“If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.” ~ Richard Bach
We always hear about how there are two types of people and then we get comparisons between two different things. Well, I guess I could use that same argument today to say that there are two types of people: those who take control of their lives or feelings and those who relinquish control to others.
I think you know what I mean. There are many people out there who place the blame on others: he made me feel this way, she made me angry, he made me sad, she made me frustrated, et cetera. Own your feelings, folks. No one can make you feel anything. Those feelings are yours, pure and simple.
If we maintain that our happiness depends upon what somebody else does, we are going to be extremely frustrated, angry, tense, lonely people. Happiness, however, is not found from without. Happiness is found from within.
That is why you can often see someone in the midst of the most horrible situation you could imagine — natural disaster, war, illness, or the like — with a calm demeanor and a smile on the face. That is because that person is centered within. That person is in total control of his or her emotions. That person is rock-solid strong.
When you ask people like that what they do to maintain their attitude, the vast majority of them would say things like pray, worship, or serve the Lord. In one way or another, they indicate that their centered attitude comes from their relationship with God. The more that they work on that relationship, the more centered, peaceful, and happy they become.
I know that to be true in my own life. The times that I have found myself off the rails, so to speak, are the times that I had neglected my prayer life. I had put other things — projects and the like — in a higher priority than I had my relationship with God. Because of that, my inner calm began to wear thin and I found myself unsettled.
It is easy to lose that inner peace. The great news is that it is also easy to gain or regain. All we have to do is maintain our relationship with God. Do whatever works best for you: prayer, spiritual reading, service to others, adoration, or worship. If it gets you close to the Lord, and therefore close to your center, it can only make you stronger.
FAITH ACTION: Make sure that you are rooted firmly in the Lord today so that no one can take your happiness away from you.