Happiness

I was getting ready to post a facebook status about happiness, but I decided it was better suited for a blog. And, besides, I have other things to blabber about.

First of all, I’m a little tired of this DOMA debate. I still haven’t heard a good argument as to why gay marriage shouldn’t be legal. I’ve heard lots of silly opinions, but nothing with much reasonable social, cultural, or legal validity. I have actually seen a few really awesome posts by Christians, the primary adversaries to the movement. Here’s a segment from one post I appreciated that a friend shared on facebook by a Christian man (note, these are not my words):

“The people we call “Christians” tend to go to 2 different extremes on this issue. They either A) Stand on a street corner and scream loudly while holding a sign, or B) Shrink back into our sheep-pens with the rest of the sheep and say nothing out of confusion or fear. I have found no in-between. And I’m guessing that this in-between, this tension, is where Jesus hung out daily. Do we really believe that Jesus would have stood on a street corner holding a sign that says “God Hates Fags?” Do we believe that Jesus would have simply hid in his church while an “equality” rally was going on outside? Shame on us.

Apparently, if you’re FOR gay marriage, you’re going to hell, and if you’re AGAINST gay marriage, you’re ignorant, old, and outdated. Do we really listen to how we sound sometimes? Shame on us.

There is another way. To my Christian brothers and sisters: stop being stagnant about this. I know you don’t agree with homosexuality. I personally plan to marry one woman and love her for the rest of eternity, and cannot see another way of life intended for us than that. But newsflash: God never gave us the command to “agree” or “disagree” with things of this world. God doesn’t care what our stand is on homosexuality, or abortion, or the legalization of marijuana, or who we voted for. God gave us the command to love each other. That’s it. THAT’S. IT. That’s our job.”

Anyway, I think that is the most reasonable thing I’ve read on the issue thus far. I don’t care to get into a debate on this. It’s a negative use of my energy, and that is all I have to say about the issue. :)

Now, you should watch this video because it will make you laugh and fill you with joy.

And that is the real topic of this post: happiness and joy. I had a little revelation this morning: happiness and joy are things you choose. You won’t always FEEL happy even when you are choosing it. Similar to love; you choose to love people in your life, but I’m sure you will agree that you don’t always feel love for those people. As with anything in life, dedication and consistent practice yield results. You can’t just decide to run a marathon and go out and run a marathon. You can’t just decide to buy a guitar and magically be able to play the guitar. You can’t decide to be happy and suddenly see rainbows and sparkles and Joseph Gordon Levitt, shirtless, feeding you chocolate covered strawberries

I mean…

Not your idea of happiness? Mine either, I just thought…

Ok, so I hope you are getting the idea here. Happiness takes work. You must choose it daily. Choose to smile at people, choose to be grateful, choose to do things that you love- things that fulfill you, choose people who build you up, and choose to be non-reactive to the inevitable challenges of your day. Stop choosing anger, frustration, reaction, and impatience. Recognize your negativity and redirect that energy into something positive. Consistently practice this. You will fail at it over and over, but persevere. Eventually it will become a more effortless way of life and you will start to feel happy. This may be the most important revelation I’ve had over the last 39 days. When they say to choose happiness and you will be happy, they don’t mean immediate results will ensue. It’s not magic, people. It’s just like anything else in this life: you must work for/toward it and have patience.

Go out there and choose happiness for yourself. I am happy.

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2 thoughts on “Happiness

  1. Mike says:

    Well said, Jess. Happiness is a choice.

    My only criticism would be lumping all Christians together into one group opposing same sex marriage. I am a Christian, but I do not oppose homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender. Nor am I against same sex marriage for any reason of faith or personal belief.

    I believe that the government has NO business decreeing who we may or may not love, nor should it be in the business of interfering with people who want to enter a contractual commitment to one another.

    Same sex couples who enter binding unions are–or should be–entitled to the same benefits (and responsibilities) as their M-F counterparts. I believe that the DOMA will be ruled unconstitutional based on the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Not sure about the other case before SCOTUS.

    My reservations with this issue have more to do with our culture and the meaning of words. The word “marriage,” at its core, means something. In our culture it has always meant the union of a man and a woman. If we change the meaning of the word, then by that act alone we deteriorate our language, which is one of the three pillars of a nation (borders, language, culture).

    I agree that beyond matters of religion and personal belief, few cogent arguments have been put up by those who oppose same sex marriage. I have also not heard anybody say why the only option for same sex couples is to use the term “marriage.” Would “Civil Union” or “Domestic Partnership” be of any practical difference?

    If I were king, my solution to this issue would be to get my government completely out of sanctifying marriages. The government would recognize contracts of civil union, whether MF, MM, or FF. The couple could then, if they desired, have their civil union blessed as a marriage by their church. Obviously some faiths and denominations would not do that, but that is a matter of choice.

    What’s unfortunate about all of this is that the dialog as a nation never makes it to this point. We are so polarized that we take sides, dig ourselves in to foxholes, look at the term “compromise” as “giving in,” and never think outside the box.

    Nice thoughts, Jess. Hope all is well.

    • jessgallegos says:

      Mike____? Are you a Mike I know?

      Thanks for going to all the trouble to type that out. I didn’t care to write my opinion on the matter because I didn’t have the energy or will, but let it be known that I agree with almost everything you said. The part about language is the only thing I disagree with. I like your point there about the pillars (something I hadn’t considered), but I’d be inclined to argue that changing the definition of a word does not hold that much weight in the deterioration of our language. I’m going to think some on it; I am curious whether there are examples of this throughout our history.

      Also, I don’t see anywhere that I lumped all Christians together. I only said that Christians are the primary adversaries-as in, if you looked at the opposing group as a whole, a high percentage of them are Christians, or at least religiously motivated. I have plenty of friends and family who are Christian and employ the exact belief you do here. I apologize if it came across as a generalization. If I believed all Christians were the same, I probably wouldn’t have posted a comment made by a Christian about their support for gay marriage. :) It was meant to be an example of how Christians can and often are reasonable, educated, supportive, wonderful individuals. No stereotyping from me!

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