by Kelci (Guest Blogger)
Too often we picture happiness as an end goal. We become caught up in the illusion that there’s always something just beyond our reach that could bring us happiness: obtaining an expensive material item, a better financial situation, the ending of a difficult trial.
Elder Uchtdorf taught, “The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness.” We determine our own happiness. Happiness is found all around us, every second of the day.
This last week my Mother informed my sister and I that we needed to go to the store to pick up some groceries. We were both exhausted and this just sounded like another item written on to our never-ending to do list. We made a small fuss and headed for the door. Through the sound of moans and complains came the sweet voice of my mother. She told us that if we wanted, she would come along with us.
That ended up being one of the most fun Walmart runs I’ve ever had. We strolled through the aisles, talking about the events of each other’s day, laughing, and acting like goof balls. Because my mother volunteered to go with us, she turned a mundane chore into an event filled with happiness.
I’m sixteen years old, half way through my Junior year, and a Laurel in Young Womens (a youth group of 16-17 year olds at my church). The time that I have left living with my parents is short. One day I won’t have my incredible mother jumping in the car with me to go pick up groceries. One day I won’t have her simple acts that serve as beautiful reminders to stop and enjoy the moment. Doesn’t it seem silly to spoil beautiful and joyous experiences because we are continually anticipating the moment when they will be over? Life is an adventure, and we are all journeying back to our Heavenly Father.
“So often we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey.”
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Happiness is available all the time. Life is not meant to convey joy when looked back upon. Life is meant to convey joy in this very moment and every future moment to come. “This is the day which the Lord hath made …,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.”
Everyone has different trials, circumstances, challenges, and bumps in the road. But I promise, each and every day there is something to cherish or be grateful for.
Don’t wait for every aspect of your life to be perfect before you decide to be happy and enjoy your life. It will never happen. God has His hand in all our lives, if we could only recognize and appreciate it, we would be filled with everlasting happiness. Develop eyes that see the small blessings God has given us, rather than magnifying the negative in our current condition.
And if you cannot find the simple, sweet blessing that God has placed in your life, if you cannot SEE happiness…create it. Be happy and make others happy. Smile and say hello to a stranger. Provide service to someone who is unable. Write a note to someone who’s having a hard week. Bring cookies to someone who feels alone. True happiness will come by thinking of others and focusing on right now. Majorie Pay Hinckley said, “The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.”
With the bountiful and gracious blessings from our Heavenly Father, His generous plan of salvation, his merciful repentance proposal, and how many beauties of this mortal journey, “have we not reason to rejoice?” (Alma 26:35)