Do you have everything you ever wanted? Do you spend your time the way you want? Are you a person who relentlessly pursues happiness? Do you expect your partner to make you happy? Hhmmmmm…..
What if I told you that what you have is yours because that’s what you tolerate?
What you value is what creates your world and what you don’t value keeps what you don’t want away. Now before you think I’ve gone off my rocker, just follow me for a second here.
Think about whether people take advantage of you. If they do, it’s because you don’t value boundaries and therefore, haven’t set any. Think about the people you spend time with. You value your friendship with those people. They lift you up, have a reciprocal relationship with you and they push you to be a better person in some way. If you don’t value certain people’s presence, you don’t make time for them.
What about in your marriage (if applicable)? It’s the same there too. Both positive and negative values give you what you have, or don’t. What you value in your marriage is what you protect, what you strive to keep growing. If you value honesty, you’re not going to tolerate lies. If you value quality time, you’re going to set boundaries with anyone and anything that may infringe upon that quality time with your spouse, right?
All of this tolerance and boundaries, valuing or devaluing just to stay happy?
Well, what if I told you that happiness is probably the worst value ever! Happiness is a result and sadly we often attach that result to people, objects, money, substances, or things that are fleeting. Happiness is a result from something much deeper.
According to Dr. Henry Cloud, “People who always want to be happy and pursue it above all else are some of the most miserable people in the world.” People who value happiness avoid pain. Pain is inevitable if we are growing, if we are stepping outside our comfort zone. Those who believe that happiness is constant are living in a fantasy world or a world without growth.
Moments of unhappiness are given to us to teach us something, even in marriage. If you’re always inconvenienced by something getting in the way of your happiness and you’re angry and bitter toward whatever came up, you’ll never actually solve the issue. You’ll run away from opportunity, quit on yourself, divorce your spouse, all because it got hard and you “weren’t happy.”
James tells us in the Bible to “consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:2-5).
When you hit a rough patch in life or in your marriage, consider it joy and ask yourself “What’s on the other side of this? What should I be learning?” Get EXCITED! It’s probably going to be really good! Persevere through that hardship to become mature and complete in it! Value the lesson and you’ll be happy again as a result. Well, until the next lesson to be learned comes along.