Togetherness on the path to happiness

Society is constantly pursuing happiness and contentment and most of the time coming up short. When these things are our destination, we end up going in completely the wrong direction. Instead, they should be stopping points along the way to something much better.

You’ll have heard it said that happiness is a choice. When you’re really not feeling it, not only does that sound like a lie, it becomes a frustrating mantra from other people whose lives seem to have blessed them immeasurably and so why wouldn’t they be happy. You’ll also have heard it said that the grass is always greener on the other side.

Practicing thankfulness turns our eyes to the green grass under our feet. If nothing else (and there almost always is a lot else we can identify) we have our Creator and we have a purpose for today – to be his Kingdom on earth. That’s it. That’s the purpose.

The ultimate goal is serving others and showing them a glimpse of how generous, loving, creative and selfless our Maker is. In pursuing that, we usually find that contentment and happiness have crept in unnoticed and simply are.

When I was pursuing happiness and failing miserably, I considered myself weak because I needed other people and felt I was a burden to them. Once again my wise husband’s words were balm to my soul: “It’s not weakness it’s togetherness. You have time right now. Rather than dwell on the sad things, enjoy right now.”

So I’m pursuing a life of serving others. Of talking to and listening to God and to dwelling in and appreciating ‘togetherness’.

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Helper

When my husband is having a tough time, it truly breaks my heart. It is as though my own soul is being torn apart. That makes sense really when you consider that he is the person I treasure most on this earth. He is an extension of me and therefore it comes as no surprise that what he feels, I feel. When he’s anxious, I’m a complete fidget, abuzz with his nerves. When he’s happy, I’m giddy with joy. When he’s sad, I cry.

So when there is very little I can do to make things better, I feel powerless.

A wonderful friend who has walked through so many highs and lows of life with me, text me a beautiful encouragement yesterday. She understands that the reason I’m hurting is because I care about him to the core of who I am, but her following words were a little insight into my heart:

“You love him and you desire good for him. But you are his partner, his helper; you are not his saviour.”

What wisdom. I cannot possibly make everything right for him on my own. I am only human. It is easy in marriage to assume the responsibility of being everything to your spouse but that isn’t what we’re supposed to be; everything cannot rest on one flawed human being.

I was made to be by his side, to help him, support him, encourage him and love him with all of my being. But releasing me from the duty of saving him is quite a revelation. Our friends, our family and our God all play huge roles in who we become. We’ll walk this life, through its mountaintops and valleys, together.