I wish there was a way to force happiness with sheer willpower.
I firmly believe that one can make an active choice to be joyful -- I'm living proof of this, after all. But I also think that it goes through cycles, like everything else. Sometimes, all it takes is making a conscious effort to steer away from apathy. Other times it takes your sister, a night drive, rock-out music, perfect spring weather, shopping, candy, a little patience, and being able to quit thinking about it for a while. Or something else entirely.
During one of the other times when I was in the low part of the cycle, with a similar problem (really, different facets of the same problem,) I decided that yes, it was going to be painful. But that didn't have to be the only thing I got out of it. I realized that God was offering me a situation in which I could learn to be one, more independent from other people, and two, more dependent on Him.
I think I'm there again.
In a recent conversation about parenting, I was told that one of the most important things you can teach your child is how to self-comfort. Babies want to be held and fed and all of that, and that's important, but sometimes it's better if they can say, cuddle up with their blanket. This carries on into adulthood -- warm baths, a fluffy book, a long drive. We learn all the time how to be independent of other people when we need to fill our emotional needs.
Well, I feel a little like a baby who wants mommy to hold them, and no one is coming. However, I am a functioning, healthy, God-loving and faith-filled adult; therefore, I am going to try to seek other ways to be comforted and be strong without relying on anyone but my Savior, and myself. I don't have to wait for anyone else to come and fill my needs.
When I got home tonight, I knew I did not -- almost could not -- stay in my house, in my room. So I didn't. True, I invited my sister along, but this was different to me because I wasn't relying on her to fill my needs -- I wasn't saying "mommy, fix it, I need held" -- I just wanted to know if she wanted to rock out and go shopping too. Which she did.
I think I sometimes forget just how capable I am of solving my own problems (with the aid of the Lord.) It's easy to think, "I've always relied on you and now I can't so now I'm going to wither up and die." Not so, Miss Sara. Things change, but I have the power to take the situation in my own hands and make the best of it. That doesn't mean making it a different situation -- but it does mean making something different of myself so that I fit the situation better. I guess if I've prayed often lately that the Lord will help me be changeable, adaptable, humble, and grateful, I shouldn't complain too much. I think being able to change, through the love of God, is the power of the Atonement.
And anything that helps me to understand that a little better is automatically worthwhile.