Gratitude -don't let envy get in the way

Gratitude lets in the light.

My friends all seemed to be doing better than I was. Though we were just starting out in our careers, I couldn't help measuring my success, or lack of it, by my friends. One friend made more money, one friend was engaged to be married, and one had a better apartment. So what did I do? I went shopping. I partied. But mostly, I complained.

After years of being unhappy this way, I became fearful that I would never be satisfied with my life. There was no joy in my job, social life, or shopping sprees. Finally at the breaking point, I realized that I needed to look deeper to find true happiness. I surely had not found it with the superficial lifestyle I'd been living.

Thinking back, I tried to remember when I had last been really happy and content. I remembered my family home and the love expressed daily. I remembered the summer camp I had attended as a child, where I learned to listen to and rely on God. However, since college (I had to admit), I had been stubborn about proving my independence from my family and had not been disciplined about strengthening my relationship to God. I now realized I needed more than a sunny disposition to be happy. I needed to understand the source of true happiness.

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November 22, 1999

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