I’m lighter when I’m lower, I’m higher when I’m heavy. (“Nico and the Niners,” Twenty One Pilots)
So there was a diagram in a book I just read (Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life) about how we respond to problems. We all have problems. But there were two ways to respond to problems: one is that you keep trying to be a better person and go forward to what you want to achieve in life and hold on to what you value. And the second one is that you run away from problems, and you hide so that they aren’t as hard, and you value that you want to not feel pain the most.
We get to choose our perspective, our attitudes, and what we do day after day. If we have goals for ourselves and are constantly trying to become better, our problems are going to be a lot different than when we just want all the problems to go away.
I was recently reading a post from a difficult time in my life–I was very busy with school and facing an uncertain future. And while I had to read hundreds of pages and write dozens of papers, all while trying to serve others and be a good daughter and friend, I found that I found a deep amount of happiness.
I am happy when I am pushing myself to do more with what I already have.
I do not always do that. Instead, I try to avoid the problems of tiredness and exhaustion and disappointment and all of that, and I find myself not pushing myself very hard some days. I say I can take a day off and watch TV. Or I can just check things online. I need a break.
I don’t need a break. I am more tired when I take naps and sit around all day. I am unhappier when I watch lots of television.
When I engage in lots of projects, when I go on adventures with my kids–when I choose to push myself to do more and do it better–then I find happiness.
It’s hard. Because I have to stop myself running away from the pain and tiredness of trying myself. But it’s worth it to try.
When we try to choose NOT to have problems, we end up with the problems that we hate the most–like depression, regret, and a wasted time.
When we choose to hold onto what we value, we often will find ourselves with the pain and problems of loving others, be engaged in good causes, having good work to do–and yes, sometimes we will be exhausted and hurting, but we will be heading upward to the place we need to be.
And God will help us do the work that we need to do. His way is not really harder–it’s happier. It’s better, for He provides a way even though the problems seems great. He will help us see simplicity in complicated problems, feel strength in weakness, and give us protection and safety in times that are hard. And even though following Him can seem difficult, it is always worth it.