Friday, April 1, 2011
Words, Words, Words about the ABCs and a Prayer
I lifted this poster from a website called Pinterest. Be careful. If you go there, you may get sucked in and lose hours of your day to extreme coolness.
I just finished reading the book based on The Happiness Project blog this week and highly recommend it. The author, Gretchen Rubin, gives readers something to think about on every single page. My biggest take-away from the book is that happiness is hard work worth doing. Too many unhappy people wait around for life to make them happy; most happy people have figured out that it's the doing of happiness that makes one happy.
Toward the end of the book, Rubin shares a prayer attributed to St. Augustine that touched me deeply.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ;
rest your weary ones; bless your dying ones;
soothe your suffering ones; pity your afflicted ones;
shield your joyous ones.
And all for your love's sake.
One of the problems with having a happy blog like mine is that not everyone who reads it is happy or is even in a place where happiness seems like a reasonable or attainable goal. Sometimes, when we're sick, weary, dying, suffering, or afflicted in some way, other people's happiness hurts us.
Wednesday, I spoke with a friend who is going through hell on earth right now, and sunshiny posters of happiness cliches are not helpful for her. She is afflicted with huge and completely overwhelming pain, major life changes on all levels, situations over which she has very little or no control. She asked me for advice, and I had nothing for her except to remind her to take care of herself in body, mind, and soul.
My friend already believes in God, knows that He loves her through all that is going on in her life, and has a wonderful support group of family and friends around her. She is already seeking professional help for the depression she feels coming over her and medical care for her physical problems. She is, in short, already doing everything she can to get through this. I'm proud of her. She will get through.
But that doesn't make her life any easier right now. Augustine's prayer is for her; for the people afflicted by the tsunami, the flooding in Australia, and other natural disasters; for the people in areas of fear and oppression and violence around the world; for those who are suffering in body, mind, soul; for those who are at the end of life; for those who know that being joyful is hard work and a blessing and so very fragile.
For love's sake.