Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Finding Happiness, Make Peace with your Past

I have been talking to my wife about the happiness thing. Before I go much farther, I should point out there is a reality that my unhappiness and my depression may be a medical issue. I am going to an endocrinologist in a few weeks to see if I have something off in my glands or organs or endocrine system or something.  It may be all the searching for answers may simply be a medical deficiency. I'm actually hoping so, because I don't know what else to do.

That being said, there may be an issue or issues in my past that I just haven't dealt with. Growing up, I was picked on a lot, cause . . .well I was a dork. It's just how I roll I guess. My mother was also very critical of me, which was difficult. I went from being a pretty sensitive kid who cried easily and had a soft heart to being stoic and emotionless. It wasn't by chance or accident.

In college, I lost both my parents to cancer. I did manage to graduate and go on to Seminary, and then I had the heartaches of ministry and church work which I don't wish to rehash. Let's just say there is some lingering hurt. I know there are many who the hurts and others pushing them down just motivates them harder. I had a comment (which I greatly appreciate) about wanting to prove the critics wrong and succeed despite them. That's just not how I'm wired. Criticism does not motivate me at all. I have lots in my past that I drag around, I think the technical term is baggage.

So Elaine, who is so much smarter than I am, pointed out that much of my problem is the baggage that I carry around. The hurt and the wounds and the pain that follow me around like an imprinted duckling. The problem is that I have no idea what to do about it. I have talked to others, including counselors, I have prayed and written about it. I have read books and listened to sermons and lectures and even taken classes. Maybe I am just being overly sensitive, or maybe I am so desensitized and I have crammed the stuff so deep it will take a surgeon to remove it. Maybe there is little to no hope for me.

Or maybe my thyroid is out of whack and I need to get it back in balance. Maybe, but I want to be happy and I want you to be happy too. Here is my suggestion. Let's make peace with our past. Let's forgive those who wronged us, and this might be a process. I am still working to rid myself of some anger and it takes time. Let's focus on being joyful (which can be hard) and being strong. Let's deal with emotions and feelings as they come and focus on being emotionally well.  Let's keep looking for happiness.

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