“Why are you so happy?” “Why do you always seem to be smiling?” “What is your reason for all that joy?”
These are questions I have been asked many times in my life. My answer is always the same. “I am thankful for God’s love and blessings. I am filled with His joy.”
People question why I should show joy when my life is not going the way I want. Breast cancer in 2005, the death of my parents, financial worries, job changes, panic attacks, depression, etc. The list goes on and on.
Yes, there are reasons to be sad and yes, there are times when sorrow overcomes me.
Yet, in all the turmoils of life, I have learned to be optimistic. Through counseling and many prayers, I have learned to look at each situation in a different way. Yes, I have common feelings and emotions when something bad happens. That is the human part of life.
I rely on my faith to help me to find optimism and share with others.
I don’t try to change the way someone is feeling, as we all experience life in unique ways. I do try to shine the love of Christ in all my words and actions.
A recent panic attack sent me into those dark feelings, thinking I would not feel better. I couldn’t seem to breathe properly, I couldn’t find enough air to fill my lungs. Then, I paused and remembered.
I remembered there were people around to help me. My husband walked me through the panic attack and it subsided quickly. Thank you Alan.
When feelings of despair arise, I have trained myself to look for joy beyond despair. I remind myself to think of things that make me happy and bring joy to my life.
My family. My friends. My relationship with the Lord. Laughter, silly mistakes I make, the beauty of the forest, the beach, the sky, the night, and so much more. I could go on and on counting the joys in my life.
Now, everytime someone asks, “Why are you so happy?”, I can answer with a smile and share some of the reasons I am optimistic.
I realize not everyone may find optimism easily. Please reach out to family, friends, clergy, professionals, and others if you need to talk. You are not alone. You, too, can find optimism in life.
Blessings, and smiles,
Melissa Henderson is a writer of inspirational messages through fiction, non-fiction, devotions, guest blogs, articles and more. Her first book for children, “Licky the Lizard”, was released in 2018. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon and Stephen Minister. Her passions are helping in community and church. She hopes her experiences with anxiety and depression can show others they are not alone.
Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com