“To me, it’s getting to the bottom of what you thought was a bottomless pit… and that’s where you surrender yourself to whatever is next. That’s what billions of other people are doing right now. Hitting the bottom only to lift their gaze up and figure out how to get off of the ground again. Yeah, knowing that definitely helps.”—Hayley Williams
“To the drunks, the addicts, the perverts, the victims, the porn stars, the prostitutes, the adulterers, theives, the obese gluttons who think a waste is a terrible thing to mind, the Twilight fans, the murderers, the mommy’s boys, the losers, the freaks, the geeks, people who think wrestling is real, red necks, guys who own action figures, chain smokers, everyone who does not use a turn signal while texting and talking on the phone in their car, men who live with their mothers, women who get paid in dollar bills, dudes in dresses (seen it at Mars Hill), democrats, republicans, the guys at the gym who walk around the locker room naked singing Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer, mormons and anyone else who wears sacred under breeches, whoever is responsible for the creation and ongoing sale of men’s Lycra biking shorts… yoga instructors, witches, pot heads, meat heads, crack heads, dead heads and meth heads… people who don’t recycle, the rainbow-loving tree-hugging … lefters, and religious people who do not know what I am talking about because these subjects were not on The Little House on the Prairie or covered in their Home School co-op — I have good news for you: Jesus loves you. You’ll fit right in. And because He died for your sins, you get to repent.”—Mark Driscoll, Jesus Loves Sinners (via chelsatonic)
“The question is not “How am I to find God?” but ” How am I to let myself be found by him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” but “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And, finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” but “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” … God is the father who watches and waits for his children, runs out to meet them, embraces them, pleads with them, begs and urges them to come home… pays no heed to apologies and promises of change, and brings them to the table richly prepared for them.”—Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son)
So I’ve started reading this book called the The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. I’m not so sure what to think about it yet because I’ve only read through the introduction and chapter one, but so far I think that it will be worth the money and time.
He writes about how we are sometimes stuck in this trap trying to be happy all of the time. Some people already have this figured out, but I’m just getting used to the fact that life isn’t about the happy things.
So I’m going to start posting my notes that I take from the book on here. I’m not going to worry about letting you know when something is a quote from the book or me talking. (you’ll normally be able to tell) I’ll just tell you that most of what I put in the notes is either a direct quote from the book or something paraphrased. So here are my first notes from the book:
What is Happiness?
It is not some fleeting feeling. It is a profound sense of a life well lived. And although such a life will undoubtedly give us many pleasurable feelings, it will also give us uncomfortable ones, such as sadness, fear, and anger. This is only to be expected. If we live a full life, we will feel the full range of human emotions.
Chapter 1: Fairy Tales
Four major myths that make up the basic blueprint for the Happiness Trap:
Happiness is the natural state for all human beings.
If you’re not happy, you’re defective. (a play off of myth #1)
To create a better life, we must get rid of negative thoughts.
You should be able to control what you think and feel.
The basic claim is: if you challenge your negative thoughts or images and, instead, repeatedly fill your head with positive thoughts and images, you will find happiness.
Myth 4 is so widely believed that we tend to feel inadequate when our attempts to control our thoughts and feelings fail.
How we learn about control
While growing up we hear things like:
Don’t be so gloomy.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
There’s nothing to be afraid of.
So we get the message that we should be able to control our feelings. It also makes it appear as though the people telling us these things have control over their own feelings and thoughts. (This makes us compare ourselves to them)
So those are my notes from tonight. So far, the biggest things for me are myth #1 and #2. Realizing those myths, I see that most all emotions are going to make themselves known to a person, and it is how that person reacts to those emotions that will either set them in the “happiness trap” or keep them safe from it.
I want my life to be a fulfilled life. The alternative being: an empty life. The main problem is that I’m not really sure how to live a fulfilled life- or if it’s even possible to do so. It may be more of a scale (like from one to ten) as opposed to just two points (like only one and ten). Another, smaller, problem is that I do know how to life an empty life. Living under the rule of the lie that people can be happy all the time is one of those ways. I live under that lie a lot.
I’m hoping that this book will help guide me in my journey to living a fulfilled life. Who knows? It could just be another self help book that doesn’t help at all. We’ll see.
I’ve been really stressed these past two weeks. It turns out that my 17 credits of classes make for a 25 hour week, and Ross has started working me everyday of the weekend. I’m just tired. I know that I’m really blessed and that I have more to be thankful for than 90% of the world, if not, more. Despite that, I’m still struggling to make it though the day while trying to put a smile on my face… but I’ve gotten pretty good at that. That’s something to be thankful for. Right?
Anyway, enough of a pity party! Hope. That word and all that resides in it is what gets me through it all.
We’ve all heard the faith, hope and love thing, but I never thought of how those words are used. Faith and hope don’t get much attention in that chapter. Love is, sort of, the kid at school who overshadows everyone lol. Faith and Hope made a 4.0, too, but Love did all of the community service hours so it is the one that is noticed.
So lets think about Hope for a bit. (we’ll probably talk about faith in a different post)
A lot of things that I found on hope was found in Proverbs. There were lots of other books that talked about Hope (obviously), but I want to focus in on Proverbs. (Keep in mind that the Hope that I’m talking about is a hope in God. All other hopes will fall short to the will of the Hope that is in God.)
The hope of the righteous ends in gladness, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.
Okay. So far, Hope treats honest fair, and morally right people very nicely.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Next, she is a friend who you never want to leave. She really just makes your day better.
Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Hope is willing to be there for anyone.
Surely there is a future and your hope will not be cut off.
You can count on Hope being there for you.
Hope is really humble. She doesn’t brag about herself to anyone. She doesn’t make a show of herself, but because of this, she is forgotten sometimes. She would prefer us to introduce ourselves, and once we do, she never leaves. All of the times that I saw something about being separated from hope had to do with us leaving hope. She can always be left, but she is always just a step away.
I will leave you with a small bit from Martin Luther’s Table Talk.
hope admonishes, awakens, hears, expects, and suffers.
I pray that you will always remember Hope, and that you will never leave her side. She will never leave yours.