The Happiness Project :: ETERNITY :: December

I a little bit fell off the wagon of happiness in November. I still did a lot of the things I had planned, but perhaps less consistently than I would have liked.  But I am determined to stay on track, so here are December's Happiness Goals.
I love this quote.  It reminds me so much of what Gretchen's goal was when she wrote The Happiness Project.  She wanted to "change her life without changing her life."  That's my goal.  I already have a really good, blessed life.  I just want to appreciate that and live it to its fullest.

December's goal area is Eternity.  Gretchen's chapter in the book about Eternity says that great minds encourage us to consider our death.  For death is what makes life so beautiful.  This is a touchy subject for me as a majority of anxiety stems around the idea of getting sick and dying. (And leaving my husband and young children behind.)  But I am determined to do it because I know that if can face the fears, they will diminish and peace will come.

Gretchen started her month on eternity by collecting memoirs to read about suffering, illness and dying.  She explained to her husband that while the books were indeed sad, they were also uplifting.  She found herself extra grateful for her ordinary life.  I had the same feeling as I read Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search For Meaning last week.  It's about his time spent in a concentration camp and his subsequent theories on the psychology of life's meaning.  The book was, generally speaking, depressing.  But I, too, found myself feeling grateful for the things in my life.  Warm showers, enough food to eat, my loved ones being alive & well.  

Reading these accounts of suffering made real the quote by William Edward Hartpole Lecky,
"There are times in the lives of most of us when we would have given all the world to be as we were but yesterday, though that yesterday had passed over us unappreciated and unenjoyed."

So for the rest of December I want to:

1. Surrender Daily

Let it go & trust God
{remember "It is safe to trust." -Ann Voskamp}
I want to stop fearing bad things that might happen.  
Gretchen reports that this is a great source of unhappiness, 
and I am guilty of it.

2. Keep a daily gratitude journal

Find something about every situation, especially trials, to be grateful for,
& continue with my 1,000 Gifts notebook--
{finding the "ugly beautiful" in my life}

3. Spend some time journaling about death

Keeping in mind that as with surgery, God cuts into our hearts to make us whole.  There's no seeing God face to face without first the ripping. {Ann Voskamp}  As afraid as I am to contemplate my death, I have to go through the pain to arrive at peace.

I want to trust, fully, God's plan for my life, and stay focused on the positive.
The new year holds good things.
I just know it.


1 comment:

Marilynn Raatz said...

Beautiful post Shelly. Such a human struggle really. Being afraid of dying is proof that you love life!