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“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

So far, I’ve written about the upside of unhappy qualities like self-doubt and grumpiness that is our weaknesses keep us close to God. 

I’ve also written about trying to get our turn at life only to find out we have to turn over our lives to Him to be happy. 

So, when do we get to the part about being happy to be who we are? 

Throughout the years that I studied psychology and counseling, Gandhi’s quote resurfaced several times. Since I was searching and he sounded “kind of” right and wise, I tried aligning my thoughts, words, and actions like he suggested. 

One of my college professors went so far as to say the alignment carried on beyond happiness to the ultimate goal at the top of psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – self-actualization (whatever that is). 

Curious about how to get there, I scanned articles to find out qualities, strategies, and names of self-actualized people. Good luck if you’re searching in the same places I looked. I ended up with more questions than answers like why Mother Teresa and Billy Graham didn’t make the list. 

The past two sermons at my church made more sense than anything I researched.  

In the sermon titled “Who’s Your Daddy?” Pastor JP asked the difficult question (for some) with an easy, encouraging answer – God is our loving dad, of course.

The following Sunday, in his sermon “Be Confident,” he recommended trading our sought after self-confidence, which is just more about us trying hard to get it right on our own, for God-confidence. 

In other words, exchange trying hard for self-actualization that’s about what we say, accomplish, and accumulate for actually being happy because of our relationship with Him. 

In the place of our lists that we try hard to live up to, sit still with The Message’s version of the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6. 

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge.
You can do anything you want.
You’re ablaze in beauty.
Yes. Yes. Yes. 

In This Together,

FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because the blog posts will eventually be an entire manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. Each blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is one subheading within the chapter. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and suggestions. I’m over-the-top grateful you’re here.

I have something for you!


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