Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

 

Many of us on this earth want nothing more than to be free to follow our dreams, live in harmony with those around us and find happiness. But how do we do this in a world filled with disappointment, limitations and even wickedness?

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Photo by Jenny Lea Photography

We came into this world pure and innocent, with limitless possibilities. Most of us were born to loving parents and adequate surroundings to get a good start in life. Our parents looked at us and saw so much potential. We were allowed to explore this world, carefully, and discover the beauty and our future that lay ahead.

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As we grew older, we realized that there were parameters, which we needed to live within. Some of those parameters gave us comfort and while others restricted us.  Along the way we began to realize that external factors did indeed influence how we felt about ourselves and how we looked at life.

 

But life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are God given rights that He has bestowed on each individual that has or ever will walk this earth. It doesn’t matter if you live in a palace or a grass hut. If you lived with both parents or were raised by your aunt or grandpa or adopted family.

 

More often than not happiness, true happiness, the kind that makes your heart jump for joy, isn’t obtained in the latest and greatest shiny object. It doesn’t happen when we focus on ourselves, seeking after what we think we need or want. It doesn’t materialize with the mentality of, “I’ll be happy when. . .  or . . . I’ll be happy if. . .” Happiness can’t be bought, inhaled or eaten. We spend so much time, energy and money pursuing that fleeting happiness that we’ve lost sight of what happiness even is.

 

That “down to the tips of your toes” kind of happiness occurs when we turn outward and upward. A wise fellow blogger gave this sage advice:

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(to check out more of her awesomeness visit Jacqueline’s blog here)

Have you ever know someone who is truly joyful? I mean happy and enthusiastic about life; has something good to say about everybody they know? And you wonder – what do they have that I haven’t? Are they really THAT happy? Are they faking it? What is the difference between them and me?

 

The difference is that they choose to be happy. Oh their life isn’t perfect. Their loved ones die, they get sick just like the rest of us; they lose their job. When you take a look at their life it looks pretty much like ours.

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How do we choose to be happy? Can we discover joy even in the midst of sorrow?

My grandma used to say, “When you’re feeling down, look for someone to serve and you’ll see that your problems aren’t so bad”.

 

I feel happiest when I help others. It could be something as simple as volunteering at a soup kitchen. Offering free babysitting to a neighbor so they can go to an appointment without “the crew”. Donating to or working at a local food bank. Maybe it’s helping girls halfway around the world to stay in school and pursue their education with dignity so they can get out of poverty. I know. That last one sounds like, whaaaaat? How do I do that?

 

I have a wonderful friend that is passionate about helping others. She has turned me on to this amazing service opportunity and is building a local chapter where we live. I admire her ambition and devotion. She is a great example of creating your own happiness. As we do what we can within our capacity we can all make a difference. I have another friend that is a single mom, working hard to barely make ends meet. She acknowledges God for all she has and while she doesn’t have much, she’d gladly give you the shirt off her back if you asked her. She’s always rounding up used clothing and items for those in need.

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If you want to learn more ways to serve visit this site, find something that interests you or get to know your neighbors better by offering to help; even if it’s just to bring their groceries in. You’ll be making a difference and you will feel good. And feeling good brings happiness. The kind you can’t buy.

 

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