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Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Happiness Project

"...Men are, that they might have joy." -2 Nephi 2:25

I wouldn't say I am an unhappy person. It has just felt like something has been missing. I have thought it was a baby. That is why we have been working so hard to try an get pregnant. For whatever reasons, that is not what the Lord had in store for us. This brought up some questions for me. Was the Lord denying me happiness? Had I done something wrong that was preventing me from having this happiness? Or, rather, was there great happiness to be had in what I have already been blessed with?

Don't misunderstand me. I know I have been greatly blessed, and I am very grateful for what I have been given. I have a wonderful husband and a sweet little boy.  I just felt an empty spot inside that I was trying to fill.

Once I knew were probably weren't going to have another child, something I was pretty sure of long before we decided to stop trying, I tried to fill up that spot with other things. I started running to try and get the body I have always wanted. I started to read like crazy, both to increase my knowledge and for enjoyment. I started planning craft projects and homeschooling plans for my son. I even tried and talk my husband into a big family vacation. I felt I needed a change, like something had to give. I was trying to find true happiness through happy moments.

A happy moment, or fun, is play, pleasure, gaiety, merriment, source of enjoyment, amusement, to behave playfully, playful, often a noisy activity, and teasing. Happiness is contentedness, joy, delight, and satisfaction. Elder Costa of the Seventy said, "Many people in this world do not understand the difference between fun and happiness. Many try to find happiness having fun, but the two words have different meanings."

So if what I have been trying was the pursuit of fun, what should I do to gain happiness?

"As we seek to be happy, we should remember that the only way to real 
happiness is to live the gospel. We will find peaceful, eternal happiness 
as we strive to keep the commandments, pray for strength, repent of our sins,
participate in wholesome activities, and give meaningful service."
- True to the Faith (2004), 79-80

Elder Richard G Scott, in his talk Finding Joy in Life, recommended that we each make a list of things that we can do for happiness. This made me decide to start my own happiness project.

My Happiness Project: I am going to pick something that I know can bring me true happiness. I am going to work at incorporating it into my daily life. As each thing becomes a habit, as I hope it will, I will choose something else to work on. I think I am going to try and break it up into 2 weeks periods. After 2 weeks I can evaluate how things are going and if I am ready to add more "improvements" to myself, or rather a new goal.

Scripture study is my first goal. I used to be pretty regular with my scripture reading. I have struggled more lately. But notice I am going to work on my scripture study, not scripture reading. I am not going to worry so much about getting a chapter read. I am going to worry about taking the time to study and understand what I reading, seeking for inspiration about it. As I type this post, I am actually excited to get started.

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