Have you ever been blamed for not making someone happy? Or, have you ever blamed someone for not making you happy? Have you ever used your situation as an excuse to be unhappy? If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, you’re probably closer to the truth about being happy than you think. This post-ette tells you why answering, “yes” to these questions shows you the truth about being happy.
Before I go on, a quick summary of the untruths we learned about being happy (from my previous post-ette) are: that we must depend on other people to make us happy; we have to make other people happy; our circumstances determine our happiness.
Parents Are Responsible For Teaching the Truth
We begin our lives depending on other people (i.e. parents) to satisfy our needs. But, around age two, as we launch into our first phase of independence (“The Terrible Twos”), we should also start to learn how to make ourselves happy. Parents are responsible for teaching us how to do this. They teach us through discipline and integrity while validating us by meeting our physical and emotional needs. This is how we learn the truth about being happy. However, if we had any type of dysfunction in our families, the truth was dispelled.
The Truth About Dysfunction
Dysfunction originated alongside original sin. It’s our natural cause and effect of tragedy and hardship. A person might have become an alcoholic because he had no support after a devastating life event. But, his alcoholism causes hardships for himself, his family, and society.
There is no need for dysfunction nowadays. Our knowledge, God’s word, and awareness along with the medical and technological advancements and the numerous resources and support for physical, emotional, and mental issues can prevent problems and help people heal from disasters. So, why does dysfunction still exist?
My answer: Because people choose to live in the natural over the spiritual. They supersede God with themselves and their own desires.
Much of today’s dysfunction is man-made. It’s caused by irresponsible parents and people; people who dwell in their nature. This causes abuse and neglect, divorce, cohabiting parents, and overindulging and permissive parents. Dysfunction occurs when there is a lack of discipline, weakened integrity, and adulterated validity.
Discipline, Integrity, and Validity are Vehicles That Move Us
To diminish dysfunction and increase your happiness you must move from the natural to the spiritual. The vehicles for this move are discipline, integrity, and validity.
Discipline comes from the word, “disciple.” When we practice discipline, we practice the ways of Jesus. We use self-control to train our emotions so we can be content no matter what. Discipline also allows us to make better decisions that have happier outcomes.
Wikipedia defines integrity as “The practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values.” When we practice integrity, we are responsible and committed. We follow through and are steadfast. We are accountable for ourselves and allow others to be the same. Integrity is one of the most important lessons to teach children.
Validity comes from the Latin word, “Validus” meaning strong. According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary, validity is, “the quality of being based on truth or reason, or of being able to be accepted.” Validity is mostly used in regard to research, theories, and concepts. But, we have validity because God is truth. As children of God, we are based on truth. So, we have validity.
Discipline, Integrity, and Validity – The Truth About Being Happy
When we practice discipline, maintain integrity, and acknowledge our validity, we are true to ourselves and to others. Therefore, we set ourselves up to be happy, let other people choose to be happy, and know how to be happy no matter the circumstances. When parents practice these values, they teach their children the truth about being happy.
- If you’ve ever been blamed for not making someone happy, that is a bogus accusation. Discipline tells you each of us has self-control. Therefore we control our own happiness. It would be rude to control someone else’s happiness.
- If you’ve ever blamed someone for not making you happy, that is also a bogus pretense. Integrity tells you that each of us is committed to our own happiness. No one can follow through with your commitment.
- If you believe your circumstances determine your happiness, validity tells you since you are based on truth and God is truth, no matter what your circumstances, God is within you. You can rely on His comfort and strength. You can have joy, peace, love, freedom, satisfaction, and/or contentment no matter what.
Maintain discipline, integrity, and validity and you will be happier while giving others the freedom to be the same!
The Truth About Being Happy: