Are You Happy?

[ 41 ] Comments

by jendoop

happy

I’m irritated with our culture’s focus on happiness. It seems to be the holy grail, as if it is a gift bestowed on those who do things “right.” Yes, I like to be happy and enjoy it, but the focused pursuit of it feels like eating saccharine for every meal. The nature of mortal life precludes enduring happiness, we are sent here to sweat and toil, to work out our salvation. Constant happiness would leave us without motivation or questions. Yet, there’s a cultural expectation that if we and our families aren’t happy we must be doing something wrong. I just can’t believe that the predominant emotion that God wants us to feel is unending bliss- where’s the learning and striving, the eternal progression in that?

Where is happiness on your goal list? Is it a factor in righteousness and eternal salvation? Are you happy right now?

Photo: Farrukh via Compfight

About jendoop

Jen writes, reads, paints, walks, prays, eats and sleeps. Paul is her co-conspirator in teaching these skills to 4 children.

41 Responses to Are You Happy?

  1. Andrew S. says:

    More important to me at this time is trying to achieve peace — which I understand to be something like a feeling of calm regardless of the circumstances. So, you can be unhappy, but be at peace. You can be in unpleasant circumstances, but be at peace.

  2. Sarah says:

    I’m constantly attacked by Satan with feelings of dissatisfaction, overwhelm, and general despondency over my lot in life. And I’m living a life that I willingly chose! The world’s version of happiness slips through my fingers because it is based on such transient things – physical prowess/beauty, financial security, obedient children, things, stuff and trappings.

    I can never find true happiness in this things; even when I have them, I am always searching for more. But joy? I can find joy in hardship and sorrow, in travail and pain, and that is a miracle. I aim for joy.

  3. Marsha Keller says:

    I learned a few years back from Abraham Lincoln’s Mother (he attributed the quote to her) – “A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.” While that may sound trite these days, I learned by application that it is completely true.

    I used to post, “I greet the day with genuine cheerfulness” – when I was at a very low point in my world. Not immediately, but after a few months, I found that indeed I did. Just reading that made me smile, made my day brighter.

    I think it is about focus. I find what I look for. If I look for all the terrible things that are weighing me down, oh my do I find them. If I am grateful for what is amazing (like this cookies I found with dark chocolate and coconut!) everything changes.

    Perhaps it is the difference between a happiness or a joy that comes from within, and one that comes from external circumstances/ people/ places/ activities/ possessions. Intrinsic verses tangible.

    I’ve always thought that if heaven were just sitting around talking about how wonderful everything is, I’d be bored to tears. I need a challenge, something to conquer. I don’t mind tough, but I dislike impossible. My goal isn’t eternal happiness, it is a sweet abiding sustainable joyful peace.

  4. SilverRain says:

    I feel the same sense of confusion about this question. Am I happy? Well, yes. Are there still things that get my ire up, things I’m not happy about, things that frustrate me? Of course. I’m not a Disney princess with a happily ever after, nor would I want to be.

    People are complex, and that’s a good thing.

    If I dwell on all the many ways my life sucks, I feel down. But underneath it all is an assurance, a “peace,” a contentment, perhaps.

    Sometimes I think that people feel they must achieve some sort of Nirvana in order to be happy. I find that people who describe themselves as happy just choose to not let bad stuff affect their treatment of other people, their view on life. It doesn’t’ mean they have no suckage in their lives.

  5. Lisa says:

    I am happy! Yes, I am. As I focus on the good and positive things in my life with gratitude, I am happy. That does not mean that I don’t feel frustration and worry. It does not mean that I don’t have struggles and trials. I choose to be happy. I don’t think my Heavenly Father wants me walking around like a grouch.

  6. Paul says:

    I’m with Andrew — these days I seek peace more than happiness. They are not mutually exclusive, but one does not guarantee the other, either.

    That said, I have lived a very fortunate life compared with many in this world, and I have a great deal to be thankful for, so I am happy.

    The other deliniation that I have made at times is seeking JOY instead of HAPPINESS. I’m not sure that the semantic difference is as signficant as I once did, but I used to think of joy as being more eternal, happiness more in the moment.

  7. Bonnie says:

    My favorite movie, possibly of all time and not just at this moment while I’m thinking of it, is Under the Tuscan Sun. Catherine tells Frances of a time in her childhood when she wanted to catch ladybugs. She searched and searched and couldn’t find any. She fell asleep in the sun and woke up covered in them. To me, searching for happiness is like taking one’s temperature all the time and wondering why one’s thoughts are consumed with sickness or her apparent lack of health. If we do what brings happiness and let happiness come as a natural result, we won’t be consumed with tapping our foot and waiting for it to arrive.

    So yes, I’d have to agree that our culture’s focus on being happy is misplaced. We should focus on doing good and let happiness flower.

  8. YES! I am happy right now. I can’t ever really think of a time I have not been happy. That does not mean I haven’t ever felt sorrow or remorse or mourned however. I can testify one can feel happiness and those other emotions at the same time. Happiness does not mean an absence of adversity nor does it mean feeling unending bliss. And that’s where the learning and striving and eternal progression comes in. It comes with dealing with our adversities, controlling our attitudes towards them, triumphing over them rather than than becoming defeated and embittered.

    Bonnie’s comment about doing what brings happiness and letting happiness come as a result echoes what Pres. Uchtdorf said this past General Conference. The key is in letting it come.” He said: “We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.” I love that he said all the time, which is why I put the emphasis on it. There’s a reason why the plan of salvation is also known as the plan of happiness.

    • MSKeller says:

      Can’t say that there hasn’t been a time when I’ve not been happy, there has, but I understand what you are saying. (and I’m so happy for you!) – Well said.

    • Anne says:

      I agree with Montserrat; I am happy. I have crises and challenges to overcome. I have perfectly dreadful days. I have questions and doubts and hormone fluctuations that make me nearly insane, but through it all I am genuinely happy when I’m striving to choose the right and trusting God.

  9. Angie says:

    I think the world defines happiness as some sort of blissful ease. If something is difficult, it can’t possibly make us happy, or so the consensus seems to be. Much of what offers real enduring happiness is avoided if our definition is shallow in this way. A lot of happiness comes from attitude, from definition and also from testimony. I am happiest when I feel at peace in my location and direction, even if those things are difficult in the moment. I suppose I equate happiness most with a feeling of centeredness. As a result, the times in my life when I have been deeply unhappy are also times during which I have been decidedly off my mark, when I have felt lost or when I have become stuck comparing myself to others, often in a perpetually disparaging way (i.e.: measuring everyone else’s Sunday face against the worst of my warts and imperfections).

  10. jendoop says:

    Andrew and Sarah, I like what you said about peace and joy. Those two seem more realistic and lasting than happiness.

    Marsha, Our need to be challenged, but not overwhelmed is a big part of life satisfaction. It’s a sweet spot of being just unhappy enough that we strive for more, without being overwhelmed.

    SilverRain, Your statement about people being complex is a great summation of the whole discussion ;)

    Lisa, But does being unhappy necessarily mean that you walk around like a grouch? I’ve met people who were unhappy while at the same time very meek and kind.

    Paul, I agree with your delineation between joy and happiness. It seems as though in the church we’ve been taught that joy is a lasting emotion based on a relationship with God while happiness is carnal, intense and fleeting.

    Bonnie, The ladybug story is wonderful. My anxiety about getting things just right often gets in the way of peace and joy.

    Montserrat, Your happiness is as foreign to me as Russian. I mean, I have felt happiness, but the enduring through everyday kind of happiness is not a state I am familiar with. The way you state it makes it seem as though you think happiness is a result of righteousness so if I’m not happy at any point in time is it because I don’t want it or am not righteous enough to receive it?

    If you’re so happy all of the time what motivates you to strive for progression?

    My understanding of why God’s plan is nicknamed ‘the plan of happiness’ is because it gives us the potential to be happy.

    After reading Angie’s comment I wonder if this could be a disagreement about vocabulary. The nearest thing I have felt that is somewhat like what you describe is peace and confidence before the Lord. There is a special quality to life when you feel that connection. To me it is more sacred and inspiring than simple happiness.

    So is happiness so important that it should be our goal? Is it like some kind of spiritual reward for righteousness? I’ve seen some people neck deep in sin that looked pretty happy.

    • MSKeller says:

      Have to agree with you there too Jen, some folks who are doing it ‘all wrong’ according to us are perfectly content doing it that way. Some aren’t but if we are honest with ourselves, some are. Some aren’t doing it all wrong, but neither are they participating the way we are, and seem to be pretty durn ecstatic about life in general. I guess I just go with the, “They have their reward” idea when that particular conundrum comes up to nibble at my peace of mind.

    • I do admit that I think one of my spiritual gifts is a cheerful disposition. It is talked about repeatedly in my patriarchal blessing as well my ability to be happy in all of life’s circumstances. I also understand having family members who have depression that it can be a very hard thing for them to see when they are just barely making it by feeling anything at all.

      “If you’re so happy all of the time what motivates you to strive for progression?” Just because one is happy all the time does not mean they are done progressing or even further along the road of progression than other people. Happiness does not just come as an end result of progression. It is possible to be very happy while we are on that road or journey. My motivation is just like most everyone else – the desire to do what is right, keep the commandments, improve and repent, and follow the Savior.

      Though I was not trying to imply this in my previous comment (instead wanting to focus more on attitude towards adversity) some happiness IS a result of righteousness. You know that as well as I do from scripture. “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10) “If there be no righteousness, there be no happiness” (2 Nephi 2:13) and on and on. There are also those who don’t want to be happy or won’t allow themselves to be happy no matter what. That’s what I was talking about in letting it come. And, I think, what Pres. Ucthdorf was saying in his talk, “Let us resolve to be happy, regardless of our circumstances.”

      • Bonnie says:

        Montse, I share your perspective. The most prevalent theme in my patriarchal blessing is also happiness. There is a very definite structure of “you will find great happiness in doing x” (all kinds of xs) and I have found this very meaningful for my life. I also think I was born with a native cheery disposition, but it came paired with bi-polar disorder. When I was young I had no confidence in *lasting* happiness, or non-crazed happiness, and I lived the very real opposite of happiness regularly. I have *had* to learn to trust my patriarchal blessing and do those things that will bring happiness and search for those things that banish depression in order to find happiness. Because of my experience, I think that everyone’s path to happiness is going to contain a unique mix of behaviors and patterns. Obedience and faith are simply a part of everyone’s perfect mix.

      • Jendoop says:

        I think this ties back into the quote from Pres. Hinckley that Bonnie posted further down. He talks about our expectation to be happy all of the time. For you that expectation is not out of the realm of your experience so it’s a good expectation to have. I, on the other hand, am not that way so if I expect (resolve) to be happy no matter the circumstances then I will be less happy because that expectation isn’t met. To a certain point we can’t force ourselves to be happy – I’m ready to laugh now because this seems to be a cyclical discussion – just as Bonnie mentioned the ladybug story, you have to wait for it to come.

    • Becca says:

      I like what you said here, Jen, about people being unhappy not walking around “like a grouch”. Makes me think of clinical depression, and how sometimes it’s very hard to tell that a person is depressed. Or suicide, how people will say “We never saw it coming.” Sometimes, unhappiness is very deep and real, but we do a good job of keeping it from being seen.

      And I, too, like distinguishing between “happiness” and “peace”. I am not searching to be happy, but rather searching to find peace – because sometimes life hurts. It’s hard to be happy – truly happy – when you are suffering abuse or something similar.

  11. Ray says:

    I value happiness, joy and peace highly and believe, “(Wo)men are that they might have joy.” I appreciate that ideal – greatly.

    I am happy, and I have gained internal peace, but I have problems with the way happiness is described and generalized so often in our culture as the result of obedience, effort and faith – and unhappiness as the result of lack of obedience, effort and faith. Particularly, I know quite a few people who are prone to depressive issues who feel like those issues could disappear with just more obedience, effort and faith – and they exclude traditional professional help and/or medication as “substitutes” for those who aren’t righteous enough, in whatever way, to “get over it” without that kind of help. I see those resources as a wonderful part of effort and faith, but they sometimes are viewed as in opposition to faithful living.

    The people I know didn’t come to that conclusion on their own; they learned it from repeatedly hearing it from fellow members – sometimes subtly, but sometimes bluntly.

    • Ray says:

      I meant to say that the people I know “once felt” that way – not that they feel that way now.

    • MSKeller says:

      I know this is true as well. Sometimes that very depression leads to actions that create more unhappiness, but the depression wasn’t initially caused by sin. I know mine wasn’t when I was the wife of a bishop and trying to be perfect in everything and it all came crashing down and I didn’t recover for a year emotionally. Back then I didn’t know I was clinically depressed. I just thought I had to ‘tough it out’ and ‘get over it’ and ‘do better’. When that was exactly what was the problem (in part) I was doing too much.

      Perhaps the problem comes in believing that we can create or force happiness and joy. Like Bonnie’s butterfly, usually in my experience, it comes more unexpectedly when I’m not thinking about it at all.

  12. Liz C says:

    99% of the time? Yes, I’m actually happy. It’s my brain chemistry. I’m just kind of… happy. I don’t get bored usually, either. And the happy has little to do with present circumstances. It’s just how my brain fires. My husband’s brain doesn’t fire that way, and he finds “happy” much more elusive.

    That’s not to say I walk around giddy all the time. :) Having gone through a few periods of less-than-happy, for me there’s a connection between Happy Me When I’m Trying To Progress, and less-than-happy me, when I’m allowing myself to stagnate. Even if the progress I’m making is just enduring a hardship while seeking to find contentment and peace about a negative situation, I’m happy.

    Living with and loving my husband for nearly two decades, I’ve gained a lot of compassion and better understanding for what it feels like for him, with “happy” being elusive, and “content” being usually spoiled with dread over waiting for something awful to happen. He really struggles, but I love that he keeps trying, even though it’s not easy and doesn’t always work.

    I think it’s the “Plan of Happiness” because eternal happiness (progression, contentment, joy, upliftedness, connection, all that good stuff) is an end result, but also because along the way, following the path God lays out for us gives us a good shot at some really happy moments, where you look around and say, “YEP! Right now? This is pretty cool!” It’s not the constant we’ll have in the eternities, but it’s a taste, now and then, to encourage us and remind us that there’s a point to all of it.

    One book I really love is Corrie Ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place.” Her admiration for her sister, who persisted in a happy, thankful heart during some trials that make me cringe reading them, is lovely. It helped me redefine “happy” away from a worldly, shallow, giddy thing, and into a more sustained, heart-set pattern.

    So, my generalized helix is coded for a fairly “happy” brain chemistry… but there’s also some element of it that’s a choice and a habit, too.

    • Yes, exactly what it is like for me! I have a sister-in-law who suffers greatly from depression. We have often discussed why it is that we are so different from each other. We’ve come to the conclusion that just as those with depression have some chemical imbalance maybe those who are perpetually happy have something similar but it’s not talked about because who doesn’t want to be happy all the time? I don’t know if that’s the case but it sure gives me something to think about.

  13. Buddy says:

    This is an interesting issue. Part of the trick is that happiness is used to mean a lot of things — comfort, excitement, peace, non-suffering, pleasure, fun, contentment, etc. But even with an agreement on what it means, its still tricky. I agree there can be too much focus on whether one is happy in many cases. It’s an embarrassment of riches in a way, most humans (throughout time and around the world even now) don’t have the luxury of wondering if they are happy but are instead primarily consumed with simply living — getting enough food, shelter, and some minimal comfort. To a degree I don’t think its until you have the luxury of enough free time to worry about whether you are happy that it becomes an issue. Another trick is that how happy a condition makes us depends on what our preceding condition is. For example, I would not normally be exuberant over a cold coke, but at the end of a long day of backpacking and being miles from nowhere on a trail, if I stumbled across one (or had the foresight to pack a partially frozen one) it would make me happy beyond measure. This is one reason why even though a lot of our society continues to have more and more than prior generations, we are not necessarily materially happier. We quickly become accustomed to a revised standard and then naturally need more to feel the same level of excitement, joy, what have you that we used to get from the previous condition. To answer the question in the article, I think a type of happiness is properly a goal, but its not what a lot of advertising, etc. would have you think it is, but more of a satisfaction that one is living true to what one values, one is making progress towards these values and, that these values are in fact correct. (Many may debate the last part claiming there is not an objective criteria for what is proper to value, but I believe there is.)

    • Ray says:

      Excellent comment, Buddy. Thanks!

    • MSKeller says:

      Very true, a lot of our ‘problems’ often come down to our personal semantics and definitions can’t they?

      So true – ” Another trick is that how happy a condition makes us depends on what our preceding condition is.”

      I was noticing this just yesterday.
      Thanks for your contribution.

  14. Angie says:

    To a certain extent I do think this is a discussion of semantics where pleasure and happiness are sometimes conflated (and therefore elusive) and where peace and confidence before the Lord (love that, Jen!) are what is really the eternal goal. The scripture I keep thinking of where the word happiness is used is “wickedness never was happiness,” which tells me that the Lord’s definition trends far more toward “peace and confidence” than pleasure and novelty.

    If we don’t have easy happiness genes in us like Montserrat and Liz C, I think peace can be just as elusive as happiness. My husband sounds a great deal like Liz C’s in his struggles for happiness and those struggles seem to rob him and sometimes the rest of us of peace.

    • Paul says:

      Angie, you (and others) make an excellent point: while sin can rob us of our peace, there are other things that will do it too, some of which have nothing to do with sin or unworthiness. For that reason (as if we needed another), it’s dangerous for us to attribute a cause for someone else’s lack of peace or happiness or joy or whatever our word of the day is.

      And Jen, to the point of your OP, I’ve been thinking that one of the clear Madison Avenue messages we get is all about instant gratification (which is distinct from happiness, but which Madison Avenue and Hollywood and other oracles of worldy living would have us believe is happiness itself).

    • Jeanna says:

      I think a useful way of looking at is like this: There are three different things, pleasure, happiness, and joy.

      Pleasure comes from the physical, the fleeting. It’s eating a really great ice cream cone or enjoying a hot shower. It can often be wonderful, but it can also be evil. Either way, it doesn’t last long. And it shouldn’t be our life’s goal.

      Happiness is an emotion and is driven by our minds. Like others have already commented, some people have a tendency toward this kind of happiness, maybe as a part of their brain chemistry, and some people don’t. Happiness is also nice, but it comes and goes. I like to be happy, but I realize it isn’t the most important thing.

      Joy is of a spiritual nature. It comes of striving toward goodness, toward the things that make God happy. It is not dependent on circumstances or others. It’s dependent on trying to live well. In my opinion, joy is a deeply important goal; it’s a way of saying, “hey, I’m trying to do right.”

      This is a semantic delineation obviously, but I really like seeing things this way. It helps me refocus when I’ve started leaning too much toward just wanting pleasure (because, hey, I really like ice cream) or even just happiness. Joy is more important, more lasting, and more filling.

  15. Bonnie says:

    One of my favorite quotes:

    President Hinckley said he enjoyed the words of Jenkins Lloyd Jones written in a June 12, 1973, Deseret News column: “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed.

    “Most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise.

    “Life is like an old-time rail journey — delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

  16. One scripture I find particularly interesting and would love to get others thoughts on is Mormon 9:14 “And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.” Why the differentiation between the righteous and the happy? Or is there one? We already know there are people who are doing everything they can to be righteous but are still unhappy – those with depression for instance – but there are also others who don’t suffer from depression who are righteous and unhappy. Why? Does it have to do with another verse Alma 27:18 “Behold this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness?”

    • Becky L. Rose says:

      As someone who deals with depression I’m thankful for for this scripture in Alma 41: 5 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.

      I don’t have an answer, but am appreciative of the questions you asked.

  17. Jendoop says:

    We seem to often neglect the first part of 2 Ne. 2:25, “Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.” The first phrase is important because it helps this simple phrase encapsulate the breadth of the human condition. An angel fell, who helped create the earth, the father of all living, fell from the grace of God. So very sad (and necessary). Yet God is telling us there is some joy to be had despite the fallen evil state of this world. (“Might” to me means, sometimes, when conditions are right, which they wont be as often as I’d like.) This world is the dominion of Satan after all, as spirit children of God do we want to be fully comfortable here? I attribute some of my discomfort here (unhappiness) as the spiritual pain of being distant from my Heavenly Father, in a world where Satan is unbound and we are tested in telestial conditions so we can one day live in true happiness in a Celestial world.

    • Just curious as to what your definition of “might” is in the first part of this verse. I guess I never thought about “might” having two different meanings here. Great, yet another thing to think about while trying to go to sleep tonight! :)

      • Jendoop says:

        I think my definition of the first “might” of this verse is only understood in context, “might be.” I think the ready assumption is that men might exist, might be born to the earth. But I see it as more of God leaving the door open for every possibility available because of our divine nature: might be born, might be holy, might be redeemed, might be intelligent, might fill the measure of their creation… the list is endless!

        It goes even further if you consider “man” as the entire population of the earth, or all of God’s children; what might we be together? Redeemed? Resurrected? Sealed eternally as a family?

    • Becca says:

      I love the song “Blessings” by Laura Story where she says, “What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy” That has been one of the most healing statements for me in the past several months, and I think it echos your thoughts, Jen, “do we want to be fully comfortable here?”

      • Jendoop says:

        That is a good phrase to catch Becca. In my striving for happiness I have to take comfort in knowing sometimes this world just doesn’t have the conditions necessary to feel happy. We sing a hymn, More Holiness Give Me, where we ask the Lord to give us “more sorrow for sin.” I feel sorrow for my sins, but I also feel sorrow for other’s sins. I feel sorrow for my foster son’s parent’s sins that tore their family apart. I feel sorrow for a friend who can’t see the connection between her vicious gossip and her lack of friends. I feel sorrow for my sister’s sins that she is so belligerent to her body and spirit. In short, this world is full of sin and at times it results in too much sorrow to feel happy. But even in this God is teaching me why sin is abhorrent to him, because he desires our happiness. And sin never was happiness.

  18. Becca says:

    My husband and I were having a discussion the other night (he was feeling particularly frustrated and hurt about some things) and I made some comment about how “I just want you to be happy” and he said to me “But God isn’t always happy. He feels sorrow, He feels pain. We aren’t supposed to only ever feel “happy”” And I agreed, and later realized that what I meant was that I just wanted my husband to feel peace – he had been feeling so much turmoil about some issues, and it was causing him a lot of distress.

    Today we were talking a little more about peace, and I have been realizing that you can feel almost any range of emotions while still feeling peace. Think of when a loved one dies. You may feel sorrowful, but you can still feel peace. And you may feel both emotions at the same time. Your tears are not tears of turmoil and distress, but tears of sorrow, which may even be accentuated by the peace you feel. I have cried tears of peace before.

    Then I was thinking about anger and hurt, and how that relates to peace. We talk about how faith and doubt or fear cannot coexist, and I think anger is the same with peace. We can not be angry and feel peace, but we can feel hurt and peace at the same time, I believe. This was a useful thought for me because I have been deeply hurt at times in my life, but still felt peace. Other times, I have been hurt, but not been able to feel peace, and looking back I now realize it is because I allowed that hurt to fester into anger – I was angry that I was hurt (“I don’t deserve to be hurt.” “How dare he/she do that to me?” etc etc) – it was the anger that was causing my lack of peace, rather than the hurt.

    So I think that peace is definitely what I am after. Especially while enduring trials. I can feel peace when enduring trials, even if the hurt is real, and the pain cuts like a knife. I can feel peace while those wounds are healing – which takes time. Wounds do not heal immediately, healing takes time, and sometimes it is hard to be happy when you are experiencing so much pain – but you can feel peace during the healing process, and there are some days when the pain is not unbearable, and you can feel some happiness as well. But feeling pain and feeling peace I do not think are mutually exclusive events.

    • Jendoop says:

      In talking about all these emotions it is hard to find labels and understanding for things that aren’t easily grasped, let alone put into words. I love that you and your husband are having such deep and compassionate conversations about the gospel. Sometimes that closeness of trying to understand and help one another is the gift we receive in the struggle. And it makes us happy! :)

  19. Jendoop says:

    A friend recommended this article. It fits perfectly into our conversation and adds great insights.
    http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/theres-more-to-life-than-being-happy/266805/#.UPxK-f0-U9Y.mailto

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