Finding Happiness in a Troubled World…

Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder. Henry David Thoreau

Recently, I eluded to my plan to write more and instruct more about depression and overcoming it. As I have written in my book, A Glimpse of Heaven, depression is a heinous monster. However, just because it is a monster, does not mean that it cannot be overcome.

We have, in our arsenal, many weapons that we can use against depression. We can identify those weapons and we can learn to use those weapons.

In my experience, just waiting for depression to go away is the most inadequate approach possible. Being proactive and being willing to work hard is the best solution!

I can hear some of you say, “But I don’t feel like doing anything, I don’t even want to drag myself out of bed.” I know how you feel and I was there once myself but I can promise you that taking the “I’m sick attitude and therefore I can’t do anything” is just going to result in your being miserable and “sick” much much longer….much much longer.

One of the difficulties that depressed individuals often encounter is that they have a misguided notion that they should always be happy.

I have found that no one – not even our most giddy and exuberant friends, are happy all of the time. It’s a great idea to get rid of that misconception right now!

However, once we get rid of that misconception, we need to understand just what happiness is, what it is all about, and how we find it.

Over this next week, I am going to be sharing excerpts from an article in the Ensign magazine written by Jeffrey R. Holland entitled The Gospel Path to Happiness. I hope you will stay tuned throughout the entire week. Jeffrey R. Holland is one of my favorite instructors of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is personally acquainted with how difficult it can be to go through depression. His article is wonderful and encompasses everything I think you need to know about Happiness. So, for this week, we will be focusing on Happiness and how we obtain it.

Consider today’s excerpt, only an introduction to Happiness. Remember, there will be more helpful information throughout the week. As you read today’s excerpt, keep a prayer in your heart. Be open to your heart and listen as it tries to speak to you. Most of all, be sure to keep an open attitude. If you are battling depression and are looking for answers, I can promise you that you will need to make some changes. (I did too) However, it is my intent to help you understand some of the underlying issues that may be plaguing you and then to supply you with the tools that I believe will be most helpful!

Oh, and before I forget, be sure to seek the Lord in prayer – both as you read today’s excerpt and as you seek to resolve your depression. Be specific. Don’t just ask for general help. Instead, fine tune your request. For example, ask that today you will find one piece of information that will help you on your path to full recovery or that you will have an open heart and that you will know when you have found information that will be a true source of help for you, etc. Let your heart guide your prayer. You might be surprised what it has to say!

Being specific with prayer is one of  best kept secrets to meaningful prayers that I know of! I hope you will cultivate that strength (being specific when you pray) and that you will find meaningful instruction with today’s piece of instruction from Jeffrey R. Holland!

The Gospel Path to Happiness

So how do we “pursue” happiness, especially when we are young and inexperienced, maybe a little fearful, and life lies ahead of us as a challenging mountain to climb? Well, we know one thing for sure: happiness is not easy to find running straight for it. It is usually too elusive, too ephemeral, too subtle. If you haven’t learned it already, you will learn in the years ahead that most times happiness comes to us when we least expect it, when we are busy doing something else. Happiness is almost always a by-product of some other endeavor.

Henry David Thoreau, one of my favorite writers from my university days, said, “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”3 This is one of those great gospel ironies that often don’t seem obvious, like “the last shall be first” (Matthew 19:30; D&C 29:30) and “lose your life to find it” (see Matthew 16:25). The gospel is filled with such ironies and indirections, and I think the pursuit of happiness is one of them. So how do we optimize our chance for happiness without pursuing it so directly that we miss it? Let me go to a most remarkable book for some answers.

I do not think God in His glory or the angels of heaven or the prophets on earth intend to make us happy all the time, every day in every way, given the testing and trials this earthly realm is intended to provide. As President James E. Faust (1920–2007), Second Counselor in the First Presidency, once phrased it: “Happiness is not given to us in a package that we can just open up and consume. Nobody is ever happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”4

But my reassurance to you is that in God’s plan we can do much to find the happiness we desire. We can take certain steps, we can form certain habits, we can do certain things that God and history tell us lead to happiness with the confidence that if we live in such a manner, that butterfly is much more likely to land upon our shoulder.

In short, your best chance for being happy is to do the things that happy people do, live the way happy people live, and walk the path that happy people walk. As you do so, your chances to find joy in unexpected moments, to find peace in unexpected places, and to find the help of angels when you didn’t even know they knew you existed improve exponentially.

Today’s excerpt is shared from the following website: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2017/09/the-gospel-path-to-happiness?lang=eng

 

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How Life is Best Measured…

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

I am all about stewardship – in my mind, that means responsibility to create a meaningful life for myself and to be a meaningful part of the lives of my family, friends, and fellowman.

While that includes being responsible, it does not mean that life has to dull and dreary!

I know that it is hard to comprehend, but heaven is truly amazing and enthralling and worth our very best mortal efforts. Life is not about what’s in it for me, me, me. If it is to be meaningful for the duration – both mortality and eternity – it needs to be about what’s in it for us.

None of us knows how much time the Lord will grant us to live on this earth, but I know that we all inherently sense that this gig (called life) is important and is not to be wasted.

The article I am sharing today takes a few minutes to read, but do it anyway. Your life deserves it! Take a few minutes and contemplate on how you can improve and make your life better! I promise you will be blessed for your efforts! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

45 Ways To Live Life To The Fullest

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Changing Your Life…It is Always Possible!

To change your life, you need to change your priorities John C. Maxwell

Oh how I wish that I could take you with me and that we could visit heaven for just five minutes together! Just five minutes there and you would get what I want with all of my heart for you to know.

We talk of God being perfect but it is impossible to explain or even comprehend what perfect is as a mortal being. Understanding God’s perfection is as much an experience as it is an understanding. As I met with God during my near-death experience, I could feel His perfection and sense His utter and complete “wholeness”. We are talking here about a being who is without gap, crack, or lack in His intelligence, comprehension, and capacity.

That very same being who is whole and complete and utterly perfect is your Father and my Father and He is completely aware of you and He understands, in its entirety, your level of knowledge, wisdom and capacity. He wants nothing more than for you to realize your potential and for you to understand your worth. He is not attempting to produce clones of His children. Instead, He works diligently to help us, as we allow Him, to become the unique and special individual we were each designed to be.

He knows we are not perfect. He knows our mistakes. He never NEVER gives up on us. He loves us perfectly and completely in spite of our failings and flaws.

If you are as hard on yourself as I suspect you are, I hope that you will reach out to your Creator today. Ask Him to please communicate your worth to you in a way that you can accept and understand. I know He will answer your prayer if you make that request.

There may be no greater tragedy in this world than that of an individual believing that they are of no worth or nothing special or that they cannot be forgiven.

We each are wonderful and special and are meant to bring a positive contribution to this world that we have been made a part of. I hope you will allow God to speak to your heart today – I hope today’s story will inspire you as well!

Value

A popular speaker started off a seminar by holding up a $20 bill. A crowd of 200 had gathered to hear him speak. He asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

200 hands went up.

He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He crumpled the bill up.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

All 200 hands were still raised.

“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” Then he dropped the bill on the ground and stomped on it with his shoes.

He picked it up, and showed it to the crowd. The bill was all crumpled and dirty.

“Now who still wants it?”

All the hands still went up.

“My friends, I have just showed you a very important lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, life crumples us and grinds us into the dirt. We make bad decisions or deal with poor circumstances. We feel worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special – Don’t ever forget it!

Value story shared from the following website: http://www.livin3.com/5-motivational-and-inspiring-short stories#5%20Motivational%20and%20Inspiring%20Short%20Stories%20About%20Life,%20Stories%20that%20Will%20Make%20You%20Smile.

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Real Leaders…Serve the Lord

Real Leaders are ordinary people with Extraordinary Determination John Seaman GarnsReal Leaders…what are they? Do they have to be famous? What characteristics do they all have?

I believe that the best of the best – those who leave their footprint on this world in a way that resonates throughout the eternities are those who live their lives as directed by their hearts.

What does your heart tell you? Does it speak to a certain calling? Does it call you to a certain work?

I believe that as we listen to our hearts, our hearts will speak to of us our purpose. We all are meant to lead in our own way. That doesn’t mean we have to be world famous or even the best educated. It does mean we have to be willing to listen and then follow through with our “heart directives”.

I challenge you to listen to your heart today and take note of what it tells you! Just think about the difference Mother Teresa made in this world because she listened to her heart! I hope you enjoy the 20 Facts about Mother Teresa!

20 Facts about Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is a household name for her good works, but many people don’t know much about her beyond “nun who helped the poor.” Here are 20 facts about Mother Teresa.

1. Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born Aug. 26, 1910, in Macedonia to a financially comfortable Albanian family (they owned two houses, one of which they lived in). Her father died when she was 8, ending her family’s financial security.

2. Agnes was fascinated with missionaries from an early age, and by 12 she knew that she would commit herself to a religious vocation.

3. When she was 18, Agnes left home and joined the Sisters of Loreto in Rathfarnham, Ireland.

4. Although she lived to be 87, she never saw her mother or sister again after the day she left for Ireland.

5. After a year learning English in Ireland, Agnes transferred to the Sisters of Loreto convent in Darjeeling, India.

6. She took her vows as a nun in 1931, choosing the name Teresa to honor Saints Therese of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila.

7. Therese of Lisieux, the patron saint of Australia, is also the patron of missionaries, florists and AIDS sufferers, among others. Spain’s patron saint, Teresa of Avila, is also the patron of religious orders and lacemakers.

8. Sister Teresa began teaching history and geography in Calcutta at St. Mary’s, a high school for the daughters of the wealthy. She remained there for 15 years and enjoyed the work, but was distressed by the poverty she saw all around her.

9. In 1946 Teresa traveled to Darjeeling for a retreat. It was on that journey that she realized what her true calling was: “I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor.”

10. It took two years of preparation before she was able to begin doing the work she felt compelled to do. She needed to receive permission from the Sisters of Loreto to leave the order – while retaining her vows – as well as permission from the Archbishop of Calcutta to live and work among the poor. She also prepared by taking a nursing course.

11. In 1948 Sister Teresa set aside her nun’s habit – adopting instead the simple sari and sandals worn by the women she would be living among – and moved to a small rented hovel in the slums to begin her work.

12. Teresa’s first year in the slums was particularly hard. She was used to a life of comparative comfort, and now she had no income and no way to obtain food and supplies other than begging. She was often tempted to return to convent life, and had to rely on her determination and faith to get herself through it.

13. One of her first projects was to teach the children of the poor – drawing on her experience with teaching the children of the rich. She didn’t have any equipment or supplies this time, but she taught them to read and write by writing in the dirt with sticks.

14. In addition to promoting literacy, Teresa taught the children basic hygiene. She visited their families, inquiring about their needs and helping provide for them when she could.

Mother Teresa

15. Word began to spread about Mother Teresa’s good works, and soon she had other volunteers wanting to help. By 1950 she was able to start the Mission of Charity – a congregation dedicated to caring for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”

16. She went on to open a hospice for the poor, a home for sufferers of leprosy, and a home for orphans and homeless youths.

17. Mother Teresa was honored with many awards throughout her life, from the Indian Padma Shri in 1962 to the inaugural Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971 to Albania’s Golden Honour of the Nation in 1994… and, most famously, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

18. She refused the traditional Nobel honor banquet, instead requesting that the $192,000 budget be given to help the poor of India.

19. She continued her work with the poor for the rest of her life, leading the Missionaries of Charity until just months before her death Sept. 5, 1997.

20. After being beatified in 2003, Mother Teresa was canonized on Sep. 4, 2016. In a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis declared her a saint, yet noted, “With great spontaneity, I think we will continue to call her Mother Teresa.”

Today’s facts about Mother Teresa were shared from the following website: http://www.legacy.com/news/explore-history/article/20-facts-about-mother-teresa

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You Haven’t Failed Until You Quit…

Our greatest Glory is not in Never Failing, but in Rising every time we Fail   Confucius

I sometimes have to remind myself that adversity is meant to be a part of life.

You would think that after experiencing a near-death experience, that I would have it “made in the shade” and never have to be reminded – even if the reminder comes me, myself, and I.

On day’s when the obstacles seem to pile up faster than I can even address my daily “to do” list – I have to remind myself and then take a deep breath.

I have had many difficult experiences – I’m sure you have too. That is the stuff that life is made of and that is what helps us to grow and become better and better!

I remember learning about today’s story when I was a young girl. It inspired me then and it continues to inspire me. I hope you will be inspired as you read it today!

Today’s Inspiring Story:

Once, a young school boy was caught in a fire accident in his school and was assumed that he would not live. His mother was told that he was sure to die, for the terrible fire had devastated the lower half of his body. Even if he were to survive, he would be a cripple throughout his life.

But the brave boy did not want to die nor did he want to be a cripple. Much to be the amazement of the doctor, he did survive. But unfortunately from his waist down, he had no motor ability. His thin legs just dangled there, lifeless. Ultimately he was discharged from the hospital. But his determination to walk was indomitable. At home, when he was not in bed, he was confined to a wheelchair. One day, he threw himself from the chair and pulled himself across the grass, dragging his legs behind him. He reached the picket fence, raised himself up and then stake by stake, he began dragging himself along the fence, his resolve to walk undeterred. He did this every day, with faith in himself that he would be able to walk unaided. With his iron persistence and his resolute determination, he did develop the ability to stand up, then to walk haltingly, then to walk by himself and then to run.

Glenn_Cunningham
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He began to walk to school, then run to school, to run for the sheer joy of running. Later in college he made the track team.

In February 1934, in New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden, this young man who was not expected to survive, who would surely never walk, who could never hope to run – this determined young man, Dr. Glenn Cunningham, ran the world’s fastest mile.

An epitome of the power of positive thinking and faith in one’s self, Glenn Cunningham continues to be an inspiration for many, and his story, a brilliant testimony to how one can bounce back even when all odds are stacked against one, to the extent that death seemed the preferable option.

Today’s Inspiring Story shared from the following website: http://www.storypick.com/inspirational-real-life-stories/

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