It’s been just over two weeks since Christmas…Do you still have happiness filling your life?
Happiness— is it elusive? Can it be harnessed?
What I know for sure is that it is fragile and can be blocked.
In this coming year, we will discuss happiness a few times. Today we are going to talk about “authenticity” and how that affects our happiness.
For a few years, I have struggled to find where I stand on certain issues. This can happen as we grow older and grow mentally, emotionally and intellectually
My church denomination sometimes leaves interpretations open on modern issues. This allows me to worship alongside people who hold varying beliefs from mine. Sometimes this has bothered me. Then other times when I am in-the-struggle of where I stand in the scriptures, I appreciate the freedom of thought, so I don’t have to cut and run away from people I love.
Over the last year or so I have been getting clearer on a couple of topics. I don’t talk about them to other people. I am afraid of what they will say. And why stir that pot when I am not 100% certain of a new stance?
Recently, I came to some honesty within myself. I admitted to my innermost self “I do not believe in ____, or ______.”
I wrote it in my journal.
I wrote about it.
I sat with the new truth for a couple of hours. It felt true within me.
These were not solely “Biblical” type issues, although churches usually have a bent one way or another on the topics.
Then I went to sleep. When I woke up– I was HAPPY !
I hate to say it, but I have lived with depression and a melancholy personality all my life, so happiness really stands out when I feel it.
I felt FREE! Yes, freedom is what I felt.
Free in being me.
It was okay.
I was not worried about what others would say or think. I just felt good living within my honesty. After years of struggle, and living in fear, of coming to my own thoughts, fear of what others would say and what that would mean for our relationships– this felt SOO good.
SO I grabbed my journal and tackled a few more points in my life.
I gotta tell you– I need to go slow –I think. I mean how much change can I embrace all in one weekend? But maybe I am wrong.
What I do know is that this self-honesty (A.K.A authenticity) feels really good.
What about you?
Are you living a double life? Thinking one thing but living another– out of the fear of how people will respond to you?
Let me tell you– it’s not worth it.
I can tell you not only did I wake up happy this morning, but I have had peace all day.
Funny, I don’t need to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, scrambling around to be this or be that or cover this or cover that. I can just simply relax and be me.
Will there be fallout? There might be. It depends on how much I need to announce my new beliefs. There is at least one belief (that I have believed in my heart for a couple of years before admitting it yesterday) that would shock my friends and probably disappoint a few.
In my case, a couple of these new thoughts are like threads pulling on a blanket. They could cause a LOT to unravel. BUT I didn’t realize how much stress and depression were being caused by living and pretending to live, a lie.
Here’s an interesting thing. This is the year 2023. I have been seeing the same therapist since the very end of 2015. That is a long time. Yet I still was swimming around a couple of these issues; sitting on the fence, unable or unwilling to just admit my truth.
It was upon reading a book by Sven Erlandson, There’s a Hole in My Love Cup, that I began to ask myself some deep questions.
One of the things his counseling book states is that most therapists, pastors, and counselors don’t take people deep enough. I made a commitment to myself to answer his journal prompts and to do the hard work of fleshing out the truth no matter what it was.
I believe that opening myself up to my past, and to my fears and other issues, lead me to question if things were working for me the way I was living them. The answer would always be “no” in the light of day…but I have spent years running from myself. It stops now!
Today, let me encourage you– take a look at your life.
Where are you struggling to be authentic?
What is holding you back?
Is it worth it?
I can only speak from this recent experience of coming clean– there is happiness and peace waiting to be had once we get truly honest as to who we are and what we believe.
Until Next Time~