Friday’s over at Katy Motaung’s blog is a Five Minute Free Write to a specific prompt, today that prompt is “Happy”. Its been a while since I did one, and decided to join the link up today. Here is my Free Write with no edits.
My first five minute timer resulted in this:
Happy is one of those words I struggle with because it comes and goes. It has emotional ups and downs. What is the root drive behind whether I am happy or not? To me it has to do with my joy level and my gratitude. The two go hand in hand. The more grateful I am, the more joy I have and the happy is there. But happy seems to be just when life is good and not when it gets hard, and we know that life gets hard sometimes. You hear people ask – are you happy? For me its the wrong question to ask, instead the question of am I filled with joy. Being filled with joy and gratitude can be there even when the outside circumstances are hard. It is a heart attitude and not just an emotional feeling. The word happy and joy tend to be used interchangeably, but I don’t think they can be. When people say, if I had this I would be “truly happy” or if this would happen, then I would be happy. It tends to be connected with whether someone is content with their life or not. What is the filter I am looking at life thru? Is it the lens of gratitude and conentement or want and discontent.
I see my kids struggle with this concept, this truth. You give them somehting that they were not expecting and then they want more. Not content. Not happy. Happiness seems to be a fleeting emotion that
~ I chose to continue and do another 5 minutes and this is what I wrote…. ~
Can I have a piece of candy mom? What about a soda? When the answer is no, the look of dejection is obvious. When the answer is yes, that moment of elation and then brace yourself for the next question – the next want. At one time happy and joy were used interchangeably in my life. I would associate the emotion of being happy with whether or not I had joy. If I wasn’t happy it was a problem. What I learned was the need for gratitude. The need to be thankful. I find it interesting that you don’t really hear the bible talk about being happy but you do read about joy. I think that is because Joy is an attitude of the heart and being happy, happy is an outpouring of emotion from that heart attitude. I say that because we can be sad and still have joy. Its a heart attitude of knowing that God is in control and we are loved. I know that I get frustrated when my kids don’t seem to appreciate, don’t express appreciation for the gifts that they are given. I am guilty of doing the same thing though. Not being content with what I have. Its easy to get in the trap of wanting more. Of focusing on the wrong thing and not on the gratitude of what we have.
~ this was a difficult free write for me, God has been working on me and showing me how much I have to be grateful for and as I choose to be grateful, thankful, the joy bubbles out more and more. The connection between feeling happy and gratitude / joy is an interesting one. As I was writing this, I realized how my thinking has shifted more and more towards joy and haven’t really used the word happy in a very long time ~
To view other Five Minute Friday posts head over to Katy’s blog by clicking HERE