Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Pig of Happiness?

I came across this adorable video by Edward Monkton on the Spoiled Yogi blog this morning. It truly is enchanting, and it made me smile. But all the while I was watching this little video, I kept expecting the pig's ardor for happy living to flicker and falter. And it never did.

This left me wondering -- what does this expectation say about me? Perhaps it ties into Catholic guilt (which I personally don't really buy into, even if I was raised in the Roman Catholic church), or just a side-effect of [medicated] depression. But I really don't think that my bracing for the Pig of Happiness' stumble is so much a negative evaluation of myself, but rather a reflection of how I feel about life, the universe, and happiness.

I have tried to be the good-little-white-girl equivalent of the Pig of Happiness. I've tried to be good. I've tried to be inspiring and engaging. But because I don't feel inspiring, engaging, or good, this left me feeling cold and hollow, and probably coming across as wooden to those around me. Because I wasn't being me. Because I don't feel like spreading happiness, or dancing in the rain (usually), or seeing the positive -- at least, not on my own. Left to my own devices, I'm a dedicated pessimist.

I've been told that I give off a friendly vibe, that I'm encouraging, and that my mad hooping is joyful and carefree and -- dare I say it -- inspiring in a fun and kooky way. But I've got a confession to make -- I don't think that's me you're seeing, but instead all the good stuff of God filtering through my messiness.

I don't write much about God on the blog, but I have strong beliefs about Him. I call myself a Christian for lack of a better label, just to make general classification easier, but really I'd rather be a Jesus-lover, a daughter of the Best-Father-Ever who is all-loving, all-forgiving, and all-fixing. I truly believe that my survival of the worst parts of my eating disorder were at the hands of God. From the blackness of mental illness, I found myself pulled into the light, put in situations where I could positively impact those around me and where my surroundings would lead me to healing. Because of God I moved to Montana, traveled to Malaysia, met the Best Husband Ever, sister-friends, and the hoop, and more. Because of God, my life has been rich and adventurous, and when I ignore God the sun feels less warm and the world seems flat.

I know that life is better when God's at the wheel. But, too often, my stubborn, DIY American-ness takes over and I decide I can go it alone, that I can be a Pig -- er, Person of Happiness all on my own. And then I promptly crash and burn.

So when I watched this video, I wanted to believe that it's possible -- that all I need to do to change the world is change my attitude -- but experience has taught me otherwise. Maybe that's not the case for everyone, but it is true for me.

What do you think? Can you be a Person of Happiness by your own power, or do you tap into something bigger than yourself?

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Announcement! I am looking for guest bloggers for part of next week (Thursday, September 30 through Sunday, October 3, ). If you'd like to guest post here about any of the usual topics (food, eating, recipes, eating disorders, exercise, balance, mental health, hooping, crazy dogs, amazing husbands, etc.), send me an email at kitchencourage (at) yahoo (dot) com.


  1. There are some things I can do without consciously turning to God. However, I don't think being happy is one of them. I come from a long line of negative, hateful women. Any time I stop reading the Bible and start focusing on myself instead of others, my negative nature comes out full force. I complain about all the little things in life without trying to change any of them. I end up saying things that I shouldn't. I start comparing myself with others, forgetting all the great gifts God has given me and focusing on what I don't have. I become paranoid and depressed. Thankfully, though, I serve a great God who has the power to overcome my negativity! Thanks so much for your honesty! Thanks for allowing God to use you through your struggles. I truly believe there is powerful healing that comes through sharing one's difficulties!I pray that God will help us all to see ourselves through His eyes!

  2. Thanks for your powerful thoughts, Christyjean! I find that I start down a very similar slippery slope when I stop looking at God. It's so tricksy, as Gollum would say. :)

  3. "But I've got a confession to make -- I don't think that's me you're seeing, but instead all the good stuff of God filtering through my messiness."WRONG. That IS you. The messiness is NOT. You've got it backwards my dear and that is YOU KNOW WHO lying to you to make you believe that you are messy and not the joyful angelic creation that God made you as!And to answer your question: No. I have no power but what He gives me. It is in me, but without Him there is no me.

  4. As God restores us to the women (and men) He created us to be, a lot of junk is bound to come out. It's just like in metal refining - as the metal is subjected to heat and melted, the impurities come to the top and have to be skimmed off. So when we see or hear something negative coming out of us, we can ask God's forgiveness for it and thank Him that He's purifying us in that area. As the chorus of that SonicFlood song says:"Refiner's fire,My heart's one desireis to be holy,set apart for you, Lord.I choose to be holy,set apart for You, my Master,ready to do Your will."


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King