Monday, 17 April 2017

Where can I find happiness?

I remember having a happy childhood, surrounded by family and friends. Dad worked long hours but mum was a stabalising presence at home.

As a teenager I went through the typical phase thinking that happiness could be bought, only to discover it is short-lived - until the next purchase.

The greatest challenge came when we started having kids and the past 18 years have by no means been easy. In my toughest and darkest moments, I struggled to find meaning in the sacrifices and sufferings of those early years.

On hindsight, it taught me so much.

It shaped me into who I am today. It made me strong.

Living life at survival mode with the 5 older kids, it dawned on me that happiness could be found in the simplest of things and hey, I lived to tell the tale, share my experiences, and hopefully inspire others along this journey of life as parents.

I have been fortunate to enjoy the past 4 years since Kate came into our lives, seeing the world through the lens of a child. It was a breather for me, to recharge body and soul.

The next few years will be rocky, in many aspects. My parents are past their 70s and this is the first time seeing dad hospitalised. Soon, they will be unable to care for my brother which adds to their burden.

As a mother, your worries never end. Slowly but surely, I will have half a dozen teenagers on my hands. Our childrens' joys are ours, their sadness, multiplied a thousand times in our hearts. The paths they choose to walk may give us sleepless nights. I need to brace myself emotionally.

I have been pondering things the past few weeks, and worries started to surface.

Someone shared these lines, and it has redefined happiness for me.

Being happy is not having a sky without storms, work without fatigue, or relationships without disappointments.

Being happy is finding strength in forgiveness, hope in one's battles, love in disagreements.

It is not only to treasure the smile, but to reflect on the sadness.

Being happy is not an inevitable fate, but a victory for those who can travel towards it with your own being.

It is not only to cross the deserts outside of ourselves, but still more, to be able to find an oasis in the recesses of our soul.

In your spring-time, may you become a lover of joy. In your winter, may you become a friend of wisdom.

Happiness is not about having a perfect life but about using tears to water tolerance, failures to carve serenity, obstacles to open the windows of intelligence.

These words shine like a ray of light.

We can find happiness in the bad, as much as the good.

At church, one of my kids asked, "Why is Good Friday good when Jesus suffered and died? It should be called Bad Friday."

It is precisely because of Good Friday that the miracle of Easter Sunday is celebrated.

As much as laughter and joy will flow, so will tears and pain.

I am not afraid. In darkness and despair, I shall find peace.

And when the storms blow over, the bright hues of the rainbow will be appreciated like never before.


Other lessons (which I've learnt the hard way):

Lesson #15: What are we worth, mums?
Lesson #16: What do you do when you get sick of parenting?
Lesson #17: The tragedy of our society
Lesson #19: Are we slowly killing ourselves?
Lesson #20: What does it take to keep a marriage going?

~ www.mummyweeblog.com: A blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

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