Sunday, March 14, 2010

praying for happiness

Once, when I was in highschool, I was so in love with a boy that I actually prayed every day that he would love me back. We dated for about three years off and on, and he treated me horribly. Still, I prayed, and prayed, and prayed: "Please God, let him love me, let us be together." 
I had a friend who liked to hold gatherings, mostly during the full moon, with only women; we would take moonlit walks to the beach, light candles, burn things, make potions and talismans, all sorts of hocus-pocus. Mostly just for fun. But at every one of these little parties, I would ask my friend to cast a love spell, in hopes that this boyfriend of mine would finally love me and belong to me. 
One day, heartbroken and exasperated, I said through tears to my friend, "I just wish he were mine!" She looked at me and said, "If he were yours, who's to say you would be happy? Maybe, instead of praying for him, you should pray for happiness."
That single remark changed the way I thought, and prayed, for a long time. And it served me very well. Any time I found myself praying for a particular thing, like a certain job, apartment, vacation, result...I would correct myself, let go of wanting that thing, and pray for happiness instead. And that practice of letting go of specific things really worked well, because I felt I was leaving the details up to God, and living in faith that God knew what was good for me much better than I ever could. 
Then, the other day, I was talking with an old friend on the phone. He has been through alot in his life, but has managed to remain a positive person. We were talking now about my miscarriage, and I told him how it had come as such a shock, and as such a stark change from the happiness we had experienced while I was pregnant. I told him I was praying that I would be happy again some day soon. 
To that he said, "But hard times are a part of life, too. People need to stop their addiction to happiness and to good times, and accept the hard times as they come. We need to be at peace with the fact that life isn't always easy or happy."
This made me re-think my prayers for happiness. I began to realize that I often spent many hours of my days thinking of the future, of all the things I hoped would happen or come, of all the happiness I hoped to experience 'some day.' And now I feared that, by always praying for happiness, I was neglecting the opportunity to live in gratitude for what IS. For all the happiness I already have. For my life exactly as it is today, in this moment. And to live in acceptance of the hard times, too. 
The more I thought about it, the more I decided that I should strive for a balance of the two....because although it's good to live with an atitude of gratitude, it's also important to dream. 

Those are the thoughts I am having today. 

My head is also swarming with ideas for my etsy shop, Kiki La Ru, for which I am so grateful! Ever since I decided to open up that little online store, I have been having one inspiration after another. So, yes, dreaming is important. Having a vision and following through is important. 

Well, that's what I think right now.....who knows, maybe that will change too, some day! I am open to learning new truths and changing my mind. And I hope that fact remains until the day I die, because a willingness to learn and change are what keep a person young.

xoxo country girl


  1. what a wonderful friend to give you the gift of peace about happiness. i agree - too often we think of happiness as this target of where we land and everything will be wonderful. but, instead to me, happiness is a wonderful gift that we carry along our journey. it's a great accessory to our outfits of life - sometimes it's a small scarf and sometimes it's a bit warm coat. i know the feelings that 'then i will be happy' and have had to remind myself. thank you for sharing this with us this morning.

  2. One may not always have happiness, but as your little quote says, "Be the joy you wish to see". Many times, we must try to make the best out of things even though it may seem impossible. Thank you for sharing. (Are you sure you don't have a degree in Philosophy?)
    Kay Guest

  3. Your friend gave you some powerful advice indeed. Happiness is is joy that we seek, joy that we need in our lives. We need to appreciate the darkness to be able to appreciate the light. I say every day in my prayers that I'm grateful for all of my blessings...and sometimes I remember to give thanks for the blessings that I don't have in my life. Some of those are more powerful than the ones I do have.

    Most of this knowledge comes to us from living our lives. We need to experience the depths of darkness when we think joy will never be present again, to be able to rise up and be grateful for the wonderful things that we do have to look forward to each day.

    Your journey is showing that you are coming to this...and with new inspiration and passion to capture you, I see you moving forward towards that light. Sending you many positive thoughts of wonder and joy.

  4. I think you have come a long way in your rethinking about happiness. Praying with faith to be content will bring happiness. God will provide through all kinds of means to adjust our attitude and our happiness. I believe that the rough times and hardships throughout our lives make for the happiest of other times. We appreciate our lives more, and we cherish those happy wonderful moments more.
    Maybe we should just pray for God to just simply take care of us by providing what we need instead of what we want. Now you have me rethinking..... :)
    Blessings to you...

  5. I was thinking about happiness, too these days, wrote a letter to my dear penfriend who's always there to listen and when she got my letter and we chatted about it, she said "goodness, woman! You don't have to be happy all the time! Besides, it'd be weird."
    I agree with Sherry. It's joy we should seek.

  6. I really liked this post; for I too need to take that advice to heart. I thank you for this♥

  7. I have hoped for Peace. Peace in my world. That and hope. Hope for better things etc. It's worked for me ...

  8. I pray for acceptance. And the belief that everything happens for a reason, even if I don't understand it immediately (or maybe ever)I hope to accept it. Or get the courage to change it. I pray not to be stalled in one spot by my own insecurities or fears. I think just connection is good, doesn't matter what we ask for, we just need to ask.

  9. Oh, my friend, this post is so wonderful. I have been going through a very tough winter, and feeling sad and hurt even as I try to move forward. The reminder to live in the moment and to celebrate what we have, even the hard times, is one I need to keep hearing. Both of your friends gave you wise counsel at moments when you needed it, and you are just a treasure for sharing their words.

    I'm so excited for you about your new etsy shop! What a magical adventure. xoxo Gigi

  10. Ah Dawn, as always you write such insightful posts that I can relate to and I agree with and that offer such wisdom. I think if life was all happiness we'd take it for granted. Kahlil Gibran once said that 'Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding'. I think this is very true. You become wise from your experiences -good and bad...they make you who you are and hopefully a stronger, better person...and with this you can be more understanding and sympathetic/empathetic to others...

  11. Your words are so true, we do have to be ever so grateful for where we are and what we have 'right now' and yet God wants us to dream of tomorrow too and have goals that we may or may not reach, but what we learn on the journey is ever so wonderful!

    xoxo Gert

  12. I always like to read your posts Dawn, mull over them a bit and then respond a day later. The reason why I do this is because I can tell that you take the time to write each post with such thought and care.
    I like this post. As I was walking today with Noah I caught myself thinking about the future, wishing that I knew when we would be moving, where we would be moving to ect. I started to feel a bit panicked when I realized that I didn't have any answers to these thoughts, but then I thought of this post.
    I decided to stop my worrying and try to focus on that very moment- try to enjoy what I was doing.
    Thank you for reminding me to slow down and not stress about the unknown.

  13. This post was a wonderful reminder to take life as it comes.

  14. Oh, Dawn, I love this post!! I've been thinking about it since yesterday when I read it for the first time. I think all of us always strive for happiness, because it's our most natural state of being - that's when we feel like everything fits together and we are living our purpose. And the same time, I realize it's the hard times that bring depth to my life and also redefine constantly what happiness means to me. At 43, very different things make me happy than they did when I was 13. I've had much sorrow and suffering in my life as most anybody has - and all of it has made me into the person I am today. Mostly happy!!

    You are an inspiration, Dawn!!! Und ganz liebe Gruesse aus Savannah und danke fuer deinen lieben Kommentar!! Um deine Frage zu beantworten, am meisten vermisse ich die guten Baeckereien in Deutschland (ausser natuerlich Freunden und Familie).

    Love, Silke

  15. words of wisdom. Thank you for being so transparent.

  16. I just found your blog this morning. What a perfect post to stumble on. Thank you for sharing this, for being so real and honest. I've been going through some mighty dark times but there IS sunshine in the midst of it. I hope for happiness for you, and peace in the pain.

  17. was the hummingbird post removed or I just can't see it???

  18. Both of your friends are wise and right! I think the key is to live in the moment (while not forgetting the future or the past) as much as possible.

  19. I love this post! I am fairly new to your blog, and I love it! I like to read every post now. This one really applied to my current circumstances. Thanks for such a thoughtful post!

  20. i love this have certainly given me something to think about...i definately devote far too much time in praying and hoping for certain things...wanting to see fast results and trying to plan out my life...shifting the focus is my mission now and looking at the big picture as well as the small details which bring me joy...
    changes to my life circumstances has brought me many hours of thinking and i know that i would not have grown into who i am now if it weren't for those hardships...and i like who i'm becoming and the changes i see within myself...
    you have helped so much through these trying times...i think so much of you my friend!
    big hugs and safe travels to you as you head to the big city this weekend!

  21. You have shared some thoughtful words. I love those days when I can be in the moment and love it! love, Beth

  22. Wow...that was an awesome post...very sweet and well-thought out....or ...rather...well-lived out...which are the best kind of thoughts.
    Anyway...found your blog through the maze of blogdom. I'll be back!



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