how people can become down or even depressed  over seemingly small reasons and with that they lose interest in a lot of things that they once enjoyed.  Faulty beliefs about self and others can spawn a free-fall of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors and set one up for a cycle of despair.   On the other  hand, changing our thinking about or re framing something to where it is acceptable to us will keep us stabilized most of the time.   Exercising intentional positive thinking when  faced with ill circumstances is truly a force to be reckoned with .  You will feel better if you act better and you will feel worse if you believe that you are that too! (again, a similar thought to my blog from two weeks ago)  I am not saying to ignore your pain because pain is there to tell us that something is wrong.  You should however learn how to deal with pain properly.
 Here are a couple of things Bobby pointed out this past Sunday:
"Gratitude is closely linked to happiness"  (funny that I challenged people to write a long gratitude list two weeks ago...it works!)
"Happiness is the flourishing of the human soul...the result of virtue."
"Happiness is not,
pleasure,
not polar (a person is not happy or unhappy but instead less happy or more happy, with no limit in either direction)
Happiness is:
a moral obligation and
 it is available while suffering."  ( I have personally experienced this throughout my life but if you want a really great example read Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search For Meaning") 
**Most people have a set-point of happiness in their lives and even though they go through rough times now and then they will return to their 'normal' set-point once they have conquered or come through the rough patch.

In Mongolia promoting the peaceful reunification of North and South Korea
Personally I am happiest when I am traveling with my husband, when I can spend time with my grown children or my grandchildren...when I see and smell the ocean or when I am outside with nature surrounding me.   I am happy when I am conducting a workshop or seminar, working out in the gym, or when I am writing a letter, a poem, a chapter for a book, or a blog. 
  I thank God for making me a generally happy person.  When I do get down I always analyze why and try to accept my circumstances knowing that things will always turn around if I keep the faith!  I will always return to my set-point of happiness... and so will you!

God is blessing you.  Donna

5 comments:

  1. Donna,

    You made some great insights in your blog. For myself, as I go through difficult or challenging times I always try to be true to myself and to recall what God calls us to do in our Christian lives of having faith in God as we walk with Him and fellowship. And, as I do these simple things it brings a warm glow to my heart...and removes the burden of doubts, bitterness, anger, or to whatever frustrations that I am going though...It pick's me up to move forward in life. I do strongly believe in fellowship with God and with our brother and sisters in Christ. And, that is what I need to get through…With that said, I wanted to share and hopefully inspire others to share their love and fellowship insights

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  2. How we act around others can either bring them down or lift them up. True, Donna. Bad actions words of our mouth can destroy another weak person. Weak I say, because a strong example, faithful person knows her/his value and walks away with a smile. Or the oposit can lift us up. Self-experience in my past. -- Miserable people are be hard to be around --- Yes!!! I walk away when I feel a person is like that. If I feel it's just because they have a bad life situation. I have compassion with... Again, own experience. – When we have bad circumstances, the most of the people dwell in them and say, oh life and the people around are guilty!!! Maybe yes, a parant, a once best friend spoke negative about us and others believed this peples. Sad, but “cheen up” and you stand over this situation. – Happiness we choose despite any kind of circumstances. – In this spirit, I remain with many blessings.

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  3. I agree with your theory about happiness. I have learned over the years that acceptance of my feelings helps me to feel better when I am down. I always strive to have a positive attitude and I have been told that I do. Your blogs, Donna, lift my spirits when I read them and I look forward to them.
    God bless you and everyone else on this blog.
    Liz

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  4. Emilie in MinneapolisMarch 10, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    From the sound of it, Bobby has a fine career ahead of him in the pulpit. That's good to know. I miss Robert A's sermons, too. Is there a book in the works?

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  5. Hi Emillie,
    How nice to have you comment here! Yes, Bobby is a gifted speaker and has many productive, great years ahead of him.
    Funny you should ask about a book for Robert A.! His newest book which he actually wrote almost two years ago is just out and it is a very timely message. The title is: "When You Are Down To Nothing God is Up To Something" You can order it on Amazon.com or pick it up at your local bookstore. If they don't have it tell them to order it!
    God is blessing you, Donna

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Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Please try to stay on the topic and remember also that there are many who are struggling through all kinds of challenges. Let's all be kind and thoughtful with our comments please! :D