…by Michael Switzer
I don’t really subscribe to the idea of God just wants me to be happy. In terms of joy, I’m definitely lacking in a deeply rooted foundational joy. Some part of me believes that through enduring suffering, joy and happiness will come about on their own. I’ve tended recently to over-commit to projects, work, and school expecting to be in a ‘better place’ with my life after overcoming. There doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m cluttering life with more inconsequential stuff that’s not adding value to my existence. It’s a crazy thing to think that more and more work will bring about joy. Working has taken on an identity of selflessness, as if virtuous to pour all my efforts into. At this point, working has become anything but selfless. It’s caused friction in my friendships, a lost sight of who I am, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits; it’s chipping away my energy and distracting me from centering joy. It’s crazy to think this mess I’ve created will lead to anything deeply rooted.
So, in a mirroring way but opposite side of the spectrum of Sunday’s message, I’m not seeking the fleeting feeling of happiness as much as I’m implicitly seeking an overworked lifestyle. ‘As long as I fill my time, everything will be ok,’ similar to ‘if I could only have…’ Both thoughts are toxic and misguided. Unfortunately the harm caused by believing either idea isn’t obvious until we’re so far away from where we thought we’d be with unmanageable credit card debt, broken relationships, and next to no joy.
It’s my objective over the next several weeks to be hyper aware of unnecessary things not adding value to my friends and my life. Breakdown what’s good and healthy to do while reducing clutter.