Tough times are good

Alright, that might sound crazy.  I believe it is true.

I have so many girlfriends who are going through so many different trials right now.  I just want to encircle them in my arms and make their troubles disappear.  Part of me wishes that I could do this for them.  The wise part of me knows that it is better that I can’t.

I know, based on experience, that my toughest trials are my greatest blessings.  That seems wrong to many people.  I know that each trial helps me grow in ways that aren’t possible otherwise.

A few nights ago I asked a girlfriend to go to dinner with me.  We had talked about getting together for ages and just hadn’t managed to do it.  She shared some personal struggles she is currently dealing with.  I know one well, very well.  I shared with her how I struggled with the same issue.  I told her what I learned from it.  I shared how it was a blessing for me.  She pointed out that the blessing I had wasn’t going to be hers because she is different.  She is right.  Her blessing will be different because she isn’t the same as me.  I let her know that it is her job to figure out what her blessing is.  It will take time to gain that perspective.  It will come.

I know that God uses our struggles to strengthen and help us grow.  I know that.  It is up to each of us to figure out what the blessing is.  We will see it if we just open our eyes and look for it.


It hasn’t always been this way.

Just so you know, I haven’t always been this happy or peaceful.  It has taken me a long time to get to this point.  Actually, it seemed to take forever.

A friend and I talked numerous times about happiness being a choice and I was sure at that point that it was and I still do.  Yes, bad things happen.  Being happy doesn’t have anything to do with circumstances.  It has to do with wanting to be happy.

Life doesn’t need to be perfect for me to be happy.  I used to think it did.  Sure there are things in life that make it more enjoyable.  Really, happiness is internal.

I have struggled with depression for most of my life.  I have had what I would call a challenging life.  I think others, if they knew the circumstances, would agree.

I guess I just wanted to let you know that I know that life can be hard and I haven’t always been happy.  I am so grateful to be happy now even on those tough days.


Liar, liar pant on fire

There are few things that bug me more than being lied to.  It really irks me.  Recently, I was lied to by a manager where I work.  I asked her a question and she gave me an answer.  I didn’t like the choice she made but I accepted it.  When she walked away, my direct manager told me it wasn’t true.  My manager looked in the system and it showed the truth.  That really bothered me.  My weekend came to an end and I noticed that I didn’t want to go to work.  It wasn’t the usual, I don’t feel like it that most people get from time to time.  I really didn’t want to go.  I don’t usually feel that way so I had to sit down and figure out what my problem was.  With a little reflection I realized it was the lie that was bothering me.  There are few things that bother me more than lying.

I don’t want to work with people that I can’t trust, especially managers.  I don’t expect managers, or anyone else, to be perfect.  I just think lying is not acceptable.  I decided I needed to do something so that I could be comfortable at work.  I consulted with another manager and asked how I should handle it (I didn’t name names, of course).  She said I should just talk to the original manager and try to straighten it out.

I went up to the manager that lied and told her that I didn’t feel good about the information that she passed along because it wasn’t true and that it bothered me.  I told her that it felt like she lied and that because she is a manager I want to be able to trust her.  She said she wished I had brought it up sooner and told me what actually happened.  I thanked her and walked away.  This new story was another lie.

After a few hours I was still bothered by this whole situation.  I realize that I have no control over her and the choices she makes.  Her choice to lie and then to cover that lie with another shows a great deal about her maturity and character.  She is, at least aware that I know better about the first lie and that I don’t appreciate it.  Her choices are not a reflection of me or are choices that I would make.  That was the best I could do for having a good attitude about the whole thing.

I was still bothered.  And then a quote on facebook came to the rescue.  “There is really no way we can know the heart, the intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something that we find reason to criticize.  Thus the commandment: ‘Judge not’ – Thomas S. Monson”

I had my moment of clarity.  I prayed for help to let it go.  God is a miracle worker because it went away.  All of those bad feelings disappeared and was replaced with peace.  That was a huge blessing.

I don’t like what happened but I am at peace with it.  In the end, I am happy with the situation.  I had an opportunity to see the character of another person.  I will be cautious around her but I won’t judge her.  This was another beautiful reminder that I am responsible for my happiness and no one else.

Don’t worry be happy!

worryI’m not suggesting you never worry.  I couldn’t ask you or tell you to do something that I am not capable of.  Someday I will not worry as much as I currently do because I worry less than I used to.  Once in awhile worry creeps in and I figure out how to move through it.

This past Saturday worry came to visit for a bit.  A gentleman, that I happen to be quite fond of, was coming home from Europe.  He sent a text when he landed in the county and before his local flight took off.  I didn’t hear anything that night but I assumed that he was exhausted from the trip and would let me know later.  Saturday morning I was no longer feeling peaceful about it.  I wondered if his flight made it or had crashed.  I wondered if he knew I cared about him as much as I do.

Here’s some background information.  I care for him deeply and appreciate his kind and respectful treatment of me.  We are getting to know each other and really taking our time.  I find I like him more and more each day.  There are things that I love about him.  I’ve always rushed into relationships.  We are going slow.  I do think there is a wonderful potential for us as a couple and I look forward to discovering what happens.  If I am completely honest, I hope that something happens between us.  We have the potential to do quite well together.  If the way we dance together is an indication of how we would relate to each other in a relationship, we will do very well.

As I lay in bed Saturday morning I wonder if something happened to his plane.  I wondered how I would find out if something went wrong.  I even got to a point where I cried.  I cried because, “What if…?”  There were quite a few what ifs.

Then I decided to pray about it instead of laying there worried.  I prayed for peace.  I prayed for acceptance of the situation if his plane crashed.  Then I decided to trust God and trust that all was well.  I know that God loves and cares for him so much more than I ever could (yes, even if I did love him with all of my heart).  I know that God loves all of his children.  I knew that if something had happened it would be for the best for him and part of his plan.  Then I asked Him to give me comfort and to watch over me until my worry past.  In that moment a wave of peace came over me.  I knew that all was well.  That doesn’t mean that I knew that my friend was alive or not.  I just knew that everything was okay the way it was.

After my prayer I sent another text.  I let him know the events from the night before.  I got a text back a little while later.  I was glad and grateful.

It would be easy to say I worried for nothing.  That wouldn’t be true.  My moment of worry showed me how much I care for this person, and, more importantly, gave me an opportunity to exercise my faith and trust God.

Welcome to Happiness Begins With Me

I have been thinking about writing this blog for a couple of years.  This morning I saw a post by a dear friend.  She expressed her frustration with some health issues she is currently having.  I wished I could hug her but I live to far away.  I did send her a message and gave her a virtual hug and shared some experiences I have had and the perspective I have gained.

I’ve had the discussions several times over the past few years.  I think that happiness is up to the individual and not the circumstances he or she happens to be in at the time.

I am not saying that frustration, sadness and anger are not appropriate or normal.  I would say they are necessary.  How can a person know happiness if they don’t know sadness?

I’d like to share my thoughts on the subject.  I hope that you’ll share your thoughts and comments too.  I’d love feed back.  Please ask me if you have any questions.