I was recently driving home and I felt completely at peace; it was like life was exactly the way it should be. It was like the feeling you get camping when you’re looking at the stars or at a beach listening to the waves, but at this moment there weren’t any stars or waves. I wasn’t listening to a motivation speaker or on meds, legal or otherwise. It was a regular day when I was in Hamilton driving home. In that moment it was like I could accept that God has blessed me without needing to be on vacation. Many times in my life I’ve said God has blessed me, but in this moment (and many since) I was actually able to truly accept it. This feeling of peace is something that I wouldn’t have thought possible if I was asked about it a few years ago when things were in such chaos for me. It is truly encouraging to see that out of the mire, peace was able to grow, and now I know that in the future, even when things fall apart, peace can be found if I continue to live as I should. As the Bible teaches: “You reap what you sow.” (Gal 4:7b)
- Money: Here’s a question to consider: Would you rather a fulfilling career and an okay house or a tolerable career and a giant house. I see so many giant new houses, but it’s rare that the owners have time to really enjoy them because they’re too busy working and commuting to pay them off. I’d rather a small house and enjoy what I do making enough money. I’ll be writing more on this for next week.
- Peace with God: Over my life I have had phases of doubting Him, resenting Him, being angry at Him, and begging Him for help. Out of all of this, after years of continually doing healthy routines like devotions, praying, listening to worship music, and coming to a healthy understanding of how God interacts with the world, I have now found my peace with Him and it’s pretty amazing.
- I don’t take on the world’s problems: One of the best lessons I learned was that there is a difference between my business, other people’s business, and God’s business. It’s incredibly liberating when you don’t take on what’s not yours to control
- I Compare: Some people say you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, but this has been very helpful to me for seeing people who can inspire me and to see others who help me feel grateful for where I am at. There will always be people who have it better and worse, so I will use this to feel okay with my lot in life.
- I Use my Talents: I have been very blessed to have opportunities to develop talents that I enjoy and I make time to use, which adds to a sense of accomplishment and to see my own development.
- Actively Work on my Marriage: Being a therapist I’m fortunate to be reminded on a sometimes daily basis of what I need to be doing in order to have a healthy marriage as I teach others what they need to do.
- Actively Fight Over-Thinking & Beating Myself Up for Mistakes: I used to be really good at dwelling on the negative and beating myself up for dumb things I do and have done, but I’m getting better at considering why they are good and erasing them from my mind in that moment.
- Do What’s Right: Our culture promotes doing what makes you happy, but that actually makes happiness harder to attain. Doing what’s right is more important as it likely leads to better long term results, which is usually stuff I don’t want to do like biting my tongue or visiting friends when I’d rather veg. The best part about doing things I don’t want to do is I find something good comes out of it or I at least get a story I can joke about.
- Healthy Routines: Having healthy routines like regular family dinners and exercise times reduces thinking of what I should be doing and gets me doing healthy things I wouldn’t be able to spontaneously do.
- Look Past the Surface: I used to get worried about people’s emotions, especially negative ones, but I’ve gotten really good at seeing past the surface and consider what’s really going on for the person. This path started when I learned that “Hurt people, hurt people,” and people are ultimately wanting to feel and share love; they’re not the evil creatures I once thought. In addition, I know when people are upset, I need to let them feel their emotion and not take it personally; it is not mine to control, and helping them feel understood will resolve the problem quicker.
This week may you find inspiration in what I’ve done to find happiness to add to your own.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, Learning to love dumb people