March 02: Your Quest for Happiness

Day 2

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So, how did you experience resistance in the last 24 hours?

You saw this reflection in your email box this morning, were you resistant to watch it? Did you put it off? Did you watch it straight away? Did you say, “Oh, I’ll do that later,” or “I’ll do that tonight”?

As we make this journey together, you’re going to encounter resistance in a thousand different ways. There will be hundreds of temptations to do the program, not do the program, push the video back later into your day, or watch the video and not do the reflection.

There will be a lot of temptations along the way, and behind all those temptations, very often, you’re going to find resistance.

What we’re talking about here, this concept of resistance, it’s real. It’s something we experience every day. And it’s something we experience in relation to everything.

That’s really the paradox of happiness. It’s that, we know the things that make us happy, we just don’t do them. And very often the reason we give for not doing them is because we’re too busy trying to be happy.

It’s the stunning paradox that surrounds the desire that we all have for happiness. We want to be happy, but we don’t do the things that make us happy, because we’re too busy trying to be happy.

And it relates to all aspects of our lives. So if you think of the four aspects of the human person—physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually—I know the things that make me happy.

Physically, if I exercise regularly, and I sleep regularly, and I eat the right sorts of food, I’m just massively happier than I would be if I neglect those things.

Emotionally, when I give focus and priority to the most important relationships in my life, I’m just happier.

Intellectually, when I make the effort, when I have the discipline to read for a few minutes each day, my vision of myself expands, my vision of the world expands, my vision of God expands. I become more focused, more alert, more vibrant, and I’m happier.

And spiritually . . . silence, solitude, Scripture, sacraments, they make me happier. I am a-better-version-of-myself when I spend time in these disciplines.

But I can come up with a thousand reasons every day why not to do any of those things. And behind every single one of those reasons, we find resistance.

And that’s the happiness paradox.

We want to be happy. In 90% of the cases, we know the things that will make us happy, but we don’t do them.

Why?

Resistance.

Here’s the thing I want you to keep in mind: In every one of those situations, either resistance is going to win, or you’re going to win. There’s no middle ground.

Either resistance wins, or you win. There’s no middle ground. So you’ve got to see that as a challenge. And you’ve got to get out there and slay resistance in the moments of the day.

“This is the paradox that surrounds our quest for happiness: We know the things that will make us happy, but we don’t always do them.”

Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness

Share this quote.

Focus

Find out what really makes you happy.

Act

Identify 3 activities that increase your happiness. Write them down.

Pray

Jesus, help me to stop chasing the things that destroy my happiness, and fill me with the desire to pursue the things that will bring me lasting happiness.

Today’s personal reflection features Dynamic Catholic team member Amanda Recktenwald. Amanda is our email team leader, coming to us from Neenah, Wisconsin. Amanda is fluent in Spanish, can do a convincing British accent, values her bedtime over everything, and can list the U.S. presidents in order.

Are you as happy as you could be?

Let us know in the comments!

We encourage you to comment on this reflection. All viewpoints are welcome, but we ask that you remain on-topic and respect other members of the discussion. Please remember that we are trying to help each other become the-best-version-of-ourselves. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. Be Bold. Be Catholic.®

  • Bernadette

    I could be happier. What makes me happy and brings me joy is my grandchildren. Then I feel my day is complete.

    • Nancy

      I find that my happiness is inside me. I’ve discovered that whene I feed my soul with prayer, my body with healthy food and exercise, my mind with positive thoughts….I am happy, energetic, youthful….and I am almost 67. I think happiness can be found in your being. We have control over it. If we can resist “resistance”. We have to make the choice to be happy, and it takes some action on our part. We can’t just sit and let it happen to us…we have to find ways to make it happen.

  • Darren Guido

    I am generally a happy person, but when I get tired or am hungry, I tend to let all of the little annoyances of the moment irritate me. Throughout this Lenten Season, I am fasting from responding in a negative way to those annoyances and instead feasting on the joys I can find in that moment.

    • Beth Hazelton

      Darren ~ I completely understand. I am also fasting from negativity with hopes it becomes my new normal after this Lenten journey. Blessings to you!

      • sharon

        that has been my lenten goal also.. trying to find the positive
        and let go of the negative

    • Doug

      I chose the exact same sacrifice Darren!

    • Kathy

      Darren~Thank you for sharing your Lenten sacrifice with us. I too am choosing the same! Blessings

    • Carol

      I too struggle with letting little things/people get to me. For Lent, to help me be more positive or less irritated, every time I speak or behave in a negative way I have to redirect myself with 3 positives. I am hoping those 3 positives become my habit rather than the negative.

      • Jacqueline Shukla

        Carol, your resolution speaks to me. When my two sons were young and one of them said unkind things or called his brother a mean name, I required him to say three nice things about his brother. It turned their negativity around. I think that applying it to oneself when being or thinking negatively is a concrete and effective way to turn things around also. I think I’ll try this, too!

    • JC

      Excellent reflection! I’m joining the ranks!

      • Gary

        Yes, count me in too!!!

    • H. Christine Lee

      Amen! Fasting from negative responses and feasting on the joys in the moment. Well said! I was telling my husband last night, after watching the Best Lent Ever video from Day 1 and reviewing the questions, that I don’t want life to just pass me by. When my son turned 5, I was an emotional wreck that week leading up to his birthday. I realized it was because I let life pass me by and I blinked and my baby boy was now 5. It killed me. Had I feasted on the joys instead of dragging myself through the daily grind each day I probably wouldn’t have had such regrets. Instead of living intentionally, the overarching theme of my life was “trying to get through each day”.

      I was struggling to figure out what I was going to do during Lent to become a better Catholic, and now I know: feast on the joys. Thank you!!

      • Jill Schmidt

        You are likely being too hard on yourself. You sound like a loving mother…maybe you were so wrapped up in the happiness of each moment (feasting on the joy) you forgot to take that picture or keep that special piece of memorabilia. Search your heart and I am sure you at that time were feasting on the joy and didn’t even realize it!! It’s what moms do!! Have a great day!

      • Diana Hurley

        I had a period where I was just “trying to get by” and I do totally regret the time I missed from my children’s lives. They are young adults now and I am so thankful God gave me the realization a few years ago to live intentionally (Thank you also to a Matthew Kelly seminar!). It has totally changed my life. Thank you God for the blessing of each day.

      • Donna Melas

        Yes…thank you. Feast on the joys.

      • Mary Dykmann

        I used to think, “if I can just get through this week” when things were so busy with the kids, but then I banned myself from saying that–I realized I should enjoy each moment with them, because they do grow up so quickly. The anniversary where I was married longer than I hadn’t been, I looked at my mom & said, “you don’t have your kids very long, do you?” She just smiled & agreed.

        • Toni Mathewson

          When my kids were newborns I spent all those sleepless nights thinking over and over “In the span of my life with them, these days are going to be only a minute.” The teething and the potty training and the tantrums – they don’t last forever and their stages go by in the blink of an eye. Some day this will be the last time they want you to tuck them into bed. Some day they won’t want you to drop them off at school. Some day they’ll be off to college and you won’t get to have a houseful of their friends eating all your food and messing up the pillows on the couch. Some day my house will be quiet and clean and all the laundry will be done and there will be milk in the fridge and I will only have to cook for two. So I’m not going to wish away the days when my house was full of yelling and laughing and wrestling and toys and couch cushions on the floor and a laundry room full of dirty clothes and going through a hundred gallons of milk a week and never being able to cook enough food to fill growing, bottomless pits. Tomorrow comes too fast.

          • Maggie

            Mary & Toni,
            I really enjoyed what you both wrote. I’m mom to twin 17-year old girls, and they only have one more year at home before college. They are the greatest blessings in my life. I remember those “if I can only make it through this week” – or sometimes, “this day” or “this hour” – times, because being mom is the hardest (and most important) job I’ve ever done. But even in those hectic times, there was always lots of joy. Every age has its challenges and its joys. Remember the joys!

      • Teresa T.

        Our last child of 4 went to college last Fall. I have been struggling being an “empty nester”. I didn’t realize how much time I had put into being involved in her life. I have been struggling trying to find my happiness in my new life. I like the idea of feasting on the joys each day instead of focusing on what I miss about my life the last 25 years.

      • Anel Pond

        Christine, your message resinates with me to my core. I have a 4 and a 5 year old. I love them more than anything but I’ve been allowing my house duties, groceries, even shopping to interfere with what I know could make me much happier. Enjoying them, in every way even when they are not at their best. Spending more quality time with them instead of worrying about all the toys in the play room and all over the house. It was when I read Resisting Happiness, that I realized “I am resisting happiness”! This needs to change, I need to change. After the book, I offer-up the everyday mundane tasks for someone including myself and my husband. I’m starting to see my life with unveiled eyes. I still have lots of work to do but I’m happy. Happy that I know I need to change that I want to be the best version of myself.

        Thank you so much for sharing!!

        Bendiciones,
        -Anel

    • Lisa Barefoot-Waggoner

      I agree with your reflection 💯%. You’ve inspired me to try and do the same.

    • Allison Baskin

      Me too Darren – hunger and tiredness get the best of me and I lose my patience. I have so much to be thankful for and I am happy in my life. I do tend to be negative about things I’ve noticed sometimes, and I want to start noticing the glass as half full this Lent! I recently read Colombia is the happiest country with a happiness score around 85 and America’s score was only half that number. We have so much more than than average Colombian yet still we struggle with happiness as a nation. When you look at how Catholic Latin America is compared to the USA you can see that a God guides their happiness. 🙂

      • kj

        I think you are absolutely correct AND I believe the reason our happiness index is so much lower, is that fact that we have so many “things” to distract us from the true happiness our souls seek…

    • Emily

      Yes! This is exactly what I need to do this Lent! Thank you for the wonderful idea. I have let negative responses become my default lately and no one is happy when Momma is negative all the time- especially Momma!

      • kj

        So, so, true!

    • Barbara Barger

      That sounds like a worthy goal!

    • Roberrt

      And we should all also keep a snicker bat handy! Thanks for sharing.

      • Cheryl Dennis Bergman

        With almonds! 😉

    • Susan

      Darren, So well said. I have recently been caring for my elderly Mother who up until a month ago was pretty self sufficient. In the past month it has been a series of Dr visits, medications and frustrations on my part with the medical community and sometimes with her. The forgetfulness is starting and I find myself being jealous of the time I need to spend with her. I have decided that starting with Lent, I will try to be happy caring for her. After all she cared for my siblings and I all those years ago and I feel it is my turn now. I pray that I can do this with joy.

      • Monica Moreno-Mata

        Well said! Me too! 🙏🏻☝🏼

      • Valerie

        Susan, thanks for sharing. I also am helping to take care of my mom, and it often feels unfair. I do try to focus on staying positive, but instead I need to focus on being happy through it. It really is a privilege to be able to serve her.

        • Karen

          I took care of my mom till she passed away. The best thing I could have done to teach my 6 children! Her passing was a beautiful thing!

          • Bev

            Karen that is something you will never regret, I am so thankful to that I was able to spend so much time with my Mother when she was so sick and knowing that she cared that we were there with her until the end.

          • singit1

            My mother recently passed away, and she spent her last two months between hospital and rehab facility. I initially found myself resenting the time I was spending with her, but I came to appreciate that time more and more, and when I was blessed by being with her when she passed away, I realized how lucky I had been to share in her sickness, struggles, and death. Happiness sometimes comes in the midst of sorrow.

          • Connie Bland

            I had a similar experience I understand completely
            God Bless

          • Genny Moguel

            How enlightening it is to read everyone’s experiences I too had some to share …but for now I will just say thank you and may God bless us all while we are serving our loved ones or is our turn to be served, either way we need not to resist, be happy about it and “see and taste holiness happening”!
            Thank you God for this lent I know is going to be different and meaningful!

        • Eunice

          Valerie and Susan you are both doing a wonderful thing taking care of your mom’s keep up the good work and remember that God is right there with you to give you the strength you need 😇

        • Charli Rosipal-Hartley

          Thank you for sharing…as my mother is still quit sufficient and active at 83, I must remember that when the time comes to be patient and honored it I should need to care for her.

          • Michele

            You are very lucky to still have an active mom at 83.

        • Kelly Houp

          Susan and Valerie,
          Google this image -Jesus standing behind Nurse-
          Then while you are caring for you mothers imagine that nurse being you and having Jesus’s hand on your shoulder as you care for His sick, your mother. I am a nurse and I just love this image! I also cared for both of my parents as they were dying of cancer. Some of my fondest memories come from those days. Look at it as a blessing, for one day, I promise, you will be grateful you spent that time caring for them and it will fill your heart in a way nothing else can!
          Many Blessings,
          Kelly

          • Veronica

            I love this vision , so beautful. as a caregiver to many along life’s journey. I am now a caregiver to my husband who has had PD for over 18 years . My Lenten reflection is not to focus on what I don’t have but to be thankful for having God and so many good family and friends in my life. I try not to reflect on the things that I miss and try to celebrate the joy of us having a good day. Also I need to take more time on these reflections to keep my spirits high and learn how to ask for help when I need it, first to God and then to others.

          • Connie Bland

            God Bless you

          • Mary Kindle

            I am currently taking care of my mother often, not so much full time though. She is still independent in some ways but in many so needy. The burden for her to be needy and unable to do what she use to do hurts her so. I tell her that it is her time to sit back and to find JOY and acceptance in having me help her. She trained me for this my whole life. I watched an admired as she did the same and much more for friends and family old and young. It is not a burden for me it is a pleasure. I know have the opportunity to give back just a smidgen of what she has given me my whole life and even when in need continues to give me. I AM TRULY BLESSED in having her here still and needing my help!!!!

        • Ginie

          Valerie, I’ll pray for you and Susan. Focus on the joy you bring your mom, it’ll help you feel more joy. Hugs.

        • Alicia

          I know very well what you are going through. It is a huge challenge to be positive especially since my mother has also started dialysis and has become very negative and resentful because of her situation. It is so hard to hear her sometimes because when I was growing up she was so positive and happy. I never recall a moment when I did not see a smile on her face. I try my best to think of that and pray that the lord helps me to find the patience I need. It’s a struggle but this is so new to us both. It is a good feeling to know that I am not the only one who has struggled with this because sometimes I feel like a bad daughter when I feel frustrated or impatient. Although some days are hard, i know I need to find the happiness in it all and with the Lirds help, I know I will accomplish it. God Bless you all.

      • Cindy

        My sentiments exactly when I was taking care of my mom. It had difficulties along the way but the feeling of knowing i did my best to honor her for all she did for me and doing it by creating the best joy for her was truly an awesome journey with God and a spiritual growth learning to trust the Lord. I knew that I couldn’t possibly do everything on my own power and left it all in His power. Amazing how the path He made possible shaped my days. It is thrpugh the impossible that God shows it possible with Him.

      • Sue Anson

        Susan, enjoy your time with your mom as much as you can. I struggled with the responsibilities of aging parents as well……I was starting to lose the joy and blessings afforded to me because I let my anger and frustrations at having siblings who chose to sit back because they didn’t want to be inconvenienced get in the way. I realized that I was the one who would have no regrets; just being able to be there and help, and to see the light in their eyes was such a blessing. So glad I could do all I did. God Bless you!!!!

        • Cassie Chandler

          I did the same thing for a long time. My siblings here were helpful only if I called. No initiative on their own. I cared for mom and tried not to let my frustration and resentment get in the way. We had a wonderful relationship and I value how she came to rely on me. I am so glad I was given the privilege to be her care giver.

      • Pen

        Susan, you will be specially blessed. This is a sacred act. On her good days try to draw your Mom out to tell the sad and happy stories of the family history. Then if you have time jot them down. They will be a special treasure for everyone. I will put you in my prayers so that you have the patience and wisdom to continue to do the right thing without measure!
        Just an old retired widow who loves to see holiness happen…

        • Kelly Houp

          “loves to see holiness happen” …..wow! That really struck me! I need to start recognizing it, making myself aware, and enjoy the moments when I see it! I’m going to start making holiness happen….that may be my motto for this Lent “make holiness happen”
          Thanks! : )

          • Michelle

            I, too, was struck by the concept of “seeing holiness happen!” I feel moved to generate this vision for others. Thank you!

      • Barbara

        Susan, i went through the very thing you are going through with your mom… I had just retired and sometimes resented all the time and attention she was needing from me… especially now, when I was able to do whatever I wanted. But as time went on, I began to see my role as a gift… both for her and for me as I was able to do for her what she could no longer to do for herself… Surprisingly, we grew closer during those times together and I now see that I wouldn’t have traded those times for anything else I could have been doing. I pray that you see that more often than not.

      • Kj

        Agreed! Very well said!

      • Kj

        My sisters and I face a similar situation, not to the degree of yours, but similar nonetheless. I pray this for you AND myself, as well!

      • Sharon Brozovsky

        Susan, I can completely empathize with you … my 93 year old mother suffered a stroke 2 years ago and suffers from short term memory loss and lives in assisted living with my 97 year old father who is starting to be forgetful … mom calls to tell me how lonely she is and no one comes to see her even after I had been there the day before or another family member … she wants someone there all the time … I feel guilty not being there 24/7 …

        • Pat

          Sharon, My heart goes out to you (and the others caring for elderly family members) – I cared for my father who passed at 96 and my mother who passed last May at 95. With God’s grace, we do the best we are able to do and understand that there is healthy guilt and unhealthy guilt….every morning I pray for all of those caring for elderly/ill family members….

      • MK

        Susan – God Bless you. My mom passed away 8 years ago this coming April. I still miss her everyday. She had ovarian cancer at 67 and was in studies, trials and had medical care at a facility that required lots of driving on Chicago expressways. It was a very crazy time. One day we went for a blood transfusion and my mom was in a very cranky mood – My daughters wedding was coming – and I think we were both hyper emotional. I ended up in tears in the waiting room of the hospital. A very kind nurse came out to talk to me – her advice was so simple but helped so much. She said: “Your mom is really sick – you have to love her where she is right now the best way you can – but you have to love yourself enough to ask for help when you know you are starting to fray:”. I talked to my 3 brothers (I’m the only girl) and suddenly there were 5 others (with spouses) taking on some of the running. Mom was a single mom with 4 kids – when we decided on Hospice I was able to stay with her everyday for the 18 days before she passed away. I feel so happy and blessed for that time. The whole family came together – there are gifts in watching others say their final words to a loved one. Step back from the moments – thank God for the gifts and ask for help when you are at your thin points.

      • Donna Whodatdiva Dauterive

        Susan, I am at the same place as you. I’m caring for my mother who was diagnosed 4 weeks ago with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I get tired and frustrated and take it out on my brother. I’m hoping this helps me do better.

      • RA

        Darren, God Bless your excellent resolve to stick by your care of your mother; though rough, savor and cherish each moment while she is with you. Driving her to and from in the car talk to her, tell her your love and appreciation for her, cherished positive memories, every possible good you can because once she passes over its over, like a shooting star and you will look back and recall how you choose to behave during this time of role reversals…. I can’t stress enough how sacred and priviledge time this is with your mother. It will be roller coaster emotionally and physically; prepare to seek caregivers support as much as possible as you very wisely choose and love your mom as your priority. I keep looking back, flash backs of memories, and I thank God as tough, rough, I have little to no regrets in how I choose to care for her. Emotional honesty is healthy; God’s Grace and best compassion and strength be with you…. Just persevere, you will never ever regret this. And– the legacy you yourself are building is making a difference far more than you see, feel, hear, or imagine right now. No one can state this unless they themselves know this first hand. And yes, My personal life and relationships became richer, fuller, far more productive and generative than hoped for.
        Keep giving everything to God, God has your and your mom’s back…..

      • RA

        PS: when it was her time to pass, I prayed for the once in the life time grace she pass in my arms after all we went brought together juggling friendships, family dynamics, jobs and ministeries, studies…. God gave me the strength to accompany my own mother through the down-hill, dying, process till she passed in my arms surrounded by family who desperately prayed for the courage to be with her too…… I helped her into a new respect towards her aging and failing body, not easy, but together we did it…. The joy in Not Resisting is a Joy and Happiness I continue to cherish years after….and so too family members who marvel to this day of their bravery and courage, love through fire. Their own relationships blossomed from it….; successes in life tasted much better because of it…..; grace of God is there for the asking
        God bless and keep all of you in this honored once in a life time position.

      • Elizabeth Thomas

        I am a nurse caring for the elderly–and the more I see their eyes, I see Jesus in His last hours—so the love them more. This is harder when you are dealing with family however–I know as we cared for demented Mom in law before she died –and what a ‘cross’ that was as she was ‘just like me.’ 🙂

      • Pauline Jackson

        At 77, I am the Mom who will be taken care of by her daughter. She has just started living the life she wanted and is trying to balance it with taking time for me, spending some time together. I pray often for humility, patience and acceptance in my old age. I pray not to be resistant to help, thereby making it so much harder for her or anyone else to give me the help I need. I pray for a realization that I have Jesus as my constant companion, even when I am otherwise alone and that I may take that realization into my being even if my mind no longer functions as it used to.

        • Suzzz

          I am right behind you, Pauline. When I looked after my aunt I vowed I would learn from her how to be less of a burden. Your comment about praying not to be resistant to help is another point I will try to remember.

        • Sara

          Beautiful. I know from experience how hard is is to accept help from others. I am going through some health issues myself right now. The biggest challenge for me is not holding others back because of my lack of energy and inability to keep up at times. I love the image of Jesus as our constant companion.

        • Robert Stanton

          Pauline

          Thank you so much for your unique perspective. We often forget to imagine what it must feel like to be the person(the Mom) who is in need of our love, assistance and support.

          I was also the person in my family who had the primary responsibility for my mother’s care as she waged her final battle with cancer. I was at her bedside when she died.

          I take great comfort in knowing that she knew and appreciated the love we all had for her even though we could no longer manage her care at home. I felt so quilt that we had to have her in a nursing home at the end of her life. I spoke with the hospice nurse about my pain and quilt. The hospice nurse encouraged me to talk with my mother about my feelings. As my mother laid in a coma, I put my head on her chest and talked to her through my stream of tears. Like she did, throughout my life, she let me know through her calm and gentle breathing that she understood and she accepted that reality. Once again, she was taking care of me, right until her last breath. What a gift to be in her presence!! She has been gone for 11 years but I speak with her every day in my prayers.Her passing was also the catalyst for my fervent return to the Catholic Church. Thanks again to my mother, I am back where I belong.

          • Carol pitiak

            I also took care of my parents,my mother lived in a cottage we built on our property, I at times resented the fact that I had to look after her, but being a single parent she sacrificed much for my brothers and I, she died suddenly not long after retirement , then I realized what a gift I had had,
            After that my father got ill with cancer and I took care of him and asked g
            God to give me strength and patience because I felt he wasn’t always ther for us but I’m glad I did, I think our children see what you do and maybe they’ll be there for us
            Carol pitiak

          • Renee

            How wonderful. I hope that wool be my story as I see muy mother age.

          • Mary Aguirre

            Robert,
            thank you very much for sharing your story of your last moments with your mom; I too also had this experience but never looked at it the way you are and yes I too can say now at this moment that I give thanks to God for allowing me to be with her in her last moments of life and especially for helping me to return to the Catholic church where I should have never left. Being at someones bedside as they take their last breath is a blessing for the person leaving this world as well as for the person staying behind; thank you for sharing your story!

          • Betsy Poole

            Robert, my husband & I moved half way across the country so I could live near my mother and stepfather. I wanted to spend the rest of her years on earth with her. God gave us four beautiful years together.

            I was sitting on the bed beside her reading the Bible to her when I realized she was about to pass. I gathered my sister and stepfather into the bedroom before she took her last breath.

            There isn’t a day that I don’t miss my mother but God sends me white butterflies daily! They flit all around my yard. Yep, my mother loved butterflies.

            God bless you for sharing Robert.

          • Joan Spalding

            I love the white butterflies! Those are angels all over my yard, playing, protecting and bringing me so much joy!

          • Linda Biven

            Recognizing joy is the best part of being happy.

          • Bennie Gentry

            I love this❤❗I Have never thought of the white butterfies that why. But I will from now on☺❤❗
            And wit& spring fast approaching us it really makes me happy and thrills my heart and soul❤☺❗And when I see them this spring and summer it will bring me such happiness❤❗THANK YOU SO MUCh
            JOAN SPALDING☺❤❗

          • Karen Ball Macdonald

            White butterflies are beautiful; pure and clean like Jesus. Thank you forgiving another insight on how Jesus is around us all the time, what beautiful little reminders He sends us, I will never look at another white butterfly the same. I too love butterflies.

          • Isabel P

            Joan, I never knew that about white butterflies. I’ve seen them all the time and really enjoyed them. Now I know they’re just another way for God’s angels to show me they’re around. Love this and it filled me with joy.

          • Connie Bland

            God Bless you Robert

          • Ann

            God bless you Robert and Pauline

          • Kathy

            May you know peace Robert

          • Anna Bruno

            May god give you the strength to know what is next for your life just like my family is doing currently because my grandfather passed away 18 years ago and my grandma passed away a few months

          • Silvia Ramirez

            What a great story to share. May God bless you and all your family. 🙏

          • Tina DaRe Vore

            The tears are just streaming down my cheeks, Robert. What a beautiful testimony to the love that you and your mother shared. Indeed, God works in mysterious ways, bringing you back to the Catholic Church through this experience of caring for your mother and seeing her pass on. Welcome home.

        • Anne Dabecco

          Pauline, what a beautiful gift you are to your daughter.

        • Ma

          Pauline, God Bless You! Feeling the acceptance of age is not easy, and praying to accept the help is just your wisdom, YOUR gifts. What a beautiful journey for you and daughter. Hugs to you both! 💕💕

        • owjw

          I’m with you Pauline, although I’m taking care of my husband who is semi-invalid and so I’m a care-giver and a person needing some care as I have a mild case of ongoing vertigo. God is good and we both pray for friends and relatives who are in very difficult situations and those with acute health-care issues. I have much joy in my life due to our 3 caring children and their spouses and their children. We are currently renting a duplex and I’m down-sizing even more so that the next step (assisted living) will be an easier transition. That might not be for a few years but I am thinking ahead and asking God to help me let go of things! I’m doing the 40 days of getting rid of at least 1 item each day. God is good and has us in His Loving Care every second!

          • Betsy Poole

            God bless you owjw!

        • Paula Bromley Bouck

          Pauline, it’s so nice to see a familiar name. I bet your daughter is thrilled to have you. My mom passed almost 6 years ago from cancer, she was bright, caring and everyone loved her…what I’d give to have her live with me, honest 🙂 I happily accompanied her to her chemo appts and doctor appts, watched baseball with her and enjoyed seeing her enjoy her grandson. I was by her side when she passed, the emptiness is huge. I had an awesome last chat with her shortly before she could no longer speak, she wanted me to read my bible more, it was so important to her and I promised her and I do my best and actually followed her roots and became Catholic after her passing, my son and I were baptised together and I could feel her. Be strong in knowing you are already accepting and you are accepted, why not long ago it was you happily doting; and I’m sure your daughter is happy to have you, adjustments, etc are normal. May this new journey be more than you’d hoped and fun, loving, enjoyable years. Many blessings to you Pauline and your family.

        • Denise Herbert

          Pauline,
          I took care of my mom through the days before she passed 2 years ago. Funny, I was just reflecting on that this morning after Mass. I was thanking God for the ability to serve her in that way. I felt privileged to spend countless hours next to her bedside calming her and praying the Divine Chaplet over her. My Father also passed about 1 year ago, and again, I felt so blessed to be able to care for him, physically and spiritually, in those last few weeks. It is hard to rely on others, but have comfort in knowing what a blessing it is to them and what memories they will have of that time together. My prayers for you!

        • Anne Parker

          Pauline,
          You sound so much like my dear mother as she never wanted to be a bother or inconvenience to anyone. Because of your great attitude, you will make it so much easier on your daughter. And as a daughter, it was my honor and privilege to be able to help take care of my mom and to be there to the end. My mama was there when I took my first breath and I was able to be there with my mom when she took her last breath! May God bless and take care of you both

        • Jennifer Acosta

          Jennifer,

        • Laura Mullins

          Thank you for your wise sharing. I want to be that kind of 77 year old. I’m 55 and have a wonderful relationship with my 90 year old mother and my 23 year old daughter. I am so thankful. I am also sad that as far as my husband and sons (and late father) go, relationships have not been so happy.

          • Diane Eagan

            Laura, thank you for your sharing. I’ll be praying for your relationships with your husband and sons.

        • Monica ONeill

          Pauline,
          As a daughter who had the honor of taking care of a mom who never wanted to be a “burden” on her children, I can tell you with all of my heart that some of my most loving and fondest memories are the moments where I got to be Mary at the foot of the cross as my mom suffered as she carried her cross. It is these moments that we see love and when we remember that we are created in God’s image because God is love. Jesus left us His Mother because He knew the strength we have with her by our side is unlike no other. Let her share this with you. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for those moments. Thinking of my mom, even missing her, makes me happy. 🙂

          • jane Mackey

            Thank you for all your thoughts. I have 2 elderly parents that refuse to move close to me. They are in NY. I am in NC. I know it would be the best but they are resistant and tell me to not get involved. My mom has suffered with depression for 15 years and now my dad has dementia. Time is ticking away as they are 86 and 77. I ask God to open doors and then I will know what to do. Right now I just pray they stay safe. I have tried to get them help, but they resisted all of it and my mom especially. My dad has told me he would move, but my mom talks to him and then he changes his mind. I was set this Christmas to bring them back with me and was already looking at a nice apartment for them close by and close to everything they would need. NO go

        • Amy Rose

          What an amazing community this Beat Lent Ever has created. Your story and prospective, Robert’s, Susan’s and Betsy’s you are all awesome souls! God knows and puts us together to share our Lenten season and it is a blessing! Thank you God!

        • Joanne Melear

          May God reward the efforts you both are putting forth. Think about the wisdom, experiences , memories and family stories you can share during each visit. This is such an opportunity to solidly share the important things. You will then both look forward to each visit.

        • Mary Steinwinter

          Please affirm yourself (and of course the Lord too) for the courage and wisdom that He has given you and you have accepted to face the limitations of getting older and of accepting help graciously. I treasure the time that I had with my Mother during her last years (and my Dad and my aunt). They taught me life lessons of how to accept what we can’t change and how to respond to the offers of help with love and gratitude after a lifetime of giving which from your keen awareness of others’ feelings, I “suspect” you have led. God bless you with feeling His presence, strength, and peace as you teach your daughter during the time ahead.

        • Karen Ball Macdonald

          God Bless you and thank you for sharing

        • Valerie Makar

          Your attitude and positivity radiates happiness. Your right we are never alone as HE is always with us.

      • marie

        Karen and Susan, I too took care of my mom until her passing. It is a difficult time when you watch the person who has been your caretaker decline. My boys were under the age of 10 as my moms health deteriorated, but I believe that in having them help…it has taught them patience and empathy. God has a plan and will be with you to guide you through these difficult times. I know he did for me and my family.

      • Jeannie Logan

        Susan, I also had to take care of my mother while she was on hospice for 17 weeks. This verse made our last weeks together special…”Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 After reading that verse, I considered caring for my mother a true privilege and joy even though it was a difficult trial.
        Praying that you may find joy and peace in caring for your mother. I miss mine so much.

      • Ginie

        Susan, the life of a caregiver is a rough one. I am caregiver to my 44 year old son, a victim of a brain injury. Some days I feel jealous of not having me time, but then I try to focus on the funny things he says or does, on happier moments. If there is a way to change it, I’d say find someone to stay with mom while you go get your hair done, or go shopping with a friend-even if it’s window shopping. A friend of mine, had set aside a special time where she would talk to friends late at night when mom was in bed. It is a blessing that we are able to care for our loved ones…rejoice in the love. Praying for you.

      • Carol Elizabeth French Gass

        You can do it. I will be praying for you and your Mom.

      • Kenwyn

        Hang in there!! I’ve been where you are and understand completely. My parents have passed now but, I can say with complete honesty, I do not regret one minute of the time it took for me to help them. Take care of yourself because this can take a toll on you. Forgive yourself when you feel frustrated and irritated. Patience is your friend and prayer is your lifeline. Your heart will be full of joy that you are able to be there for your mom.

      • Steve

        I too went through what you are through Susan only it was with my mother in law. My wife had extremely bad knees and couldn’t do a lot of what needed to be done so it fell to me I did pretty well most of the time but as a human being, I sometimes tired of caring for someone else when I had so many other things to do. I’m ashamed to even admit I had these feelings. I never ever let her know it though. I loved her as I loved my own mother. After she passed I had such guilty feelings about not caring for her every day with happiness in my heart. I finally came to the realization that human emotions are what they are. We’re not perfect and we certainly do regret our failings. I have dedicated my time now to making sure I help my children and grandchildren. I know that is what my mother in law would want me to do as well as i know that is what God wants me to do. I have also renewed myself to not only doing as much as I can for others during Lent but all year long. This is a new chapter in my life and I know God is going to help me write it.

      • Betty’s Blessing

        Our moms love and cared for us for so many years, now it is our time to give them that same love and support. My mom had dementia and you have to repeat the same things over and over, but when you are a child you ask the same question over and over and your mom lovingly answered your “Why” questions. If we remember that, I think it helps make the journey a little bit easier.

      • Pattie

        Doing now will bring you great joy in the years to come when you think about your Mom

      • Ann Mack

        Good for you. Your Mother is blessed and you will never regret this decision.

      • Ann

        Susan, about 4 years ago, my mother-in-law moved in with us. I NEVER thought I would be taking care of her. But in the end I realized what a privilege it was to care for her. I have learned so much from her, and we have had wonderful discussions about our Lord and about faith in general. She is always so agreeable, and I am humbled to see to her needs. About a year and a half ago we moved her back home and she now has 24-hour care from 3 ladies who rotate a schedule. I still see to some of her needs and spend time with her. I admit that I do need to remind myself at times to be conscious of my own reactions when I would normally get frustrated, but she more often than not makes it easier to respond in a kind manner to certain situations. Patience and kindness on my part makes every situation much more pleasant… which makes everyone happier in the end. Blessings to you and your mom.

      • Eileen Forsyth

        Having done it, I never thought of anything besides the love we had and the marriage vows of many years past, “in sickness & in health, until death do us part”. You just do it! Pray. And let God do the rest.

      • Rebecca Desporte

        Enjoy the time you have to spend with your mom even though it may be challenging. I lost my father 2 years ago and wish I had just one more day to spend with him. I wish he knew how much I loved him and how much I miss him every single day. He wasn’t a saint but he was a good father and I was very blessed to have him for 98 years.

        • CaroleS

          Was with my dad when he died at 93. My heart cries for him daily, miss him so. Bless you Rebecca. He’s watching out for you now.

      • Lisa Fox

        Susan, I am right there with you. My Mom is still pretty healthy, but lives at home and cannot drive. I too would dread when I had to go’care’ for her. But now we have taken in projects like sorting pictures, or cleaning out drawers. The discoveries we have found are so much fun, she has been able to share so many memories and stories. We both look forward to our visits now and I have seen her health improve, because she’s completing these tasks she has probably wanted to finish for years. God is blessing us both in this special time. God bless you and your mother!

      • Jennifer

        Having lost my Mom 2 months ago, I can honestly say that taking care of you Mom is contributing to your LONG-TERM happiness! The day will come when she will go home to be with the Lord, and the biggest thief of happiness is regrets! Live a life without regrets!!! Try to enjoy the time with her, be sure to create happy memories….have a classic movie marathon, have high tea, play games, take her to the park…whatever will bring you both joy! Had I not done these things and made the most of our time together, I would be consumed by grief. But I know, with complete certainty that I brought her comfort, joy, and limitless love in her last few years, and that is the greatest gift I could have given myself as well as her & my father.

      • Regina M. Schaefer

        Dear Susan,
        Having cared for both my parents in their “decline,” let me just say that this is probably one of the hardest and holiest paths you will take in your life. Caring for your mother will leave you with no regrets later. There is deeper sense of understanding of the ” communion of saints.” You are holding your mother’s hand in a long line of ” those who go before us marked with the sign of faith.” Pray for fortitude as well as joy, as this is not easy at all.
        Connected on the journey,
        Regina

      • Kathleen Henshaw

        I admire you for taking care of your Mother. I did not make the decision to do so, my unmarried, truck driver brother did, but I have regretted it since her passing. I have felt guilt for not being there for her when she was always there for me, all through my life. Share in the Lord with her, pray with her and read the Bible to her. Those activities, done with you, will be of great comfort the her and to you.

      • Babciamel

        I also care for my aging (almost 92 years old) mother. She is very set in her ways, and resists change vehemently. It is always a challenge to be patient with her as she is very temperamental and explodes over the smallest things. I realize that it is because she knows that she is losing her independence. I also tend to expect my siblings to do more for her and get annoyed when they do not do what I think they should be doing for her. Just before lent, I decided that I will do all I can for her and resist the temptation to brood over what my siblings do not do. I can only change myself, not them.

        • Cathy Smith

          One thing that is working for my siblings and myself is to realize and verbalize to each other that EACH of us is doing 100% of what he or she can. This is a different amount for each, but we’ve learned to trust that each is doing that 100%. It might come in different forms, not the way “I would do it”, but seeing it in that light has kept us united through our Mom’s decline.

          • Babciamel

            I don’t wish to go into detail, but please trust that I am objective in my point of view. I just continue to thank God for the blessing of having my mom still with us.

        • Denise

          My Mom pasted away, it will be 6 years in April. Although I have a brother, he has issues of his own so it came down to me doing all I could to help her with her health, bill paying, trying to make a meal or two a week. When she went into the hospital then rehab several times each time she got a little more difficult to deal with. One of my friends is now going through taking her Mom to see her Dad (age 90) at the Rehab. each day. She is lucky for she 5 siblings in her family along with many nieces and nephews who help take turns. The other day she said to me I didn’t realize how hard it is to take care of a parent when they are older, how did you do it by yourself? I told her that I remember I would pray real hard when my patience was short but I really know that without Jesus I couldn’t have done it. My Mom was not easy at all to deal with but as the time went on I realized she could not help the way she was for she was not happy for a long it and had some mental health issues which no one ever realized. As she was dying she said to me, you have always been a good daughter to me, that was the first time she had ever said that to me in all my 58 years with my Mom. That was my blessing. I always try to tell my children how proud I’m am of them and that I love them even though keep me guessing. May you pray often and thank God for your blessings, you may not realize them till they are gone.

          • Babciamel

            I truly realize how blessed I am, at the age of 64, to still have my mom with us. I always say that God blesses me much more than I deserve. . I don’t mind doing whatever I can for her. My mom expresses her gratitude often, and we have a good relationship. I am sorry that you had to wait so long for your mother to let you know how much she appreciated you. Just as you, I try to let my grown children know how much I appreciate and love them every chance I get.

      • kathy lamb

        Susan, I too am taking care of my elderly Mother in Law with Dementia 5 days a week and I find myself getting resentful at times and feeling guilty for the feelings. She has been a wonderful mother in law over 32 years but now the she just needs so much one on one care and companionship it is draining. Thankfully she still can take care of her own hygiene . I am a Nurse so I am a natural caregiver but I pray this lent I can keep a happy heart in caring and doing. Bless you and hang in there too 🙂

      • Kathy T

        I too took care of my mother for 10 years . She had Alzheimer’s. The last 2 years the only person she knew was my husband. The my husband died suddenly from cancer. We found out 2 weeks before his death what he had. My mother died 3 months later. I never had the heart to tell her he died. This was all 3-1/2 years ago and I still miss them everyday.

      • Evangelization

        Susan,
        My Father died suddenly of a heart attack while I was at work. I regret the things I didn’t say and the time I didn’t spend with him. Many years later my Mother was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer, with no hope for recovery. About a year later I lost my job unexpectedly. At the time I was very upset about my situation but as I look back in my rear view mirror, I saw how God was at work in the situation. Because of my being unemployed I was able to spend some quality time with my Mom in her final months. Having coffee with her in the morning before taking her to chemo treatments, coming home and making her lunch, and just doing the things that needed to be done for her. I will never be able to thank the Lord for the time he made available for Mom and I in her final months.
        I have come to love reading the book of Job in the Bible. God’s message to me through Job is not to ask “why bad things happen to good people”. Rather, ask for God’s grace to see you through the situation. God has a plan of Love that sometimes, just sometimes He lets you understand.

      • Mary B.

        Dear Susan, I cared for my elderly mother-in-law in my home after she fell at her house and broke her hip (a few months shy of her 96th birthday). By the time she was released from physical rehab, we realized that she had been “covering” her dementia for some time. I bore the brunt of the caregiving because my oldest child was away at college and the youngest was in high school. Mom passed at the age of 99. I sometimes think that I was not merciful enough with her.
        If I had known at that time some of what I had since learned, I would have treated her often outre comments (and outright fictions!) as an exercise in structured improvisation, rather than insisting on absolute truth.

      • gailpurpleangel

        My mother passed away from dementia-related illness in a care home 2300 miles from me. I’ve always felt so guilty about that. I’m not saying this to make you feel guilty or sad. Just – I understand. I remember being the “Mom” and not really feeling like staying up all night w/ my daughter when she was sick, or taking her to soccer after I’d worked all day, or paying for her braces. If you don’t “feel” thrilled about caring for your Mom sometimes, that’s OK. We do these things out of love, out of service. At least you are there to help your mom.

      • Anne Parker

        My dear mother died last month at age of 98 1/2. She lived by herself until last May. I lived out of state from her but spent 7-15 days a month with her. We had hospice the last 5 months, but Mama was a delight – and her faith was inspirational!. I did so enjoy the time I was able to be her, and so cherish those times even more now that she’s gone!
        While some days may seem hard, offer them up for someone who no longer has a mother. The more you spend time with your mother and take care of her, the more comfort and peace you will have after she is no longer with you! .May Gid bless you both!

      • Jeannine Reese Gabel

        Susan I will pray for you, too. Caring for our aging parents is a huge endeavor. It’s the first of the commandments that we were given that didn’t pertain solely to our worship of God. I think that says something about how God knew it would be one of our biggest weaknesses and challenges as human beings. It’s painful, it’s sad, it’s physically taxing. So I will write your name in my prayer journal this Lent and lift you up. I hope knowing that I am praying will bring you some courage and relief in your journey.

      • Marian

        Susan, I have walked a mile in your moccasins. Pray for patience. Write in a “gratitude journal.” I made such a journal (actually a scrapbook) while I sat with Mom as her Alzheimer’s progressed and in doing so, I remembered that Mom did so much for me that I knew that taking care of her was very little compared to what she had done for me. God granted me 10 years of being very close to her and those years helped to strengthen me for the day when she didn’t even recognize me. THAT”S the moment that hurt the most. I’ll add you to my prayer list because I realize what you are experiencing.

      • Connie Bland

        Yes I pray for you that with the help of God you will do it with joy. I remember when my mom was sick and I helped my dad to care for her. After a while it was draining, but believe me if I could do it all over again it would be a great joy for me.

      • John Krawetzke

        Susan, Darren; I have to say your own admissions are feelings I feel at work. I have committed to not be affected by them. Its difficult for me too. Consciously, I’m slowly improving. Prayers to you.

      • Judy

        Susan, I am also caring for my mother. She will be 95 in April and had been becoming more forgetful since March of 2016. After a hospitalization (and increasing dementia) in October, I was forced to realize that I could no longer care for her by myself and so I have had to place her in a nursing home where she is getting great care. It was not easy to make this decision, but I know that it was the right one to make and I am at peace with it. I think it’s often easier to be happier for others than it is to be happy ourselves. I’m really trying to be happy. You can do this and being joyful and calling on help from Jesus is the only way.

      • Frank C.

        Susan, Thank you for you heartfelt and humble commentary on the care-taking of your elderly mother. The only thing I can add to your situation is the perspective I have now have of life without my mother who died 4 years ago. She was 95 years old and I cherished the time we had together…I would give my right arm for just one more dinner, one more walk, or one more chat. Try to think ahead of your daily frustrations and be joyful for this moment in time…It never lasts long enough and when those moments are over, they are gone for good in this life….

      • nplt

        Susan, I will keep you and your mother in my prayers. Having been there with both of my parents, I totally understand how sometimes frustrating, overwhelming and emotionally draining this can be.I would constantly pray for patience and was able to care for them with much joy and love. Looking back now I can see and appreciate that caring for my parents gave me the advantage and honor of being able to spend more time with them, something my out of town siblings didn’t experience. My out of town siblings didn’t experience so many of the tough times, sad times as me and my sisters who lived in town and this would sometimes make me bitter but then I remember they also missed a lot of the good times. I look back on those days with my Mom and Dad with happiness; glad that I did what I did in caring for them. I have good memories, bittersweet memories and sad memories but all these are filled with love. I’m sure you will take good care of your mother with joy through your prayer and with God’s help. One thing I would add is to please take care of yourself as well during this time; it’s easy to lose yourself. Take care. Blessed Lent.

      • Sierra Evans

        Susan, know that if you or your recently ailing mum need help, there are an abundance of resources in every community available to you both. As a hospice/palliative care nurse, I understand the many frustrations and difficulties both you and your mum will face. You will both be in my thoughts and prayers!

      • Anne Ranker

        Susan, your post resonated so much with me. I looked after my mum for over 3 years till she passed away last year. I am so glad I was able to do that for her but it took its toll in that I was constantly exhausted. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your mum knows you are doing your best. Make sure you give yourself a break to recharge those batteries. I miss my mum so much but it is a comfort to me still that I was able to spend those last difficult years with her and was there when she died. God bless you for all that you do. I will pray for you this Lent that you will be filled with joy.

      • Charlie

        Good for you to turn your Lenten eyes and heart on your mother’s needs. Before 2 1/2 yrs. ago, I was experiencing the same aggravation with myself for being frustrated with Mom, but she is gone now and I SURE MISS HER and wish I could have DONE MORE. So keep up the improvement in your actions and fill your time with her WITH LOTS OF LOVE. You’ll be very healthy that you did when she is no longer here to say: “I love you, Mom!”

      • jackie shoemaker

        I took care of both of my parents, my mother past away at her home, and my father I brought him to live with me. I will never regret or think I lost out on my life because it brought me even closer 2 them. You’re going 2 have your days but stay strong and you will be happy that you where the one that was by their side. Stay strong my friend !!!!

      • Joanne Melear

        Hi Susan, In July, I will celebrate 50 years in nursing. As a hospice nurse, I worked with many families and I can assure you that you will NEVER regret what you do for your parents, especially at the end of their lives. You are doing exactly what you can do in a most unique way. You are right on, in striving to serve her with joy. Reading one of St Teresa of Calcutta’s books would strengthen you. God is blessing you.

      • Pam

        What a blessing God has given you, Susan with this opportunity to sacrifice your time to love and care for your mother in much the same way she once cared for you. Prayers for your peace and joy.

      • starry13

        Treasure your time with her; treasure yourself and please treat yourself lovingly. I was my Mom’s primary caregiver for 12 years during her struggle with Alzheimer’s. Think of this as a marathon, not a sprint. I urge you — care for yourself so that you can care for your dear Mom. A hot bath or shower, time to read, sleep, exercise, eat delicious healthy foods — you decide, but please do it!

      • Anne Mason

        Prayers for supernatural strength and courage for you, Susan, during the time you care for your Mom. <3

      • Marian

        Pauline, I am at the same stage of life. Mother to five, grandmother to many. I have had some health issues that caused me to stop working at the age of 60. I now need more help and it’s hard, but your prayers and attitude Are solid and correct, and I plan to start doing the same. Thank you for your words

      • Amy

        Wow, that is exactly where I am with my elderly mom. I have been caring for her for about three years. I recently moved her is a full time care facility, but try to bring her to my house three or four times a week. I have found that even that time can seem like a burden. I too want to feel the joy of being able to give back to her and not be so selfish with my time. I need to make it a point to pray for everyone caring for elderly family members to feel God’s love.

    • Scott Patella

      Darren – I agree 100% and have adopted the same approach. Work-Life-Other are complicated and we let the minutia take over…. My buddy and work and I have coined the phrase RISE UP and let go…

      • Corrine

        As Fr Amar said yesterday during his homily, Lent is a time of “getting up ” vs “giving up”. To live our lives with intensity!

        • kj

          WOW! What a powerful message! Your pastor is remarkable…

        • Donna Melas

          Thank you for sharing this. I really needed to hear this today. I don’t think I’ve ever asked for prayers but I’m asking now.

          • Jimmy B

            Well, Donna Melas, I will join my prayers with yours and pray for you by name right now. Do not give in to the resistance to follow through each day. Trust Jesus with your life. Expect immediate changes.

          • Lynne

            My prayers are with you today.

    • Sue Anson

      A wonderful perspective! Fast from negativity and ready on joy; I’ll definitely be trying that☺️

    • killiangirl1951

      Darren I tend to be impulsive with my responses & they usually come out negative… so one way I thought would move me in a better & happier direction instead of being sucked into negativity!

    • NancyB

      Thanks for the inspiration Darren! You said just what I need to do this Lent!

    • Alice

      Great idea Darren. Last night after fasting I was grumpy. Changing behavior and other life issues can bring us off track. Like that you are fasting from responding. Good idea that I will incorporate in my life.

    • Crystal Dasburg Marchand

      I love that ^^. I do the same thing. I hope you don’t mind that I will be taking your idea and adding it to my Lenten journey 🙂

    • Christina

      Darren, thank you so much for sharing. I think I could truly do this with my children. I love the idea of fasting from my negative responses to the things that frustrate me throughout the day and feasting on the joys that I find in other moments throughout the day with them. I will seek positive responses during this Lenten season that will hopefully become a more permanent part of my behavior! Thank you!

    • Elizabeth Henderson

      You have inspired me to also refrain from negativity in a focused fashion during Lent … thank you.

      • Elizabeth Brumann

        Lent is about patience and about helping out others it is about staying calm and relaxed and not getting angry and upset at everything little and about thinking positive and working with others and communicating with others and uplifting other by giving them words of encouragement. It is about giving others strength and courage to make through the Lenten journey and not to be afraid to embrace the true meaning of the Lenten season with hope. It is about being brave and strong and putting Jesus into your life. It is about happiness and the three things that make me happy are helping out my family, taking care of Cat Bert and Jimmy doing something nice for someone and to offer help and support to that person it is about listening and being compassionate to that person and showing them sympathy and understanding making my life better and their life better and happy for yourself and for others. Another thing that makes me happy is to think positive and happy. It is about being brave, strong, determined and courageous and not to be afraid or scared and to let go of everything that makes me feel sad and miserable. It is about endurance and strength.

        I am fasting from negative hopes and thinking. Lent is about not getting angry frustrated or upset or about whining about every little thing or about bashing smashing and degrading and yelling screaming cursing or swearing or calling names or about being stubborn with people it is about patience. In this journey it is about guiding other people to have their best Lent ever and their best Easter ever. It is about preparing a way for the Lord for Easter. It is about preparing for the Resurrection of Jesus. It is not getting frustrated agitated or irritated or upset or being distraught or distressed or disappointed or discouraged or weak it is about strength and bravery courage strength and patience. It is about making everyday a good day for yourself and for others and to cheer them up they are feeling down by saying a nice thought about them to make their day brighter and happier. Happiness is what you make of it and finding out what things make you happy and by thinking happy thoughts. Lent is about a journey to Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. Lent is about letting go of all your bad thoughts negative thoughts and feelings and thinking about what makes us happy and to let go of all animosity and bitterness and to make yourself a better person and get us spiritually closer to Jesus. It is about making ourselves better people.
        Lent is preparation for Easter and we can achieve the goal of having the best Lent ever by watching the mass on television everyday and on Sundays reading the mass in the magnificent praying the rosary reading the daily offering and reflecting on the daily offering, going to mass on Sundays mediating and reflecting on words and the teachings of Jesus, almsgiving, fasting and prayer and reading the Bible everyday and by reading the daily reflection everyday and abstain from negative thinking and replacing it with positive and happy thinking. It is about sacrificing the negative and replacing them with positive and uplifting thoughts. Lent is a spiritual journey that leads us to Jesus. Nothing is impossible with god. Give it to god.

    • Amber Anderson

      This is my fast as well! For me I have such a hard time taking that time out to think about the best way to react(especially when it comes to my kids). And when I react immediately to a situation, it usually ends up being the wrong reaction. My goal is to take a moment and talk to God before I respond. Cause with his help I can make that reaction the right one.

    • CHar Ostermann

      Really like the idea from fasting in a negative way to people or situations,,comments made by others…

    • Gloria Torres

      Thank you, Darren, for reminding me of what I need to do. And Lent is the perfect time to start. I will pray for the strength to do this (I’ll start by not beating up on myself so much when I do something not-so-smart). Bless you!

    • Rachel Gilmore

      I am a home health care caregiver giving these senior citizens the care that they deserve because of what they did for us. I feel resistance a lot when I am working but after watching these videos I am starting to find my happiness that I am actually doing something that is making them feel better

    • Kathryn Duncan

      I find that music is a wonderful distraction from negative thoughts. The local Christian radio station is always on at home or in the car or a CD is playing. As I sing along I forget what was bugging me.

    • Eloísa Perez-Lozano de Castela

      Totally agree with you! As a new mom, I find myself both extremely tired and hungry at different times and I just went back to work last week so it has been a hard transition. I used to be better at being present in the moment, so I’m going to try to find more joy throughout these days of Lent.

    • Guzmán Raphaella

      I feel the same way Darren, I would say I’m a happy person, but at the same time I feel it’s an outcome of my circumstances. I am grateful to say I am blessed to have my two parents, two sisters, a roof over my head, a job I enjoy and no financial worry. However there are times when things don’t go my way, or someone interferes with my plans and it’s scary to say that sometimes it outrages me. Something as simple as a not so helpful desk attendant, had the potential to really get under my skin and while I can keep civil and professional up front, there are times when my thought crawl with not so holy thoughts. And these thoughts in this can affect my mood and overall happiness and peace of mind. It also leads me to believe that when the day comes where I don’t have these blessings am I spiritually strong enough to be happy.

      • Joseph Jay

        Guzman, what you shared really resonates with me. Blessed in so many ways, yet I let the seemingly little impediments of life get in the way of happiness and joy. I’m praying that my Lenten journey helps me understand the source of all this (could it be related to resistance? I think so!) and give me the strength to overcome and master it. I will also pray the same for you and others like us.

    • Kathy Wichser

      I love this, I am going to try this too, thank you for putting it so perfectly!

    • Lisa Board

      Beautifully stated Darren!

    • Toni Shea

      Great attitude Darren. We can all get cranky from time to time, but always have God to turn to and can ask through prayer and gratitude to start the day over again. I find if my attitude is going south it is because I did NOT start my day with God. I can restart at any time and find that is all it takes. God luck and God Bless

    • Louise King

      Thank you Darren for putting so nicely into words what I am trying to do this Lent. I thought I was working on my patience and kindness in my reactions but I’m now fasting from negative responses and will add feasting on joys to my Lenten goals

    • Julie Javorka

      I love this. I always find myself complaining and I wrote this down as one of the things I want to give up for Lent. It will definitely be the hardest for me. It’s awful how automatic the negativity can be.

    • Darlene Matteucci

      You are definitely heading in the right direction Darren keep resisting the annoyance in your daily journey.

    • Lisa

      I like that “when I get tired or am hungry”… I feast on the “joys I can find in that moment.”

    • Diane

      Ditto!

    • MaryB435

      Great idea!

    • Grandmama 16

      I really relate. That’s what I’m fasting from too. Hubby and I are in our 70’s and he has Parkinson’s tho it’s not real bad but I do respond in a negative way plus fearing for our future. I’ve battled depression for a long time, childhood even, then fibromyalgia decided to join in, then diabetes said Me Too, and so it goes. I have an elderly spiritual director, a friend of 45 yrs….a Monk in a Monastery that’s closing in a yr or so….and he’s great but happiness alludes me. If I let myself be happy over something I’ve had the roof fall in, so to speak, so it scares me. Everyday it’s like walking on eggshells.

      I know how Susan feels too. I cared for my mom after her stroke, at almost 87, mowing her lawn the day before, then moving her here 800 miles away, selling her place, moving her stuff, figuring out finances, feeling resentment, never feeling I was doing right, guilt, guilt, guilt. Besides that she had become Jehovah’s Witness in her 70’s. (I wasn’t raised in any faith but became Catholic in ’71.)She was active before the stroke so we had our problems and we lost my sis, sudden heart attack and brother, cancer. She only had me, her oops baby, to take care of her. She died at 89, stroke, no brain activity, oxygen by nurse pumping a bag, with us around her, blessed by a priest at our youngest girl’s request. That might have been our closest moment. I pray for Susan and all who face this. I don’t want our kids to. I wish I had my mom’s strength and courage to be independant for so long. She and dad divorced when I was 11 and she took care of her mom. Dad lived with my bro. for 20 yrs, He bounced around and was with us for a year (difficult…we had 5 kids and 1 bathroom)but he didn’t like the cold. He died back in Calif. at 86.

  • Dorsey

    I’m blessed beyond measure….but could be happier. I’m my own worst enemy. I tend to procrastinate and worry too much. Making an active commitment to dealing with resistance. Wishing everyone a great day!

    • Heidi Johnson

      Wow, does this sound familiar! I am making an active commitment to get up earlier and watch these videos to help me deal with resistance and to work on enjoying the happiness in the moment instead of also looking for it around the corner. Wishing everyone a blessed day!

      • Holly Lanford

        I did not snooze this morning when my alarm went off! It makes me happy to resist and regain control of my life. I am enjoying drinking my coffee with my pug in my lap while I devote time to feeding my soul this morning.

      • Jean

        Me too! It wasn’t easy to get out of bed this morning, but I couldn’t wait to watch the video and get moving in this resistance!

  • Robin

    I love life, and am generally happy. Lately I have been asking myself if that is genuine. Am I happy for the sake of others or am I truly happy from within. I love the idea, Darren, of fasting from the negativity that surrounds us and looking for the happiness from within. Thanks, everyone. Blessings

    • Maureen

      I can really relate to you. As I look within myself I wonder if my happiness is really for the sake of others or myself. Maybe half and half. I’m really going to reflect on this. Thank you for the valuable insight!

  • Ed

    My greatest happiness is our family. Next would be our small business and friends.

  • Bill Donovan

    I am partially happy and partially troubled.

  • Christine

    When I think about it I am extremely blessed. The unfortunate thing is that these blessings get lost with the everyday stressors of life. I get caught up in the chaos of life which creates anxiety, worry…the things that make me unhappy.

  • Lisa

    Happiness for me is when I do something for others and spend less time on my worries

  • Rachelle Gamblin

    Last night was our annual Lenten Soup Supper which is sponsored by the RCIA. I’m the director for our parish and I try to instill in the candidates a sense of community. Sometimes I think the sponsors get more out of serving the people of our parish at the Soup Supper. I can see the joy in their eyes and I pray the candidates feed off of that. Watching the candidates grow in their faith and prepare themselves to come into the Church makes me extremely happy. This time of year for me is better than Christmas. I enjoy watching that little flame the candidates started RCIA with ignite into an inferno as they are finally grasping what is going on and what all those hours of classes are leading up to. Please pray for all the candidates who will be coming into the Church this Easter.

  • Lisa

    I don’t feel I’m as happy as I know I can be, with worry as my resistance. I’m also fasting from negativity and instead trying to find joy and good in instances/situations–putting my full trust in God!!! God Bless

  • Arlene

    I’m not as happy as I could be. Most of the time I let worry and my to-do lists distract me from being present to the moment’s grace. Going forward I’m going to be more aware of the big and small decisions that shape my overall happiness and and respond in a positive way. God bless everyone today.

    • Delia Shuert Kavanaugh

      Just like you I have spent much of my life in worry and pre-occupation with my to-do-list. It has taken me many years and much practice to truly live one day at a time. There are times now I just focus on one moment at time. When I narrow my focus and let go of the worry, I do so much better in the here and now. And that is truly all we really have. God bless and have the best Lent ever!

    • Tere Thomas

      This statement…Most of the time I let worry and my to-do lists distract me from being present to the moment’s of grace, is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I can decide how I will go forward and be more aware, and respond in a positive way! God bless YOU! And by the way, I have written this down and posted it on my prayer board.

  • Beth Hazelton

    Wow! This really hits close to home and is a perfect start to my Lenten journey ~ to truly discern how I spend my time and if it is glorifying God. I know what makes me happy and truly I am the greatest obstacle with the endless wheel of “busy.” Looking forward to each daily meditation!

  • Susan E

    I too think I am partially happy – but could potentially be happier. I do know that I am in a better place than I have been in many years. This I believe is due to God’s graces and hard work on my part. I actually found myself laughing twice yesterday as a result of yesterday’s question. So thank you Matthew and team for asking the questions that are inspiring me to be the best version of myself! Have a blessed day everyone.

  • Karen

    I think sometimes happiness is a choice. The way one chooses to react to any situation in life will either make them happy or miserable. If you choose to be a happy person, you will have to embrace the little irritations of life and let them go.

  • MDM

    Well it didn’t take long for me to feel the resistance on this one, I am hesitant to even think about what makes me happy! Or maybe I am like Robin and it’s more about whether I am genuine and authentic about my happiness or just saying I am happy for the sake of others. Whatever the case, I am very thankful for Best Lent Ever and the people who are sharing comments and helping me get closer to God and overcoming the resistance to be happy. Learning from others comments about how they are finding happiness if very helpful. Thank you all and have a Blessed day.

    • Beth

      Very comforting to see someone else who is not “in tune” with their happiness. Praying we can check in with ourselves this Lent!

  • Dax

    As I am approaching 44, married and have three kids, I am reflecting on what makes me happy. My instant thought is that it is the day to day struggle that makes me happy. I know it seems strange, but the act of going to work every day and raising kids and being married offers me times times of joy and pain. Without pain, then one cannot know happiness. I often think that having all the money in the world and if I was on a paradise island by myself, deep down inside I would have to eventually be lonely and “vacant”. It is with life’s trial and tribulations that we experience happiness. Maybe not at that moment, but eventually.

    • Blake

      Well said, Dax. Life is not meant to be without struggle and some of the most difficult times in my life have led to growth, greater understanding and even happiness. While it is important to not let “the little things” get in the way of our happiness, or lose focus on what will make us truly happy, the reality that the daily struggles we experience in some ways actually enhance our happiness.

      • Donald Hughes

        I have to agree Blake. I haven’t had the worst life ever. But, I have definitely had some bad thing happen in my past that tore me down. Almost to the point of no return. However, these terrible events of my past, as much as I sometimes would like to, I would not change. Without these bad times, I would not be who I am today. I wouldn’t be married to my wife, I wouldn’t have my 2nd and 3rd kids, and I may not be as driven to build my relationship with God. So, like you stated, these bad times typically do not bring immediate happiness, at some point down the road, once we realize that it was all in his plan for us, we will be happy.

        • Blake

          Glad you recognize the positive outcomes of your journey and I pray for continued growth in your faith journey this Lent!

    • Mary

      I agree, Dax. As a retired person whose children have grown and are now raising their families, my struggles are different than yours, I miss those days. Looking back, I realize those were truly happy times. Now it is time to focus on different ways to be happy, such as those listed in today’s videos.

    • Pat Riley Blackwell

      I agree with you. We can’t appreciate the mountaintop without being in the valley!

    • Angie

      Dax – I was in the same place as you and read something about putting a little more love in what you do for your family and home. I started with cooking and cleaning up afterwards – it was amazing the mind-set change – “I am doing this because I love my family” made me happier and them too. It took a while to filter down to the laundry lol, but now I see my grown children not viewing all of these things differently – that is fulfillment.

    • Kim

      Dax I can completely relate. 40’s, work, 3 kids under 6. My 3 things that make me happy were solo activities or things like uninterrupted cooking. I was once the overly optimistic person that others would make fun of I was so happy. Then I feel it all was zapped away by having children. Which spirals into major guilt. I’m trying hard to enjoy these precious moments when they’re so little but I almost think I’ve filled my plate too much trying to hold onto the things that make only me happy that they are suffering for it b/c my patience runs thin when I’m too tired. For now I’m going to reflect on these thoughts, pray for guidance and continue on this best lent ever journey. Peace be with you.

      • Debbie Hines

        Kim, I’ve been where you are. I want you to know that you will get through this. My kids are in their 20s now and graduated from college. Something that helped me before they were in school was intentionally exercising at least 3 times a week. I started out hiring a neighborhood teen to come over and play with the kids for an hour so I could go to the gym by myself. Or waiting until my husband got home to take a walk by myself. Then, they started going to school. A good jogging stroller is your friend for getting your kids outside with you. School hours is wonderful time once they get to that stage. Don’t lose yourself in the raising of your kids. Have a hobby that fills you as the kids get older. Another thing I found helpful was joining a playgroup. Ours was in our neighborhood twice a week and it gave me the chance to know other moms and dads going through the same things. I was also able to trade childcare with the others. God bless you. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Karen McGovern

    Thank you. I let worry cloud my sense of happiness. I must remember the Gospel message: do the birds worry about what they will wear or eat? ( a loose paraphrase..)

    • ml

      I had a pastor once say that we often look at life as walking across a tight-rope pushing a wheelbarrow and our worries make us focus on falling off, when what we need to do is at the times of biggest worries, is hop in the wheelbarrow and let God push us across the tight-rope. Now every time life gets really hard, I throw my hands up and put myself into God’s hands and let him carry me. It is an uplifting feeling, especially when you say it out loud.

  • Beth

    I don’t think about “happy” or not. I generally just do. I think my first step is to be more mindful about this happiness thing….we’ll see.

    • Nora

      Mindfully happy – I like that. Thanks for sharing.

  • Doug

    The short answer? A resounding YES. People are amazed how UP I always am, but it didn’t use to be that way. I look back and wonder how I even existed. I’ve been happy for 5 years. 5 years ago I developed an intimate relationship with God. I know that He is my true father. This, month, 5 years ago I threw worry, fear and stress out the window. I haven’t had 1 minute where I’ve felt unhappy. Granted it was a journey to get whole and complete with God, but I’m so glad I made it. By the way, although I don’t like to be in negative situations it’s inevitable. However the way I am makes negative situations a walk in the park. God Bless!

    • David Watson

      Wow, what a short, powerful witness Doug. I have also heard it termed “an audience of one”, being God.
      At this stage in my life, I have let life’s realities burden and weigh down the joy of knowing God cares for me and every hair on my head. Thanks for the inspiration and have a great day!

      • Doug

        David…thank you. I have financial burdens and a couple of health/potential health issues. I always know that my Father will always be there for me. I pray that all, especially those who strive, to feel how I feel. God Bless.

    • Allison Baskin

      God bless you Doug ! What a blessing that day 5 years ago was for you!

      • Doug

        Thank you Allison. That’s very kind of you.

    • Jorge Negron-Montalvo

      So amanzingly inspiring Doug! Thank you for sharing your journey as I will pray to emulate your actions! God bless you!

      • Doug

        Thank you so much. I’ll pray for you that you’ll get there. It’s amazing.

    • Susan Henderson

      Doug, was there something pivotal that helped you develop your intimate relationship with God? I have found that daily Mass & prayer have not led me to the intimacy with God that I desperately want.

      • Doug

        Hi Susan. Yes and it wasn’t mass or anything related. I had been unemployed and only had one un employment check left to receive. I began to stress about finances and that we might lose the house. Then it was one day where I thought…God has always been there. Through so many trials in my life and stupid mistakes on my part He was always there to pick me up. It was that day I knew what complete faith and trust in God meant.

        Later that year, 5 days before Christmas, I received a message from Jesus. It wasn’t from Jesus directly from a total stranger. That stranger was told by Jesus to tell me that “everything is going to be alright.” And it has been.

        Since then I’ve heard 2 other incidents from people I know who had the same thing happen. What a blessing that was.

        • Susan Henderson

          Thank you for your answer! My husband is about to be laid off & he is the only wage-earner in our home. I have had an undiagnosed illness for the last 4 years and have been unable to work. I really struggle with having faith & trusting completely in God. While you have always felt like God has been there in your life even when you did stupid things, I have often felt God is very absent during my various life trials. My husband’s lay-off will give us a chance to trust. Thank you for your story.

    • Steven Hotho

      Doug, I was so pleased to see a post from you. I remember you from Lent of last year. thought then what an amazing person you are and I thought – how blessed is your wife. Did not see any comments from you during Advent. You have a joy that many

      • Doug

        You are very kind Steven. Advent…I honestly forgot about signing up. Shame on me.

  • Colleen Sabino

    I love life and yes find myself at time stressed or worried, allowing those thoughts to come in and dwell versus Gods happy peaceful thoughts, I will choose every day happiness🙏! Thank you Lord for the gift of life!

  • Paola Moreno

    I like this video today..it’s a good question an important one. I’m generally a happy person too, but when things begin to overwhelm I get discouraged an anxiety sets in. Doubts and distractions increase, so this lent I am going to work on anticipating those moments of stress and stop myself from worrying. Instead I’m going to put my hands together and mentally say: thank you Lord for loving me, I give you my worries, I give you my day, I give you my life. It’s a conscious mindset that needs to happen every day, I will count my blessings and strive to be happy everyday.

    • Mary B.

      Love that idea and simple prayer!

      • Elizabeth

        Every morning I wake up. I don’t get out of the bed right away. This is my time of meditation and quietness to let Father God to guide my day and to give thanks. We all deserve happiness. Is like a law “Pursue of Happiness”. So every morning I ask him… What do I need to do today? He made my priorities and help me to stay focuse so I complete what he want me to do? And yes distractions arrive, problems, but all of that teach me to be stronger and to commit until it happens no matter how long it takes. So I say to him, ” Done with this part, what is next” and he guides you when your heart is open to him. I ask him to help me remembering all day that I can count on him at any time and after a few month I have him constantly (24 hrs a day) helping me making better choices. My father in earth pass away and I was very close to him, now I am very close to my mom and specially to Father God. He save my mom from the last breath when I gave her to him not wanting to hold her as a vegetable, he gave her back to me with memory and walking. She was a miracle. He also took care of her in two situations of cancer- stage 4 and throat cancer and she is free. So our Lord Jesus Christ help you to Pursue that happiness if we let him enter our heart and guide us. I learn to embrace problems to be strong and to be able to help others. Without the experience I would not be able to understand others specially my Savior Jesus Christ who die for me. The happiness of helping others comes from the heart. Is different and special. The real happiness. Is love and Jesus loves us with all our mistakes, distractions and problems. I just continue asking to keep increasing my love to him because I am just in the beginning.

    • Marianne

      I love this idea and will attempt to practice this also. Thank you for the idea. God bless!!

    • Cari

      Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing.

  • Annette Fernandez

    I try every day to make happiness my priority by making sure I look through the lens of gratitude. I started this excercise a few years back. It comes more easily to me now. Every day I look for ways to be of service to my fellow human beings. Now I don’t have to look very hard because situations present themselves. Every day I also pray first thing in the morning, some time’s short prayers n some time’s longer ones depending on the time I have. Prayer keeps me from getting distracted by life n drama.

  • donna

    I could be happier. When I get up each morning and start my prayers the first thing I ask for is to be filled with joy for the day. Christ has gotten me through many frustrating days. God Bless

    • Mary B.

      I too receive the gift of joy from God every morning! I get up every morning and say … Father, thank you for another beautiful day. I am going to be happy. I am going to enjoy this day. I am going to brighten someone else’s life. I am choosing to receive your gift of joy! It sets the tone for a great happy day!!

      • Cathy

        I 💕 this morning prayer! Thank you!!

      • Joanne

        For a year now, after experiencing last year’s Best Lent Ever, I get out of bed (thanks, Matthew–I didn’t turn on the snooze button this morning!!)–and stand straight and tall, my arms lifted up in praise, and say, “Thank you God, for this day, do with me what you will.” And then I do the Sign of the Cross. He has given me this day and I am thankful for it, and I will follow his lead.

        • JoAnn

          Thank you Joanne from JoAnn, that was inspiritional. God bless you this beautiful day.Amen.

  • Genevieve

    The first reading for today’s mass (Deuteronomy/30:15-20) speaks to this point directly. In it Moses tells the people how to be happy: Follow the Law.

  • Peggy Denkins

    My life is good and I am Blessed, but I struggle each day with unnecessary worry, regret of pass events and anticipation of what is to come. It is so hard for me to live in the moment and enjoy the present. However, I am aware that my concerns are not realistic and I continue to try and better myself each day. In some sense, I consider it a Blessing.

  • Paulina

    I do love life and but lately my terminal illness and worry cause my resistance in happiness. I get so caught up in the events and things I may miss out on rather than to focus on the JOY in my life. I am choosing to focus on the JOY! Prayers. mass, service, and appreciating the moments of quality that I have at this moment bring me happiness! Blessings…

    • Eleanor

      Paulina, I can’t imagine what you are going through with a terminal illness. Praying for you today that this Lenten season you will be able to focus on all the JOY in your life and have that true happiness everyday you are here on earth… and that it brings you to the unbelievable everlasting happiness in the presence of God in heaven.

      • Paulina

        Thank you very much!

    • Debbie Hines

      I join in Eleanor’s sentiment. God bless you and your journey to Heaven.

  • Michael Baur

    When I do some soul searching, i generally feel like a happy person. There are parts of me that feel unhappy. I think it is more of the unknown in life, that has me worried. I realize that I need trust in God and thing in my will work out for the best. I need to continue to trust in God’s plan.

  • Becky Jaracz

    I am a work in progress. I see the Joy as a fountain of the Living water, bubbling inside me. Resistance is rocks which slow the flow of the bubbling water. I experience the full effect of my Joyful fountain every day. God is good, all the time.
    I struggle to be as happy as I can be, I am empathetic, I take on others pain. This creates a resistance to my doing what Brings me happiness. When I accept the resistance I am forgetting that I am a much better, wife, mother, daughter, when I take time for prayer and silent meditation.
    Lord, I love you. Come Holy Spirit, fill my heart today. May my words be your words for all I encounter.

    Blessings
    Becky

  • Patrick

    My selfishness gets in the way of my happiness…

  • Kat Graham

    I do not believe I am as happy as I could be. I allow too many of other people’s vices to get in the way of my every day peace. Worry, anxiety, anger, frustration and impatience have recently taken over the old me. My hurdle to overcome involves letting go and letting God. I still want to maintain control…and why?

  • anneb76

    I too let the to do lists and stressors of life get in the way of my happiness. I am truly happy when it is quiet and I can read, study and meditate, but I often keep an eye on the clock which means these lists and stressors are still with me. I see them as responsibilities and feel guilty when I take time for myself. Perhaps I need to look at this time as time with God and not merely time for myself.

    • Lisa

      I definitely feel where you are coming from on this. As a mother of 3 active boys, and a grandbaby i often have that guilt too. I sit and pray but my thoughts are are often drifting to ,” I need to stop, I need to get moving, I need to be doing this or that. ” I like your idea that it is not my time but rather time for God. I am a giver. I give always to others and maybe this is a way I can give to myself without feeling guilty.

    • Dor

      I started setting the alarm on my cell phone so i can totally immerse myself in what I’m reading. I’d suggest choosing a peaceful alarm tone…

  • TJ

    My problem over the past several years has been the divisive politics of our country, and my resistance to tuning out the various news media talk shows. I found myself, in fact, unhappy. I have decided to tune out as much as I can, and tune into God this lent. I know in my heart that it will help.

  • Evie Bradley

    Fasting from negativity- I like that. Actually I realize I have been doing that. I gave up watching the cable news networks and all their political bickering. Even Facebook has it. So it was easy to give Facebook up for lent (this group gave me that inspiration). I know I am happy to be on this journey with all of you.

  • Rodney Simpson

    I’m not as happy as I could be. I go to work, get frustrated and wonder why I do it. But as I read and listen, I realize I’m there for a reason. I work with some truly amazing people and have an opportunity to help others, perhaps I should stop focusing on the trials and start realizing the opportunities. Stop wondering what God has for me to do, when He already has me doing it. Thank you.

    • Nora

      Thank you for this insight!

  • 1Peter 5:8-9
    “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.
    Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.”

    • Sharri

      Amen!

  • Chuck

    I am not as happy as I feel I could be during this Lenten season I am going to try to worry less!

  • Nora

    “I’ll just be the ‘happy girl'” line resonated with me, as I often resist happiness for the reason that I’m afraid happiness comes off as weakness. Plus, how our culture defines happiness – like a 24-hour birthday party with clowns, and ribbons and dancing – is a hard happiness to sustain. I prefer a quiet happy.

  • Barb O

    I’m working on my happiness this Lent. I was told yesterday that another person’s needs do not dictate me. I’m praying for guilt to be erased from my feelings so I can focus on God’s love for me just as I am.

    • Eileen

      Barb O- I appreciate the words that you were told yesterday – and feel I needed to hear those same words today…I have health, a loving husband and family, good friends and financial freedom… but I harbor an underlying guilt as I am surrounded by folks who do not have or are struggling with all of these things…financial burdens, sick children or other family members, bad marriages – I often wonder how did I get this blessed …and why don’t I feel more day to day happiness?
      Does the pain of others ground me and make me more appreciative ? Or am I resisting my own happiness?
      Thank you for sharing the words I may need to hear.

  • Mary Pat

    Happiness…honestly, I struggle with the day to day way I spend time and tend to let the frustrations and daily tasks drain my happiness. I envy Dax on finding his joy and happiness there! I love the thought of fasting from negativity! Working 31 years in Corporate America I relate to Amanda on sometimes hiding happiness. I am excited about this Lenten journey and praying for a transformation as I have so so many blessings in my life.

  • Amy Rose Robinson

    Yesterday I did not conquer resistance at a moment with my husband. He, however, did. I realized through this program what an amazing amount of resistance he has and exercises with me. There are plenty of times that we do not practice this and end up in a screwed up fight yet noticing this in him yesterday, in that moment where things could go awry was so amazing. We have been married almost 23 years and I am realizing everyday how amazing he is to me and what positive attributes he brings our marriage. Pretty amazing discovery!

    • Rocco

      God bless you and your husband Amy! We are in this together and when we focus on God together what else can it bring but happiness? Thank you for sharing your discovery and lifting him up.

    • Blaise Burkhard

      Thank you for sharing (dare I say) your failure to conquer resistance. I couldn’t help but smile when you acknowledged that you recognized your husband’s ability to slay resistance in the same moment. I’ve experienced a few of those moments with my husband as well. I think we should feast on those moments and use them as examples in the future. Remember that we are striving to learn how to conquer resistance, which will require continuous practice and grace!!

      • Amy Rose

        I agree the example is there and truly visible. There are times when anger and hurt feelings take over and it is not always visible or gets buried in who is right or wrong. Thank you for sharing that with me! If there is a lesson that is learned in the failure – than it is a positive lesson!

  • Sharri

    I know two things to be true:
    It is not happy people who are grateful, it is grateful people who are happy. “Be thankful in ALL things'”
    And
    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
    Abraham Lincoln (may be paraphrased)
    When we choose Jesus with his love and mercy, we can live these two statements easily. I live happily every moment of every day.
    Do I still encounter resistance to other things? Some days monumentally., but never happiness and joy.

    • Roberrt

      How very true. Thanks for sharing.

  • pat a. Skaza

    Right with you Doug. God woke me up this morning to a new day. I thanked Him. I’ve learned after 70 years to live in this day only and be happy in it. Morning Mass beckons; Church is my favorite happy place.

  • Jeanne Server

    I strive to commit to making each day happy and nonjudgmental. However, I fall back and have to recommit myself daily to asking for help from Jesus Christ. I ask him several times during the day if I have fallen back into old habits to wake me up with his love so I may be a shining example of love to others with his help.

  • Ana Cecilia LaluzArredondo

    No, I have a tendency of neglecting my own needs to satisfy others. I like yesterdays reflection of doing away with resistance one bit at a time.

  • Marie

    I generally am happy. In my ministry I tend to get bogged down in the little details that sometimes do not go very well. Sometimes disappointment and anger slip in and I have to go back to prayer and reflection to help me sustain the happiness and joy once more .

  • Mary Welsch Most

    I feel as though I’m generally a happy person. I let every day life get in the way. I hope to work on that during Lent.

  • Pat Dodd Polito

    As I reflect I realize I have many reasons to be happy yet I tend to let the minor inconveniences of a hectic day, worries and sometimes overwhelming demands interfere and take over. Resistance! Praying and working on overcoming some of those moments of resistance. I need to make the most of my day!

  • stacey oleary

    I definitely get in my own way of being happy. I forget all the wonderful moments god has given me. For me I keep wrestling with God for control. I forget how much God loves and cares for me. Today I’m going to be happy because God made me and be a happy face for my brother and sisters in Christ. Have a blessed day

  • Nancy Luzer

    I don’t think happiness is the right word or goal. I have times of peace because I absolutely know l’m doing what God wants me to be doing. Or maybe God has convicted me of a sin (often an attitude of being critical ) and I acknowledge it. I’m not happy about the sin but I’m at peace because because I know the Lord loves me enough to gently reveal it to me.

  • Marilee Kadar

    I know that worldly pleasures won’t sustain my happiness. It’s that deeper, closer, intimate relationship with Our Father that will help me experience true joy. I’m striving for that! Busy workdays, commutes, errands, etc. Steal away the quiet times I need to spend in reflection and prayer. Need to overcome resistance!

  • janet burke

    I feel that I am a happy person, yet I am always seeking to do “things” that will make me happy. I am a mother of 2, ages 30 and 27. A lot of my happiness depends on their happiness. If all people that I love are dong well .. then I am happy. I need to worry less and choose happiness.

  • Sallie Giorgi

    Thank you Matthew Kelly and the team of Dynamic Catholic! I can be happier! Spending time with God each day- beginning with 10 minutes each morning- has led me to a greater deeper happiness! I want to be the best version of myself!

  • Daniel Knowles

    Good morning I am happy 99% of the time. I’m fasting from getting caught up in the drama at the workplace. Being happy makes me feel good and the people around me feel good. When am not happy it sucks all the energy out of me. With Jesus in my life I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

  • John G.

    This may sound weird, but happiness to me is – lack of frustrations in my life. I’ve turned off FB so I don’t have to read the negative political stuff and I have removed this noise from my life during Lent.

  • Elaine

    I struggle with the most important relationships in my life. My husband and my grown children from a previous relationship. It saddens me when there is no cohesion. Happiness for me depends on my loved ones and there in lies my struggle.

  • Jillian

    I am by nature and circumstance an unhappy/negative person. I am a worrier as well. It is my struggle to change that, if not for myself then for my kids, because I really don’t want them picking up my downer attitude towards life. But I’m still in ‘fake it’ mode. And I just hope they don’t see through it.

  • Bill Preininger

    Happiness is wanting what you already have…

  • Erin Carter

    I’m usually happy but I know there is a lot more that will make me happy. Last year I had an adoration hour and since summer I haven’t been keeping up with my weekly adoration. When I was going to adoration and spending time with Jesus I was happier. This Lent I am going to resume my weekly hour with Jesus whenever I have time throughout the week.

  • Julie Niles

    I too feel that I am happy most of the time, however, I tend to let other peoples unhappiness or discontent rub off on me. I will work this lent to not let the attitudes of others affect my happiness!!

  • Julie Ostermann

    Everyone sees me as a happy upbeat person. Most of the time that’s the real me but lately I’ve been struggling to make that outer happiness fit with the struggles I feel inside. It’s like the old story about the duck looking calm on the surface but frantically paddling it’s feet beneath the water. That’s Me! I find absolute true joy in my children and I’m trying so hard to find it in my husband, as i let little things he does irritate me. Im hoping this Lenten journey , will help me rediscover the real me and what truly helps me find peace.

  • Alice Ann Hengesbach

    Choice … life is about choices … MY choices. Perhaps this is the core of “free will.” I can choose to be happy. I can choose to feel and thus acknowledge all that is happiness in my life…in this 24. Blessings.

  • Sandra

    I seldom feel happy. I will work on being more conscious of happiness. Moreso, I need to feel happy. Praying.

  • Suzanne

    Comparison steals happiness from me. Many of us get caught up (including myself) on looking at appearances and material things to define us. My goal this Lent is not to compare myself to others.

  • Stacy West Taylor

    I read the “Act” assignment prior to watching the video. I started mulling over what makes me happy. After, I watched the video I am reconsidering that inventory. I think I have a drive thru mentality on happiness and satisfaction. I want it now. Instant gratification. That is a shallow way to live. I am putting a band aid over my resistance. In reality I need to heal the cause of my resisitance rather than the symptoms. Seek happiness. Quit resisting. It won’t always be easy, Stacy, but it WILL lead to happiness and personal satisfaction.

  • Susie Avril Glascock

    No I am not but starting my day with Matthew Kelly and his crew has put a smile on this face. Writing my reflections is HUGE. Sharing this book with everyone I meet makes me happy.

  • HELENE WILSON

    no I’m not as happy as I could be, for I let my worries overtake my happiness. Then I feel quilty for not trusting God to take care of my worries. Feels selfish!

  • Timothy P. Aydt

    I ask my girls every night before they go to bed for their happiest moment of the day. Their struggle to pick just one always reminds me how happy moments are all around. I too will be fasting from resistance and negativity this lent.

  • Kathleen Spector

    Giving thanks each day for the gifts God gives us is a part of our family prayer each night. Last night we included when we felt God’s love in our lives throughout the day. Tonight, we will reflect on the times throughout the day we felt happy and pray we continue to focus on these gifts throughout Lent! Thank you all for your comments and shared reflections. You are an inspiration! Blessed day.

  • Terry Robinson

    The decision to be happy is made by me alone. Every situation in life gives me choices on how to respond. I pray that my response is that of loving kindness and grace. I have been givin these from God and I pray I will pass them along to others. May joy be in my heart throughout the day.

  • Camille

    My first thought is yes I am happy then I pause and realized that when I think I am not Happy tell myself to change “it” and I start to think about changing my job or some situation I am currently in. The shift I need to work on is being happy right where I am without feeling the need to change anything.

  • Diane Ratajczyk Turkowski

    I try to be happy…but too often I let worry get in the way. I need to work on that.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m usually a pretty happy person, but I know I could be happier. This Lent, I’ve committed to helping others more (actual volunteering), and staying off of social media more regularly (I can’t delete my accounts but I removed their apps from my phone).
    I guess for me, happiness comes from aligning my perceived purpose with God’s will. Ultimately, I know it’s all according to His plan. And I’m reminded of of this gem:
    “Act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God.”— St. Ignatius of Loyola

    Be well, my friends.

    • Eileen

      Love this, Elizabeth… thank you for sharing

  • Judy Hausmann

    Happiness comes from the inside out. As I age …. I am kinder to me and much calmer❤🙏🏻

  • Abbie Hunt

    I lived a lot of years before I learned that happiness is a matter of choices we make, and then I lived a few more years before I began to understand that real happiness comes from choices based on faith and spirituality. This series is now teaching me even more, as I begin to identify the ways I resist that kind of happiness. It is its own form of crazy, isn’t it? When I think about it, happiness and joy are the truest ways we reflect the deep, abiding, and absolute way that God loves us.

  • Anna Cross Warren

    I would say that I am generally a happy person. People have made comments to that effect. But sometimes when I am alone I let my future “to-do” list get the best of me. this Lenten season I want to focus more on being present in the moment and enjoying happiness as it comes to me. I DO deserve happiness and want to embrace it to be the best version of myself.

  • Ana Pena

    I definitely agree with Matthew. I resist happiness everyday. The things that I know will make me happy, I postpone them and continue to be unhappy.
    This Lenten season I am going to reflect everyday on what I can do to make others happy and do

  • Barbara Barger

    It seems that the world out there is full of criticism, negativity, and argument, not reflection and discussion. I will pledge to stay away from these things that pull me down and cause me to become critical also.

  • Patty

    I don’t know, I think I am. At least I try to be. Happiness is my default setting so I can usually see when I become unhappy or irritated. The speaker is correct, when I don’t exercise or eat right I physically feel off. When I’m not as close to God as I should be, when I put other things in priority above Him I also feel off but in a deeper more profound way. I don’t like that. Being thankful for everything, especially my sufferings, helps me combat the spiritual laziness I tend to get. Being thankful also makes me happy and less likely to dwell on anything negative.

  • Jill Schmidt

    I am happy….and although I worry like most people I have to talk myself off the cliff. At my work place and in my home I hope to be viewed as the person who always exudes happiness. In my darkest of moments, because we all have them, I try to turn to God to help me out of those moments.

  • Waiting Patiently

    Pretty cool ideas here, I would have to concur that my happiness flags when I get focused on the wrong things. I found out yesterday that my Uncle passed and that brought up so many past issues, but even so I still have that peace and serenity that I can only get from my God. He is so awesome and I love him so much. Today moving forward I’m going to try and accept all that life has to offer but to focus on the gifts that I have been given by God. I am going to focus on the salvation that only Jesus brings and I am going to focus on how to call on the Holy Spirit when I need help.

    Thanks Dynamic Catholic, this is so cool!

  • CathyYM

    About a week BEFORE Lent, I gave up watching Netflix. I wasn’t just watching Netflix, I was binge watching. I would spend hours and hours a day. It interfered with my sleep, my work, my children and my marriage. It was one of those bad habits that just kind of snowballed.
    Without Netflix, I’ve gotten my joy back. In place of “the next episode” or movie, I’m finding myself more attentive to those I love and also in conversation with God almost all day long. I am more focused and more purposeful. It’s those distractions that initially seem harmless, that evil uses to keep us from our true happiness, our relationship with God!
    May God bless each of us with joy and provide us protection for our own distractions!

  • Karen D

    I am blessed ! I tell myself that all day every day! I may not be rich or famous but I have a wonderful family and that’s the most important thing in the world ! I thank God everyday for little things -a beautiful sunrise, a calm breeze, nature!! I just thank God that I’m here each day and for what I have! things could be so much worse even in the downtimes things could be worse-be happy where you are, and for that day – no one knows what tomorrow may bring so try not to worry about that! It’s so hard to not look ahead and worry but you can do it! Don’t worry – be happy! A little prayer and yoga help☺

  • Nancy D.

    For me, obligation is what keeps me from being completely happy. There is a difference between wanting or needing to do something as opposed to feeling obligated to do something. For instance, I am struggling with my family. I feel obligated to visit them and work at these relationships, but it is not reciprocated back. Relationships are a two way street (give and take). So, resisting the temptation to continuously reach out to them makes me feel guilty and like I am doing something wrong. If this was about a friendship, I know exactly what I would do. But this is about family, and I am completely at a loss. I am hoping to get some direction during this Lenten journey.

  • Patty

    I’ve often heard that Happiness is an “inside” job! Centering our lives around Christ is a sure way to achieve happiness! There is no need to let the daily grind bring us down but we should use it to help as grow as both Catholics and people. I try to see the good in everyone and live by the motto each day is a new beginning. As a teacher that allows me to welcome even the “toughest customers” with a kind word and warm smile…and it works! Those children look to me for guidance and support. LOVE is the answer and we should NEVER resist it in it’s genuine form. God bless you all and have a Terrific Thursday!

  • Mary

    Sorry… Your little aphorism about resisting the things that make us happy because we’re too busy trying to be happy just sounds like pop psychology palaver. You don’t live in the real world if you never have to postpone one duty or responsibility for another. I don’t call that resisting happiness. I call living in the real world and fulfilling obligations. Sorry not sorry.

    • kimisu

      Give this some time, Mary. Stay with this program throughout Lent. We all have obligations and responsibilities. Matthew is saying that our road to happiness is about choosing happiness, even with those obligations and responsibilities. He’s also saying a lot of other things. Stay with us as he breaks it out for us. You’ll know in the end if it was worth it.

  • Kristina Weaver

    I, like Amanda, know I should be the happiest me I can be. I tend to let comparison really burden that! I’m 27, married and no kids yet. I still let myself get swept up in the comparison between my “stuff” to others. WHY?! It’s a constant struggle and I’m always working on it. I hope that being aware of it is the 1st step to changing it!

  • RobK

    Anxiety disorders are real. They may need professional help. But that help can only be truly sustained with Christ on the journey to healing. I was praying frantically before and during. With the people gifts I was given along the way, may prayers are more calm and relaxed now. I invite the Holy Spirit into my day. And more importantly, I let him take over. Knowing now that it’s not troubles that he will be able to keep at bay, but that all is well with Him.
    My favorite scripture of all time is Philippians 4:4-7. Rejoice in the Lord always. Have no anxiety at all. Prayer, petition, and Thanksgiving. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.~
    Peace and blessings always.

  • Debi

    I too, am fasting from negativity, in thought, word and deed. And will now keep the feasting on joy a priority. Thanks Darren

  • Marcela

    I’m a happy person, but for sure I can be happier, and even though we should all work on been happier every single day, just like the first video we sabotage our happiness not doing what we should do every day to be happier and happier, and most of the times are little things what we need to do to reach that happiness

  • Elisabeth Young

    Honestly – I tend to avoid the word “happy” as it almost seems fleeting to me and I feel society has co-opted the word. I do choose to remain grateful and I work on serenity, in spite of, or because of, the events of the day and my attitude toward them. When I stay in that frame of mind/being – then the joy comes, which for me is more abiding. Some days I do it better than not – and it is definitely tied to my spiritual condition. I can’t necessarily change the events of the day – but I can change my attitude. So I would say – it is important to maintain my closeness to God if this (joy) is to work for me.

  • Debby Bellingham

    Three things that make me happy: Working in my garden, hearing from friends (to hear from them, I need to reach out to them, so I will), knitting.

  • Karen Dugan

    Love Darren’s words – Feast on the joys I can find in that moment! – thanks! I can choose the thoughts I want to give attention to as the pass me by on the conveyor belt of my mind – I let the negative ones go by and pick the joyful ones to feast on!
    Karen Dugan

  • Ethel L

    I hav a daily choice to be happy or grumpy? Either or has ripple effect and is contagious. Many years ago I made the best gift to myself to be happy every day and every minute, regardless.I’m grateful for the outcome and I couldn’t be happier enough. God showers bountiful blessings as the consequence of being happy. It’s the only choice I have!

  • Jackie

    I am a happy person who struggles with anxiety!
    Sometimes the two don’t get along!!

    • Dee

      Jackie, I feel for you! I’m a happy person, too, but some of my family members struggle with serious anxiety. When you’re a happy person and watching people you love really struggle, well, those two things don’t get along, either. Have you sought help for anxiety?

    • Eleanor

      Jackie, Last year I was struggling a lot with anxiety… anxiety over whether or not my 18 yr old special needs daughter will get supported housing at age 22 so I can go back to work full time to save for my retirement (she can’t be left alone so I can only work part time mother’s hours when she is at school) and start to have a life for myself (I’ve been widowed 9 yrs and have been parenting 3 children on my own for that long). Last lent I started with this Best Lent Ever series every morning, along with daily readings from Give Us This Day, and a daily meditation from Jesus Calling (from Sarah Young). I kept it up (most days) since last lent and that has made a HUGE difference in my anxiety. I still have moments of it but when I feel it, I quickly remember to ask God to be with me in that moment and I find it doesn’t overtake me anymore. i have been much happier and less stressed.

  • Pat Riley Blackwell

    I am typically a happy person. Often people tell me that I appear to be happy, but at times I am happier than other times. I think that is normal. When I have an unhappy incident in my life that makes me unhappy, my normal reaction is to be unhappy, and vice versa. Do you agree? I find that turning to God at unhappy times, He definitely relieves my unhappiness. The question is do I remember to always turn to Him at these unhappy times? One of my Lenten promises is to avoid these unhappy times s often as often as possible, and to remember to turn to God at these unhappy times. Please pray for me that I do. I will pray for you!

  • Jacob Schmidtlein

    Happiness for me has a direct relationship to humility. The more I die to myself ways and desires the greater my happiness. When I give up control and give in to God is when my happiness is greatest.

  • Ann Kirvin

    I am struggling with finding happiness myself right now. A little over two months ago, I lost my husband at age 54. We were married for 28 years, and the last year he fought a battle against cancer. Now I am left to raise our two teen aged children alone, and I am also struggling with my relationship with God. My prayer this Lent is to find happiness again and to restore my relationship with God and my faith.

    • Mary Jones

      Praying for you Ann. Glad you are joining in this Lenten practice and discussion.

    • Jacob Schmidtlein

      Ann, my prayers and condolences for you and your family during this time. Heavenly Father we thank you for Ann and for her family. Father pour out your blessing upon them during this difficult time. Send your Holy Spirit to strengthen Ann’s relationship with you this lent. Amen.

  • Betsy

    I teach in a Catholic school but was not fortunate to attend a Catholic school growing up. I did not know being in an interfaith marriage if I would be able to send my children all the way through Catholic school. I am happy to say that I have a Junior and a freshman in Catholic High School with the support and dedication of my husband. This IS a source of great happiness for me. I prayed for this from the time of their birth and God continues to make it possible. Looking back I can not tell you how we made it happen on our income except to say God will provide. No matter what brakes down or goes wrong I just focus on that.

  • Jennifer Haeussler Brewer

    I am an optimist, I see the world through a positive lens, and so I see the good in people.
    I know evil is out there, and am tempted every day. But, I am happiest when I’m doing God’s work. I can tell when I have fallen to resistance

  • Bob Milani

    Happiness needs to come from within. It can come from other people — but if we define as only coming from some other human being we will end resentful and angry. Happiness is an attitude of gratitude. People who think that happiness leads to gratitude have it backward. Gratitude leads to happiness. Stay grateful. Stay Happy.

  • Laura Dicas

    I do know the things that make me happy or happier. My issue is that I allow myself to get caught up in “but I have to do…” I tell myself and others that I’m too busy between full time work and part time grad school.

  • Tammie E

    The struggle is real! I will say that I do love to lie in bed, half awake, in the morning for a few minutes, I never thought of it as resistance before. I have been reading Resisting Happiness as a lead in to this Lenten period. I have come to realize that my whole way of being is sort of resistant. I see more clearly now that for me it’s based on various fears. I need to recognize and overcome my fears and begin to put resistance behind me so I can claim true happiness.

  • Luis

    When someone in my family is suffering, it’s hard to be happy in that sense. I move to gratitude as a tool to go on. Gratitude for having them in my family and for my Faith and everything in our lives. Perhaps from Matthew’s video today, my take away is that “small steps” in all those areas can break that resistance of pain.

  • Kasi O’Brien Haines

    I am deceptive happy. If you ask people that know me they would say she always has a smile she is so happy. I have had doctors ignore me because I’m to happy to be sick. When in reality I was fighting a major illness and in extreme pain everyday of my life. Everyone would bring me their problems because I always knew how to show them the bright side when behind my smile I was battling with the scars of my past and being reminded of what I had thought I put away. Then the day came I broke. I cried everyday for almost a year. Even the simplest things I found a negative with. I just wanted someone to listen to tell me it was ok but no one believed I was really as unhappy as I was. Then last night I realized I have had the one to listen here all along and I prayed. I gave what I had to Jesus accepting that just because I am going through this journey doesn’t mean that everyone in my family are ready to go through it too but I will always have prayer to turn to. And in my heart, this morning I feel happy.

    • Courtney

      Kasi, I think it’s very hard to change roles like that. I can understand how it was a struggle for you to accept that you were bearing too much. I can also understand how it was difficult for those in your life to see you as someone who needed then instead of the other way around. You can be both and I pray that you receive the support that you need from both God and your friends and family.

    • Patri

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Mary Jones

    Being with my children and grandchildren makes me happy. But that doesn’t happen often enough so I need to be more intentional during this Lent to find happiness in all I do every day. I’m not saying I don’t; I just need to be more aware of it and allow happiness to be more front and center rather than negative thoughts which tend to steal happiness.

    • Becky Craig

      Mary,
      So true!

  • Jacob

    As I am only 24 years old, I often struggle finding my happiness even those it right there in front of me. I just always think about my worried for the most the part. I don think how I can fix it. I just become so angry and take it myself and hurt the people around me. I need to see the happiness during this Lent season because my worried can be a learning of life. It can become for of a goals then a worried.

  • Daniela D.

    I think I am happy, the funny thing is I am happy because I stopped chasing the things I “thought” would make me happy. I live the present time instead of planning for future events. Is very liberating

  • Diane Neff

    You know, it’s funny, because when I first moved to Colorado, I had exactly that same thing going on. People didn’t take me seriously because I was too happy/bouncy. My curls were wound too tight, they used to say. So I did change. I’m still a happy person, and people always talk about how I have a smile on my face, but I’m more subdued, more”serious”. As I was watching that second video, it actually made me a little sad. God did make me a happy person, and why did I let other people’s judgements of me let me change?

    • kimisu

      Maybe it’s not that others’ judgments of you let you change, but that you matured into the person you are today, who tends to be a happy person with an even temper and the ability to bring calm and serenity to the situation. Your sadness could have been in not being able to stay that “happier” but slightly more naive person who hadn’t yet learned and experienced all that you have in your life.

  • Stephen Feuerbach

    Balance all across the board, fighting resistance throughout out the day, dealing with all of the distractions that come up, focusing on the priorities that are the most important, allowing happiness and joy to be a part of my day….. Give thanks and keep plugging.

  • nancy arroyo

    I have always been the person that tries to make everyone else happy. I tend to be in general a happy thoughts person. But when I’m around people who are unhappy or sad I tend to start to feel their sadness and pain myself. I’m going to pray more for them instead of taking on their pain.

  • Kathy

    I have priest friend who taught me this beautiful prayer that I use often. “Jesus I love you. All I have is yours. Yours I am. Yours I want to be. Do with me whatever you will.” It helps me to overcome the anxiety and worry of daily life. It helps me to focus on being happy and to know that Jesus is with me through it all!

  • Abby

    Am I as happy as I could be.
    My first instinct was to say yes, but now that I reflect, the answer is no. Being a college student just a few months from graduating, I realize my worry and excitement about the future largely occupy my mind, preventing me from enjoying where I am right now.
    Thinking about the things that make me truly happy- holding my partner, walking around in nature, very focused prayer… Each of these things I do make time for. But I don’t let myself fully enjoy them until I’ve completed my laundry list of assignments. And as a science major, the list truly does not end until the semester has ended, meaning I don’t give myself time for happiness during the school year. This is a difficult challenge, because of course I have to prioritize my school work.
    Like the first video said, there are four components to a person. I think that my intellectual and spiritual components are very well maintened, to the neglect of my physical and emotional well-being. My point of prayer and reflection today will be to see how I can nurture these sides as well, because I really cannot manufacture more time in the day (though I do try!).

    • kimisu

      I have a daughter graduating soon, and I recognize your anxiousness because she feels the same way in wanting to fulfill her obligations and continue to do a great job in her studies and finish strong. But don’t cheat yourself at happiness because you’ve put schoolwork in a box and put yourself in that box and feel like it’s the only thing. There are so many things to be grateful for: God gave you intelligence (you’re a science major!), God gave you the ability to be responsible, you have an attainable goal that is so close to being achieved, and the list goes on. Holding your partner, nature walks and focused prayer can be your time to even more deeply appreciate all that God gives you and shares with you, instead of your reward after having finished your obligations and “have-to’s” in life.

  • Barb

    My life is good and I try to live in gratitude for all the blessings. But I am aware that when I am on ‘happy roll’, I feel a sense of guilt. I can feel myself allowing doubts and worries and resentments into my mind and heart, perhaps in some paradoxical way to balance out my very happy, abundant life. I totally resonate with Matthew Kelly’s paradox of happiness.

  • Mike Koley

    Being happier can be as simple as actually getting to work on time each day instead of 10 mins late. That seems so silly and simple but so impossible. Why?

  • marlene

    I am 40 years old and I’m always in search of the one thing that will make me happy. I love when I’m at church or bible study. But I find myself still searching, always thinking if I do just one more thing or if I lost weight or did this or that I would be happy. But I’m not happy, I allow all those lies to full my head and believe them. I hesitate to hand all this stuff over. I talk to him every day sometimes threw out the day and sometimes just at night. I talk about the people around me, but I feel selfish if I talk about myself or for healing or something I need help with. I know that if I could just over come this block I would be much happier.

  • Meredith

    I SHOULD be happy – I am really blessed with family, relationships, health but yet I find that I worry about ‘stupid’ really inconsequential stuff then I get frustrated. I don’t stop to read – but could find 15 minutes to do so, I could begin my morning with quiet time for reflection but don’t because I begin the day thinking about all of the things I need to get done (that will honestly wait – with no detrimental effect). Just writing this down makes me realize that it is up to me to take the time that God gives me to improve my happiness.

  • Teri Bacher

    I am 55 and recovering from breast cancer. I have allowed my difficulties with recovering from breast cancer to rob me of my happiness. I am so exited to be a part of the series for Lent. It could not have come at a better time. I do struggle daily with resistance to do what I know will make me happy. I have just recently started to take better care of myself by eating healthy and exercising daily. I know that when I feel healthy, I also feel happy. I believe this Lenten journey will have a very positive effect on me.

  • Julia Oaks

    I am retired and consider myself a happy person. Every day is a blessing. We have many trials in this lifetime. Whenever I find myself annoyed by these trials, I say a prayer and give thanks. It works. We have an awesome God. Our prayers may not always be answered in the way we want, but know God has heard our pleas and will always answer them. Give thanks always. Lent is a happy time because we know what Our Lord has accomplished for us.

  • Donna C

    I’ve always been a very joyful person. People have often commented that I’m always friendly and smiling. But the last year has been remarkably difficult, because I haven’t felt it. I’ve encountered death of family and friend. Tremendous financial loss and struggle, job change, relationship loss, a change in living situation, as well sickness, and so much in between. Quite honestly I’ve felt crushed down. There are still many things I’m struggling with, but what God has graced me to see more clearly is that He is always with me, and my joy is in hope in Him. Whenever anxiety or worry start to creep in, I remember that God is taking care of me, and that He loves me and wants good for me…and that does indeed bring me happiness when I take a moment to focus on that fact. When I look back at the past year, I can see so many little ways He has taken care of me. So that’s something I’m trying to do even more so this Lent to increase my happiness–every day take a moment to think about God’s constant care of me, and gratitude for all He has done and is doing in my life.

  • Catherine Van Scoy

    My children bring me great happiness. Our oldest will be leaving for grad school in another State this summer. I’m already afraid I will miss her so much that its hindering the happiness I feel for her now.

  • Mel Babin

    I think we can work on how happy we truly are. Some days are better than others. I can relate to Amanda on the topic of being happy and people not taking me serious. I find humor in many things. Sometimes others don’t want us to be happy because they want you to be where they are and cannot relate. I try not to get bogged down with everyday issues if possible. I try to laugh and help others to laugh even through their pain. Happiness is a choice we can make each day. When things go south, we deal with them and start fresh again. It’s not always easy, but certainly worth the effort.
    I have been sad plenty, one parent died when I was a child and the other some 20 years ago, as well as, a brother who committed suicide. I chose to ask God for His grace and peace and keep moving on with my life.

  • NancyB

    This sounds a little crazy, but I think I am a generally happy and blessed person. My parents, kids and grandkids are good, not perfect, but we are family. Sometimes, though, I wonder if God has a ‘plane crash’ in my future because my life seems to be going so smoothly at time. Somehow, I need to banish that occasional thought and trust that if a crisis comes, He will give me strength to do His will. That is my resistance to happiness I need to work on this lent. One question I have to you all, do you ever feel like your prayers, routine prayers like the rosary, etc, become too routine. I find myself going through the words, then have a wake up moment, mid decade, and find that my mind and heart are not in the process. Do those prayer moments have spiritual value?

  • Sylvia Roy McCormcik

    I just read part of the discussion and I love the idea of feasting on the everyday joys while fasting on negativity. Today is going to be a good day. It will not be perfect but I will rejoice in the little things as they come my way..

  • Galaxy Gami

    I am 71, happily married, mother of 4, grandmother of 7 who just returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with one of my best friends (this friend was my Sponsor when I came into the Church 10 years ago). You don’t get much happier than that! I love Lent because it “forces” me to concentrate more on Prayer, Alms giving and Fasting. I feel like I’m getting back to the roots of the church.

  • Becky Craig

    Being happy is something that most days has alluded me. Unless I make a conscious choice to appreciate others and the circumstances around he, it is too easy for me to get so caught up in going from one obligation to the next that the day passes without much enjoyment at all. It seems to me that awareness is the key.

  • Eleanor Eduarte Spears

    Happiness is a choice, when I woke up in the morning I choose to be happy, and if I encounter of somebody who whines a lot and worries a lot, I advice them to offer it up. I am thankful to God whatever he brings me in the day. As a sixty year old woman, I am the happiest when I was growing up with less, when we play in the fields with bugs and frogs, when we pick flowers to offer to Blessed Mary, when we play jack stone on a straw mat using pebbles, when we go help harvest rice and look for wild roots to eat….ahh those days, when I thought there is no problem in the world.

  • Rose

    I do feel that I am happy but will never be totally happy until I have fully embraced my savior, Jesus Christ. I feel I am on the path to this complete happiness but of course I do hit the stumbling blocks, the biggest one being giving myself 100% to His Will. As I read others comments I feel I have a different interpretation of Happiness. Does God give us moments of sadness and trials in our lives? Of course he does, for how else can we truly appreciate all of the blessing He gives? This gift of being able to see my blessings magnified thru my acceptance of my crosses is Happiness for me.

    • Stacy West Taylor

      Rose, seek Him with all your heart and You will find Him. Paul said that he had learned to be content in all situations. I think that until we are able to find an inner peace that transcends our circumstance that happiness will elude us. Contentment is a direct result of gratitude. Contentment brings peace. This clears the slate for happiness. Just my opinion. I have struggled with contentment for the last two years, but thanks be to God, I have come to a place in my soul that I am content. I think it truly strengthened my battle march In the spiritual realm. Praying for you to find peace in your relationship with your Savior. He didn’t just die for the world, He died for you. He knew your name before you were born. He took all of your sin on His shoulders because He loves YOU so much. Have a blessed day!

    • Marge Johnston

      ” to see my blessings magnified thru my acceptance of my crosses is Happiness for me.” ….beautifully put!

  • Francis Xavier-Joseph Ramsey-P

    So far I’ve lost one battle so far. Sleeping properly has been an issue for me this semester and has taken away the opportunity for me to do things that I want to do. While today has been an improvement, it still was a loss. However, I’m up and looking forward to God’s blessings throughout the day. And as for what makes me happy, that would be community. I feel the happiest when in community, especially with my brothers and sisters in Christ. This feeling can sometimes be hard to keep, especially when the normal aspects of life make it seem so isolating. Where I’m the only Christian sometimes it feels like at college, which I know isn’t true, but it feels that way sometimes, but seeking out Christ’s community makes me happy.

  • Holly

    My true happiness comes when I follow the Lord and what He would want me to do. I fail so much but thanks to His forgiveness, grace, mercy, and great love, I always get back up! So I’m not always as happy as I should be but I’m as happy as I am right now 😊

  • Andrea Campbell

    No not as happy as I could be …. I should be , I know. Worry to much of how the bills get paid do my kids have everything they need, putting me on the back burner

  • Steven Sisman

    Taking care of my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs makes me more likely to experience joy and happiness but I think it’s important to ask what experiences make me happy instead of just focusing on the outcome. That way I enjoy the journey/process and little victories instead of the final outcome that can be a let down if I don’t also enjoy the process. This is an idea I took from the Daily Boost podcast.

    So for example I want to experience being grounded so I do a daily reading from the bible. I’m not doing it because that’s what I’m “supposed to do”. I really want to experience it. I want to experience being present today so I do a meditation that’s getting me towards becoming a person who’s present most of the time. I want to experience feeling strong so I do a workout. I want to experience being flexible so I don’t get mad if I miss a day. I want to experience building up my soul so I volunteer. I want to experience being loving, caring, appreciative, valued and challenged 🙂 so my wife and I raise kids.

    So I agree it’s the paradox of being and doing. The focus has to be the experience while doing something. Sometime what helps me enjoy the moment is saying out loud “there is no place else I’d rather be, there’s no where else I’d rather be, and there is no one else I’d rather see” (taken from he book Gorilla Mindset)

    All of these pieces of my life, and roles when taken care of as a whole, create a kind of synergy that makes me feel alive and happy. That way it’s not my will power but the systematic working of all of these pieces that make it more likely that I will be happy than not. If one role/piece in my life is off, then I feel like driving with a flat tire or similar to the whole car not functioning if the battery is out.

  • Laura

    My “glass half full” personality and my faith has gotten me thru many “stressful” times in my life. Since my Dad passed away in June and looking after him for 2-1/2 years and my husband and I losing both our Moms in one month, I’m finally reflecting on all of it…..so these great reflective thoughts are helping me to realize that now I will try to focus on making myself happier and most of all my husband so that we can live our new lives in happiness and peace. Now I can start having the “Best Lent Ever.”

  • Michelle

    I am thankful for everyone’s inspirational thoughts and sharing. I am going to focus on enjoying each moment and leave worry behind. Our pastor really gave me a lot to think about when it comes to worry. We often worry about things in the past that you can’t change, things in the future that you can’t for see and things out of our control. I need to focus on the joys of life that unfold everyday and I won’t have time to worry about those things I can’t control.

  • Tiffany M. Castellanos

    I love this topic because I truly believe happiness can be cultivated and I work on this every day. Things that make me happy are exercise, going to mass, and awesome pod casts like Happier!

  • Michelle

    I consider myself a happy person. Most people would probably doubt that, because I don’t smile a lot. I don’t know why. Am I as happy as I can be – no, no one is. But I get close sometimes. I guess maybe I’d call myself content. Ah, but being content is a breeding ground for procrastination and apathy. So this Lent, I’m working on getting out of resistance mode – physically, mentally, and spiritually. And I’m going to try to smile more often.

  • Jody Baccari Ilisco

    I can so relate to everything Amanda said. I am a happy person who experienced great joy several times after my reversion back to our Church.
    I know what makes me happy and joyful but find myself neglecting my once close relationship with Jesus focusing on TV, movies or social media.

  • Ralph

    Being happy for me is spending time with my family, spending time with God and the people who make me see HIM closer, working hard to accomplish a task that looked overwhelming,exercising and eating well, helping others in both big and small ways every day and most of all knowing God loves me. Hardship comes , but with God it is OK. Peace

  • Nancy Engler

    I often do not have time to do the things that make me happy. I have responsibilities that I must tend to so I can provide for my family. Making sure they have the things they need, is one of the things that makes me happy. I would prefer to spend more time with them and do things together with them that make them happy, but I do not have the resources to make that happen.

    “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

  • No, I am not! I let worry and anxiety take over my mind. I was sitting here crying, watching these videos.

    • Mike

      My thoughts and prayers will be with you today. I will pray you feel love and security.

  • Dolores Para

    Reading the comments is so helpful especially when I see myself in the comments and then see the inspiring responses of others. In the past, I have let little annoyances steal the joy from my days. I have spent so much time brooding over someone’s unkind words or actions instead of just saying a prayer for that person and going on. I have allowed so much joy to seep from my days because I couldn’t let go. I was letting others influence my life more than God. So sad. Now with prayer and spiritual reading and reflection, the joy that God wants us to feel in so much more present in my days.

  • Mike

    I am not as happy as I could be. I’m 54, married with two teenage children. I have a good steady job but my wife of 23 years had spent the last eight years very unhappy in our relationship. She has told me on several occasions she wants a divorce. It breaks my heart and is a burden I struggle to carry. I don’t want to get divorced, I still love her and care for her. I don’t know what to do about this in terms of my happiness. I am lucky in that I have my health, my faith, two wonderful children who are also caught up in this problem. In comparison to many others I am very fortunate and I know it. Just struggling with what is the most important relationship in my life besides my relationship with God.

    • Stacy West Taylor

      Mike, my prayers are with you. Just remember we can’t make anyone else happy. Work on yourself and your happiness within the boundaries of your faith, and hopefully the overflow will affect people around you. Happiness is contagious. Have a blessed day.

      • Mike

        Good advice and I know you’re right. I will pray for you as well. Thanks.

  • Amelie Gonzalez

    I wish I could immediately say that YES! I am happy. But, I am not. If I need to be honest, that is my answer today, but I am working it. I feel the resistance that holds me is me. I have been as my boyfriend called me when we first started dates, “The People Pleaser.” I was always concerned over everyone else that I usually put myself toward the end. I even put myself in debt just to please people (that was my fault and I take responsibility for it). I know I am not happy at my job, my finances, my relationships, my health, and most important – my spiritual life. I start something with full energy and then I give up to quickly. That is a huge resistance barrier – me. It makes me happy to learn scriptures, it makes me happy to be healthy and energetic, and my family makes me happy (when we are not yelling). I want to enjoy my job and know that what I am doing is worth doing. I am a work in progress. But, I am not giving up on myself. Thank you again for this opportunity.

  • Joe Martinson

    Struggle and don’t let resistance win. Sounds so simple, yet it does boil down to that. This Lent, I want to set new goals of stewardship that feed the spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual. Great things can happen.

    • Marge Johnston

      AMEN!

  • Madeline Jo Stockman

    In the past year, I have transitioned from being a business owner to staying home with my baby daughter. I have struggled with many unhappy, frustrating and days of ‘I got nothing done!’. I’ve come to realize that I am stealing away my own joy by trying to be in control of everything. I’ve been praying a lot for God to help me let go of my need for control+expectations, and to give me the peace to be in the moment and listen to HIS will for my day. I experience a lot more happiness when I can laugh at my baby drooling on my leg instead of worrying that her disruption means I don’t get to complete everything on my to-do list.

  • Linda

    Probably not for sure….I lost my son, who was my only child 2 years ago. He was 26 and my best friend..I got hurt at work over a year ago and I am still out of work. I have a husband who I just share a house with. I just started going back to church hoping it will help me. I see a therapist 2 xs a week… I am happy when I get a sign from my son letting me know he is ok

    • Mike

      Linda I can’t imagine the pain and grief it comes with losing a child. Please know that you are not alone. Hopefully you can see and feel the love around you from others in your life. My thoughts and prayers will be with you today.

      • Linda

        Thank you for your support, I am trying real hard and that’s all I can do at this point. Yesterday I got great advice about my sons things, and today you are giving me strength … thank you

  • Jenny

    I am really struggling with this. I read Resisting Happiness in 3 days last week when I signed up for The Best Lent Ever. The book really spoke to me and I could not put it down. As I am reflecting on the daily questions, I am really finding it difficult to put into words what I am feeling/thinking which I guess is part of the exercise/growing. Am I as happy as I can be? I should be – I have a wonderful husband, great kids, wonderful friends – and yet it is always never enough. Maybe that is my resistance: unable to be completely satisfied with what I have, always looking for something more. This thought makes me so sad because it means I am not appreciating what I have – what a waste! 😔

  • Debbir

    I too am caring for my mom. I am an only child and the entire burden is on me. After reading so many comments I pray the lord will help me take care of my wonderful mom with a smile and lots of love. Jesus give me the patience to deal with her forgetfulness.

    • Mike

      Debbr my, wife who is also an only child, is similarly caring for two aging parents and an aging uncle. It’s a challenge. Although she is sad that they are struggling she does find some joy in the fact that she still has this time with them and tries to make the best of it. My thoughts and prayers will be with you today.

  • Bryce O’Brien

    I’m generally happy. I however let the fear of change keep me in a location where I have a good job and great life with my husband but can’t spend the time old like with my siblings parents and friends and don’t like where I am location wise and this in turn makes me unhappy daily. I say I’m doing what’s right for now but 11 years have ticked by in the blink of an eye and I’m still in the same place. After yesterday and today’s message back to back I feel I am allowing resistance to rule my world and in turn make me unhappy by allowing my fear of change to rule the direction I go

  • Sharon Holmes

    I wish I could say I am happy, but I’m not. I am a worrier, and I often allow that to rob my happiness from me.
    This Lent I hope to try to find a way to not let it rob my joy. To keep it in control, to understand I can’t fix it all. To keep the Lord in my daily routine.

  • Susan

    For me, it is things in the past that don’t allow me to be happy. Things I should’ve/couldv’ve done differently, So for this Lenten season I will be working on letting it go so I can be happier person.

  • Dolores

    I’ve been a missionary for 13 years with a religious community, and I have to say in the beginning I was not a happy person I was so full of worries and just focus on myself.
    as time past and I became full time missionary I learn how God always gives me so much joy and happiness in the service that I do for his people, I have to say not all the time is easy but all the time brings me a smile every time I see a smile in the people that Im serving.

  • Shy MVP

    I felt so down yesterday because I didn’t do some of the things I said I would do for lent. I spent time with a friend instead knowing she was down and I ended up feeling drained. This morning I resisted waking up by 2 hours like I did not want to wake up and face the day. But if We say, this is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it, but I’m not, am I slighting God? Still he’s so loving he gives chance and opportunity after another.

  • Ann Chen Wu

    I don’t think we would feel happy if the level of happiness stays the same. It’s the incremental gain of positive emotion that makes us happy.

  • Peggy M

    I give myself permission to be happy.
    Our emotional response most practiced becomes the easiest one to tap into, and therefore on the top of the list. Our subconscious taps into them as immediate emotional reaction.
    So as part of my lenten journey I choose to keep in my consciousness the awareness of what makes me happy, being aware of my resistant behavior that keeps me from them…..AND actively create habits that hold me in the emotional state of happiness more often.
    I recognize that in life there are times or events that bring negative emotional response I also give myself permission feel those emotions but not to stay stuck in them. I will work to move back into a state of happiness. When I am centered and grounded (rooted in my faith)I feel enormous joy.

  • Gia Turella

    I have trouble finding things that make me happy. When I try to be more optimistic on a day-to-day basis, my doubts, anxiety, and pessimism tends to take over. I lose my focus on God to change my stinking thinking, because as a young child, I grew up learning how to be useless and worthless.

  • Judi

    I guess I’ve pretty much considered myself a happy person. There are too many times, however, that worries over family members and the state of the world distract me and also guilt from not always being a good steward of my time, talents and resources. I really need to slay that resistance that Matthew Kelly talks about that for me, come from worry, guilt and sluggishness. I plan to bring those negative thoughts and feelings to the Lord daily and to pray for trust in Him in everything and for the grace to be a better steward of His gifts. Happy Lent Everyone! Let’s pray for one another!

  • Jessica

    I do feel as if I have what I need to be Happy, but I lack the feeling of happiness. With a great husband and 4 kids life gets busy and I feel there isn’t enough me to go around sometimes. I know if I can get over the resistance & feel like I can do more that will bring me happiness.

  • Celeste Guidry

    I used to be a happy person. But somehow, I got lost along the way. This Lenten season, I am renewing my relationship with the Lord and to restore my happiness within myself by adjusting home and personal routines. The Lord is my shepherd and He is leading me back to his flock. I have faith❤

  • BJ

    I should feel happier than I do. God had blessed me in incredible ways. No matter what happened to bring me down somehow my family isn’t hungry and the bills get paid. We are a very spoiled, hard people.

  • Anita

    My husband of 32 years was laid off of his job this past summer. A job that he thoroughly enjoyed, was good at doing and was paid well to do. I went into a deep depression for months as I watched him applying for jobs and trying to start all over again at age 55. His pain was my pain. I continually prayed even when all seemed hopeless and he eventually found a job in sales. A job that was completely foreign to him and he quickly became even more miserable. Driving an hour a day to a job he hated. It was in that moment that I realized that happiness is everything. After 2 months of this job he decided to give his 2 week notice and began to use his time helping others and doing things that he never had time for in the many years of working a full time job. Simple things like fishing and working in his workshop which always brought him much happiness but he never had time to truly enjoy because of his work schedule. He still has not found full time employment but my many prayers has given me peace. When I look back on these last 7 months I realized that we had more time together and to help others which is something that has always made us happy. This video message holds so much truth. We spent many years of our lives stressing over working to have more than we actually needed when all we really need is to be there for each other and help others because that is where true happiness lies. Thank you God for taking away this false happiness and replacing it with the realization of true happiness.

  • Storm Janaszak

    Thank you Matthew and Amanda for sharing your reflections on happiness this Lent. Our parish provided all of us a copy of “Resisting Happiness”. How perfectly true this resistance is in my life! My tendency lately has been thinking about all of the things that don’t make me happy. These thoughts are really getting me down and I’m tired of it. It’s almost comical, really that I work myself into a negative mindset. I’ve never considered myself a negative or down person but I’ve let my thoughts take the sparkle out of the day. I go to sleep at night thinking about unhappy things and wake up with a heavy feeling. I’m really sick of it. Your book and daily videos this Lent came just in time. I’m going to keep this book with me and break this habit of negative focus. I want to be happy and share my joy with others. I’ll keep you posted on my progress 😉 Storm Janaszak

  • Alyssa Elm

    I appear to be a pretty happy person. People have always said that’s what they like about me. However, I’m not as happy as I could be on the inside. I 100% I let little things interfere with my happiness. I worry, I get frustrated, I’m hungry, I want to sleep…

    I can CHOOSE happiness and that’s what I’m going to start doing.

  • Robin Taggart

    Since November I’ve been so angry. I thought it was because of my medication. Could be in a little way, but I think that I pulled back from me and God. I have this underlying feeling that life is just to hard all the time.

    After listening to both videos I think I’m in the same boat I’ve always been in just resisting the things that will bring me the strong foundation of happiness!! I call it my JoyBubbles!!

    Today…I will continue working on not procrastinating and just get the job done!!

    Peace and JoyBubbles my Lenten Peeps!!

  • Sarah Baldwin Corrigan

    Busy working at trying to be happy resonated. I want to focus more on the things that bring me lasting happiness. I have guilt for not saying I am truly happy when my family is healthy, we have a roof over our heads, and we have each other–but I am busy drowning myself in meaningless things that I ‘think’ will bring that lasting happiness.

  • Christine Suller St Onge

    I am not as happy as I could be. I worry about things to much, and I take things to personally and then I have a negative attitude. This Lenten season I am trying to et go of my negativeity and live in the moment.

  • Laurie Ann Theeke

    My husband and I are raising 13 children. As my Children have grown, life has become stressful and we find ourselves thinking and talking about the past when it seemed things were easier. In general, We are a happy family but we need to reconnect with activities that make each of us personally happy.. we are doing this course with our children so we are optimistic

  • lizmvr

    Today’s topic highlights for me that I don’t seek lasting happiness the way I should. I do indulge in watching scandalous TV shows, checking Facebook, playing games on my phone, when I could be investing in myself and real relationships with friends, family, and God. Even taking the dogs for a walk would likely be better. It’s not that I’m not happy, but that I’m only temporarily happy–the kind of happy that’s really just pushing away lasting happiness. I’m feeding the resistances with these temporary distractions.

  • Alice

    Yesterday I felt resistance all day long. Fasting for Ash Wednesday was incredibly hard as I am a nibbler! But I did it and at the end of the day, I felt Joy. I agree that it is a paradox that we the know the things that make us happy but we don’t do the at times. I think it’s because we don’t love ourselves enough and get sidetracked with other things. I want to take this a day at a time. Each day – “slay the resistance” through Lent and hopefully that will help me form great habits. As Amanda discussed, “Everyday we can choose happiness.” My husband has told me this for years, I get it in another way. God Bless and Let’s do this!

  • Angie O’Mara

    Happiness lies within ourselves. My happiness is the joy of my family, their accomplishments, their joys. When things go wrong for them, I feel their sorrow and disappointments, and it affects me deeply. This must be how God feels with us, His children. He rejoices with us, and He hurts with us, when we disappoint Him.

  • Kristi

    I like Darren’s reply. I really have to back off of Facebook and it’s rampant negativity. One comment can upset me the entire day. Not to mention the snarky name calling. And it’s addictive. I’m leaving our country/planet in God’s hands. I’m posting pictures of food, messages that uplift and family photos. That will make me happier.

    • Storm Janaszak

      Agreed! Facebook can be a real downer! I saw a posting the other day that said “Fasting from Facebook “. I think that’s a great plan for me. We can use email for 40 days with friends and family and knock out the garbage. Happy Lent!

  • Sarena

    I am a pretty happy person normally, but that changes when I begin to reflect on things I haven’t done, mistakes, or choices I could’ve made better. If I tell myself I’m going to get in shape and I eat more than I should, I feel as though I’ve wasted time and I’m not happy with me.

  • Joanne Williams

    I am so happy to be able to share this in this community. Last night’s Ash Wednesday service made me sooooo happy. I felt part of a passionate, loving community. We shared not only the ashes of remembrance, but Communion with and in the Lord. Everyone just seemed so “in” the service and connected to our Lenten challenge of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Amen. Praise God.

    • Christine Suller St Onge

      I can relate to what you said about Ash Wednesday’s service. Was so happy like the Holy Spirit cams down and touched me.

  • Deborah

    I would have to say that I am extremely content but not fully happy. Years ago when I was experiencing a difficult part of life, I remember praying so very hard. Then I had what I thought was a vivid dream (later to realize the strength of God’s blessing in that moment) — the Holy Spirit came as a power surge into my body beginning at my feet, centering on my heart and then out the top of my head. I heard the words “You are healed”… then I woke up feeling stronger and more secure than I had ever felt in my life. The joy and happiness that I felt in that moment can never be outdone. I have never experienced any other moment like this. All my comparison’s on happiness are with this moment of Joy. This is the moment in my life that keeps me strong in my faith. When the bad times come… I always remember the Joy that awaits.

  • PJ Ernst

    I’m happy as long as God is my number one priority throughout the day!

  • GreenTambourine

    Today I am going to try hard to remember that I am already blessed beyond my wildest dreams, and that these blessings are truly a gift from God, every single day. And that makes me deeply happy.

  • Claudia Fahmie VanRemoortere

    I love being HAPPY, but then I go what is happening here. Then I have to really work on the understanding of the moment. When I with God it work’s, when I’m not it all simply fall’s apart. This is a challenge for me. So I’m going to be with the Lord right now and pray that I’m going to do his work toward happiness. Love you, God p.s. love what you about Matthew Kelly and thanks for all your books they really help me to be the Best version of myself.

  • Yuvitza Olivera

    It’s sad to admit but it took me a while to figure out what makes “me ” happy. It’s not too often that I think of me first.

  • Mara Donjuan

    I’m a happy person but lately I let my problems take over! I shouldn’t cause if I have Faith I should let go of my problems and leave them in God’s hands. I should share my happiness with my Family and Friends.

  • Rick Pawlewicz

    My first thought of happiness and what I’m giving up for Lent, and I became a bit confused. But then as I reflected more, I realized that there is more than physical pleasure that gets me through. So I will reflect and work on trying to not let things get in the way of true happiness.

  • Kathy Pichler

    This made me stop and think am I happy? I am happy with my life. Some people may feel I need to do more or experience more, but in my heart I know living where I am makes me happy. Yes, there are fears and anxiety of what tomorrow will bring, I just remember to be true to myself and enjoy the now when they creep in. It has taken a lifetime to get here and I hope I can continue this path.

  • Deb Durrett

    I appreciate the reminder of letting go of things that steal my joy and being diligent. It’s interesting she brings up the fact happiness can be seen as a weakness & she may not be taken seriously in her strengths. I think about that too. The blessing of this ministry is very much appreciated.
    Deb Durrett

  • CT

    The things that make be happiest are when I am able to get to daily mass and receive the Eucharist. I need this to recharge my spiritual batteries and be the best that God created me to be. I am also happiest when I am doing service for others through St. Vincent de Paul or just some small act of kindness for strangers, friends or family. I am happy when I allow myself to be open to being used by God for his plan for me. It shouldn’t be so hard but sometimes the path of resistance seems so strong.

  • Barbara F. Bordelon

    Happiness lately has eluded me. A period of adjustment because of a move, all my idea. Seeking some reason to fix the problem as always a I ultimately had to surrender to prayer and faith. I find now more than ever before I must reach out, get out, and stop thinking of myself and think and do for others if I am to be happy.

    • Christiane

      I well relate to you Barbara! I am still adjusting after leaving my home of 37 years last September and moving to a small town, closer to one of my son (my husband has dementia and I felt led to make this move that I had pondered for at least 2 years.) Such heartache over the loss of my beloved parish, my extended family there, my service to it, my close friends in town, our activities, the service oriented PT job that I loved. I had days where I would be overwhelmed with sadness and tears. I knew however that all had been orchestrated by my loving Father and through the tears thanked Him for our new home, the friendly 55+ community we were in, the joy of having our son and DIL at our dinner table weekly. I still say those thanks out loud but I realize that I still need some recalibration, particularly in my spiritual live. Daily mass only available twice a week, the lack of adoration chapel and its quiet opportunities, a quirky pastor, all have disrupted my spiritual routine and I am struggling to regain my footing; not helpful as my spouse’s journey into dementia progresses. I have to make a conscious effort every day.

      • Barbara F. Bordelon

        Thanks for sharing. God bless.

  • Jon McDorman

    I signed up a day late and today is my first video. I feel like God chose this one to be my first one. I’m a very overly happy person but let money, stress and other things get to me easily. I have three beautiful children and a wonderful wife and a huge supporting family and am blessed in ways most people aren’t, yet I let myself get bogged down at times and forget to enjoy the love that God gives us. I am so joyful I chose to do this as part of lent. Thank you so much.

  • Sam Jones

    You people get up WAY too early! 🙂
    It’s truly amazing how many comments there are this morning, and the beauty in the comments. God bless each and every one of you for sharing your lives. Some of the best encouragement for me is reading through what you all are experiencing. It makes my troubles and worries seem petty and minor by comparison.
    Thank you.

  • Denise Slowinski

    I chose happiness because it’s to easy to be negative. It takes little effort to be negative but it takes a conscience decision to be happy. Life is to short to be constantly negative and while you’re being negative you are letting the devil be in control of your life. Their is no room for the devil, I chose God and happiness.

  • Jeanne

    I choose to be happy. Many times when I find myself veering, I remind myself that my life is not that bad. So many more people in the world are suffering way more than I am. I try to put my life in perspective. Am I as happy as I could be? I think that if I make better choices (physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually), I would be happier. I need to conquer resistance one moment at a time.

  • Jetti Meyers

    It feels good reading all your comments! I think what gives me most happiness is when I see that I can bring joy to other people. I am very blessed with my profession which is private caregiving, because I have a lot of opportunities to make people happy by serving them and making sure that they can still do the things that they love to do. So my suggestion to you all who take care of the aging family members – try to do at least one thing per day for or with them that will make everybody happy despite the doctors appointments etc. etc. and it will bring you so much joy.

  • jlec149739@verizon.net

    1) More years ago then I would like to admit, at the place I worked they introduced a program CARE for how to be more friendly to other staff, patients and visitors. I was joking around after a class smiling away saying nice things to people when one women said, “when did you get braces”, I advised a few years ago. She asked others and no one knew I had braces.
    They all seem to agree I was always pleasant and helpful but up to that point I didn’t smile.
    I changed my ways and opened up to people which in kind are very social with me.
    2) I found out that I wasn’t the center of the universe, quite a shock. By centering on Jesus, I started to more center on those in my life. If I’m not the center of the universe, a mistake is a mistake, a problem is something I handle the best I can and then hand off to God.
    I’m pretty happy, stressed at times like everyone else but generally happy. God has been very good to me, He gives me challenges that I can handle as long as I stop and pray for help and thank Him for all I have.
    Dad with Great wife, 2 Children and 1.75 grandchildren, a very large extended family we get to spend time with a lot.
    God Bless you all.

  • Alicia Carew

    21 years ago my 1st grandchild called me Happy- and that became my “grandma” name. At that time I was at a critical time in my life and marriage- but that name and the idea that I made him happy became my beacon for change. And change I did and continue to welcome change in myself. My Lenten resolution is to nourish my faith.
    A new focus and change.

  • Jeannine Yousif

    Certainly when I focus on my relationship with God, my husband and my children I am at my most happiest. I feel centered if I have time to spend with God. But the busy-ness of life can often get in the way of that…my worry that I am not doing enough, the comparison I feel with other moms, other stay at home moms, other women keep me from feeling confident in my own abilities, more importantly feeling confident in being a beloved daughter of Christ. When I fully feel that – that I am a daughter of a King – I feel most content, most at peace and I am most present with my family. This Lenten season I am focusing on committing to time with God – silent, fruitful time with God, to listen, to lay down my anxieties and worries, to feel his unconditional love, to serve Him.

  • JorgeN

    Most people think I am a happy person. Or at least they think I’m funny. I should be happier, but I get bogged down with worries about work, new neighbors, changes in our democracy (US), and other things that are out of my control.

    One that thing that consumes a lot of my thinking is my mom. As such, it is so ironic to see so many people here discussing the challenges of caring for their elderly mom. My father passed away about two years ago, and I have had to step into a role as caregiver. My mom is diabetic and her eyes aren’t the best. She’s pretty self sufficient otherwise, but I find myself losing my patience with her. Over and over people say “what a good son you are!” Sometimes I don’t feel that way because I secretly resent my mom’s illness, and a brother who I feel is too self absorbed to step in and help.

    I can guess that this should be my Lenten focus. Rather than giving up something I like, I should give up my hostility and resentment, and embrace the time I have with my mom and be happy that she is still here. She’s been through thick and thin with me, supported me in so many ways, and now it’s my turn to repay all her love that she has showered me with all these years.

    Pray for me🙏

    • Melissa

      My father had diabetes and was on dialysis and blind. He had always been the strong leader and provider so he not only suffered much from the illness, but also from having to be cared for. In the end, he had to be carried to the car to get to the hospital as he was unable to walk. He was unaware that we watched him pray (beg God} for healing. I would have to say that he was an inspiration because he was in a very vulnerable place not being able to see and also being isolated because we, his kids, did not spend as much time as we should have to comfort him in his suffering. We all had other things to do. I say this out of regret because the Dad whom we loved, is gone now. Cherish your mom. It is but a short time that you have with her.

  • Marilyn McGreevy Micciche

    I am very happy most of the time. I struggle with weight issues because I love beer and I love ice cream, cheeseburgers and other fattening foods. Being out of shape and overweight makes me uncomfortable and therefore unhappy so this Lenten season I am working on eating healthier and exercising regularly. That’s the challenge to which Matthew Kelly was referring. Starting yesterday, I embrace that challenge. 😊

  • Mary Kay

    No I’m not as happy as I could Be. And I see worry, frustration and self pity as often times interfering with my happiness. I try to use prayer and my faith yo help me work through these times.

  • Chriss Esser

    Its kind of amazing when I take some quiet time out like with the “Best Lent Ever” how God seems to be totally talking to me! I’ve been experiencing alot of resistance lately in all 4 aspects of my life and feeling totally unhappy and STUCK! I’ve been resting on the excuse that its just the winter blues and that as spring arrives things will change. Thank you for this message, because now I realize the only thing in my way is me…time to get up and fight reistance and take back my happiness!

  • Honore

    Great focus!!!! The awareness and choice to focus on my Blessings opens my heart with tears of joy at how Blessed I am!! Thank You God!!! Thank you Mathew Kelly and Dynamic Catholic!!!

  • Ryan Scannell

    I choose joy today!

  • Beth

    About 15 years ago, I made a conscious decision to be happy. Or, joyfull . I wasn’t even a Christian then, but I believe that this was the beginning of my journey towards Christ. Of course now I try to focus on making Him the source of my happiness. I’m trying to renew that focus this lent along with thanking care of myself so I can have that focus.

  • Marisa

    My happiness is anytime I am watching my boys. Whether it’s playing sports, participating in a Band concert, whatever. To see them work hard to accomplish, & succeed in something makes my heart smile. I thank the Lord for allowing my Husband and I to provide them with the tools to do what they enjoy. I need to focus more on those things in my life, and not on the other things that pull me away from my Faith.

  • Michael Lenz

    I am VERY GRATEFUL for Matthew Kelly’s initiation of this program and have shared it with my kids! Praying as recommended for God’s help, staying on task, this Lent and doing what keeps us happy! Thank you!

  • Roxanne Barron

    I am generally a happy person but I focus more on be positive thinking positivity is being happy. This Lent I am going to focus on finding out what makes me happy as well as staying positive.

  • Angee LaMas Hoolick

    I am relieving myself of the “burden” of the future. If I put my love and energy into only today, praying well, living well, then (if) tomorrow arrives, it will be without regret. And my joy is in the gift of the present moment, always in Thanksgiving.

  • Jeff K

    I already had a bout with Resistance this morning, it took me over an hour to get my email address activated thru this website’s DISCUS system. I almost gave up trying, then I realized that is exactly what Resistance wanted me to do. I kicked its butt!

    • Jules

      Nice!!! 💪

  • Santos Baiza

    I always thought I was happy with my life, I have a loving family great job good friends but always felt that there was something missing in my life. I never knew how much happier my life could be until I gave my life to God. One day I just decided to let God take over. I told God that from this day on I was his and for him to lead me to where ever he needed me. My wife and I are now Eucharistic ministers at our parish and are involved in most of our church activities. That feeling of something missing in my life is gone and I don’t let things bother me anymore because I know that God is in control.

    • Jules

      That is beautiful and encouraging! 😊

  • Elizabeth

    Our financial situation has effected my happiness. Constantly being in debt and owing everyone is emotionally draining! I never feel caught up.

    • Jeff K

      You are not alone. It is my hope that on Judgement day the Lord will ask “how much love did you share” and not “how much money did you owe”. The material world does not promote that kind of thinking.

  • Mary Stevens Huebbe

    I don’t feel I allow myself to be happy, I’m really not sure why. I love my job and I love my family, I feel I am truly blessed with both.

  • Angela Donaldson

    As I write down the things that make me happy, I realize that my happiness not only depends on me, but on my family….and that needs to change. I cannot control my family, what I can control is me. Yet, it’s so hard not to be affected by what goes on with my grown children and their struggles. I want to fix it for them, but have found over the years, I can’t, they have to do it themselves. This lent My focus is on denying myself things that replace true happiness for a fleeting moment of happiness (eating my feelings) and begin exercising again. That’s for my body, For my soul, daily Mass, I’ve been a hit and miss, mostly miss lately as we have just finished a major move to another state and are finally getting settled in our new home. As I write that, it’s simply an excuse. How much better could the last few months have gone it I would have not given in to resistance by missing Mass?

    • Angee LaMas Hoolick

      Great personal revelations. I feel the same way.

  • Tara McDonald Ortiz

    People always comment on my happiness, joyfullness and I just give credit and praise by saying “Must be the Holy Spirit”

  • Karen

    I am for the most part one happy lady. However, when my down times, I usually know I have too much going on in my life. I have a full time job, which for the most part I love, I have a mom in assisted living who has become very demanding and its me who deals with it, I have a boss and husband who see almost everything negative, I have health issues and need to loose tons of weight, plus I volunteer about 5 different areas in our church .. When all this is going on at the same time, I seem to loose all happiness and I am quick to defend or put negative out there. Those are such hard times for me. Its not who I am and Its not where I want to be.

  • Elizabeth Hawkins

    my problem is finding happiness in the midst of grief. my husband of 35 years passed away, and i am finding my joy in my grandsons and godsons, but “happiness” seems elusive.

  • Jeff K

    My father died when I was 6 years old. Now having lived 15 years longer than he did, Lent is a great time to remind myself it is up to me to be happy each day that I am alive. The Lenten season reminds me that God wants me to be happy each day, and I am not alone on my quest.

  • Christine

    I love the fasting from responding in a negative way. I am working on my tone and body language with my kiddos and hubby this lent but that fits in perfectly. We have 5 kiddos 8-3 years old and I have 3 of them home sick right now…. sickness has been going on for the past month and a half and I am so ready for spring! I got little sleep last night and it’s hard to be happy on little sleep but trying to look at the little graces that God has provided for us today instead of feeling down and basking in my tiredness! God is so good and we are so blessed to have these little munchkins that I can love and take care of! I am part of a Cursillo reunion group and our motto is “choose JOY”! I am trying hard today to choose Joy!

  • Susan Henderson

    I envy those who have a naturally happy temperament. As a melancholic temperament with a lifelong battle with clinical depression, I really don’t always know what makes me happy. Connecting with others makes me happiest. This year has been a tough one: a major surgery to hopefully end my 4 year illness that didn’t, a daughter with serious mental health problems, a job layoff in a few months & an ongoing marriage situation that makes me sad. I am trying to choose my attitude & to change my thinking to look on my struggles as instrumental on the path to holiness rather than a ball & chain.

    • Lpius

      All the best.

  • Jackie Cleary

    I always start the day with the Lord and tell myself today is going to be a great day!
    Well then everyday life of children and stress and business overwelm me and I get frustrated over little thing. This lenton season I really want to focus on letting the little things go and just enjoying the moment and if everything on my to do list does’t get accomplished it will be ok. Please pray for me to find a way to be the best version of myself!!!!

  • Mel Kimlinger

    Is it happiness or is it satisfaction that we should strive for in life? The example of the two year old girl clapping, smiling and saying she is happy is a momentary thing.

    Just being a two year old she will experience being tired or hungry or both and would say she is not happy at that moment.

    Christ had moments of joy, frustrations, anger and temptations in his life on earth. Striving to be more Christ like in our life will give us that feeling of satisfaction which is a reflection on a period of time and not a singular moment.

  • Cara

    I got a jump start on reading this book and have already done this reflection piece. People always tell me I make them laugh… I am so positive… I have always been so happy and I think they are right. I am a very low key, low stress, mellow person by nature and I think this helps! I will say this, since becoming a mother almost ten years ago the routine, trials and tribulations of raising three children can weigh heavy. I try too hard to make others happy when it comes to my children and sometimes forget that what is most important in our day to day. This Lenten season I am going to remind myself to just relax~ be happy and move forward trusting what He has planned for us!

  • Tim Stroeing

    I am told by others I am always happy. For the most part I agree. But we are human and it is unrealistic to think you can be on cloud nine all the time. We are going to have highs and lows. BUT…the more I read the bible,pray and listen to God. I am guicker to rebound, and be happier more often than not. Matthew Kelly got it right, I know what makes me happy, but I want to be in control and I lose to resistance sometimes. Ironically it is when I want to be in control that I lose to resistance. If I listen to God and use temperance in my decision making I will beat resistances more often than not.
    God Bless…

  • Cheryl Beseler

    Exercise, time outdoors and prayer are among the things that increase my happiness – over the last year I have found that outdoor runs can combine these – I just finished a 4 mile run filled with prayer, gratitude and moments with God in the beauty of His creation – this is WHY I RUN! By combining running with prayer and solitude I increase the amount of positivity that results – yes, there is resistance that I must overcome, and there are times when I allow life to get in the way – and when God is telling me I need to focus on some of the other things – like time with special people in my life… Now it is time to go forward today – knowing that I have spent time that will help me on this journey and make me stronger – Blessings to all

    • Crystal Dasburg Marchand

      I hope you have a great day, Cheryl! Running is an amazing way to praise God with your body in His creation! <3

  • Jen

    Oh how I needed this inspiration. Everyday I say, I just want to be happy. I must truly be so busy looking for happiness that I can’t find it! I went to adoration yesterday and it felt so good. A beautiful warmth engulfed me and I felt happiness.. a contentment that I had not felt in awhile. My son is in college and my daughter is a senior in Highschool. I fear being alone..the emptiness without them consumes me..I am so busy worrying about what my life will be like and feeling sad that I’m not living for today. I miss our busy days of sports and multiple daily activities. I miss their infant and toddler days, I miss every moment of our time together. I cherish the memories and will try to focus on doing things each day that make me happy rather then feeling sad and searching everyday.
    Thank you for helping me find my way.

    • Dee

      I was in your position 4 years ago, Jen. Three kids in college or graduated, the last was a high school senior. I was feeling sad about the future, but God usually sends new things to fill our lives, I found out!

  • Michelle C. Merigillano

    I am as happy as I could be because I am a Catholic. Thanks be to God 🙂

  • Peggy Johnston

    I am a Hospice nurse. My job has brought me great happiness for the past 12 years.. I was notified that I am going to be laid off in a week. I am trying to find the blessing in this,trying to focus on what else brings happiness in my life. I know there are many things that I can do to find happiness each day

    • Peggy,
      Think of all the lives you have touched in these past twelve years. You may or may not have seen the blessing(s) that were brought to others on your behalf. Think of the blessings that you have received in these 12 years in being present with others in their time of need. It just may be that the Lord has something else for you do. Look forward with Expectant Faith!

    • Deb Daly

      Peggy, the job that you do is a gift to the person who is dying and the family who is losing them. That you can find joy in it is amazing and wonderful, and speaks to the beauty of your heart. I will pray that God sends you another placement in this field. Thank you for all your years of service and for all the lives you’ve touched and helped along the way.

  • Crystal Dasburg Marchand

    I want to be happy and I go through these times when I am happy with everything and everyone and everything is great and life is good! And then one thing might happen, like a bad day or I didn’t get all the dishes done that night and wake up to a dirty sink and it starts snowballing until I’m in a funk of “everything around me is chaotic and a mess and everything sucks!” I am making it a point to stop sabotaging my happiness with negative thoughts. When I start spiraling, I am going to lift up my frustration in prayer and pray for someone who maybe doesn’t have a home or who doesn’t get to see their family, or whatever minor thing I’m whining about, someone somewhere is struggling with something bigger.

  • Anna

    I consider myself a happy person–I always look at my glass half full. But I know that since my husband died, I have times when I don’t feel so happy. Then, I look at all that I have: a wonderful church community, great friends and family and I realize that I’m truly blessed.

  • Mary Ann Mitchell

    Overall, I’m a happy person. I find joy in many parts of my life. Being outside in nature or exploring new places makes me feel free and in touch with myself and our world. I’m most happy when I get time to notice the little things that surround me. Peace.

  • Judie L. Brownrigg-Allen

    Good morning

  • Bill Dehlinger (share)

    Sounds like Matthew Kelly is saying the Discipline of prayer, mass, solitude, etc…, lead to happiness 😀

    Let’s do that 👍

  • Bill S

    I can identify with some of the others commenting here. Generally I am a happy, upbeat person but I do have sullen, morose moments in my life. My wife suffered a stroke in 2013 and it has left her partially disabled. Being her full time caretaker, I often ponder why this happened and wish that we could roll back the clock to when we both had our health and she lived an independent life. These moments don’t last long, and I understand that God put me here to take care of her as best as I can. I take great joy when I fix her a meal and she tells me it was “yummy” or if I take her out to a movie and she thanks me for a date night. God is good and these moments help me forget the sorrow that a stroke brought to our lives.

  • Stacey Symonds

    I am a caregiver to my oldest daughter who has Cerebral Palsy and the last 24 years has been constant care…I would do it ten times over but my resistance for happiness has been on a thin string…I am also a mom to a 12 year old that is going through some emotional issues….I seem to negatively dwell in these situations….this Lent, I will instead cherish these moments (no matter how challenging) as being a good mom and knowing that I know and they know, I am being the best parent I can be…

  • Dave Mayer

    Is resistance really our brokenness due to original sin? If that be true then everything Matthew says makes perfect sense.

  • Leighanne Mary Johnsson

    I try to be a happy person, but when I am overtired, full of stress, or under the weather, I can be very irritable and very disagreeable.

  • Bill Duffy

    I am more happy than I used to be. I wasted years of my life chasing what I thought would give me happiness. It is by the grace of God that I have been given another chance to actually be happy. It is true – the prince of lies is just that – capable of coming up with any lie that has the potential to destroy us.

  • Jules

    Last night I rushed home from from work so I could make it Mass on time for Ash Wednesday and I was so happy I made it, I felt so good inside! But then I came home after being away for three days and became very frustrated with my family because of homework and other things being neglected. It started a huge fight within the whole family and everyone went to bed upset.
    I even prayed about this all even before I walked into the house but it still turned chaotic.
    I ask myself why do I struggle with my ways of being inside my home and in the outside world I have an easier peaceful and close relationship to others and with God?
    I am so aggravated with my kids when their only focus is on electronics and video games and other responsibilities go on the way side. Then my husband gets upset with me because he feels I should not let it aggravate me so much. But I am a parent and they need to excel in school and get all of their homework done , not just some of it, and take it more seriously.

    This morning was better, but I still am hurting inside perhaps because I know deep down I am not organized and I am Resisting happiness and things that will make my life better. I’m so perplexed. Help me Lord to be a better nurturing , softer, gentler, parent and wife.

    • Susan Henderson

      It sounds perhaps that you are someone with high expectations and that when these are not met, you get aggravated. You say your children “need to excel in school”. As an honors student myself, I got a big shock when my firstborn came into the world with ADD. In early primary school, I tried to make sure she excelled in school, but the cost was very very high. Hours of homework every night & neglect of my other children. It may sound terrible but I had to adjust my expectations. When she was in high school a friend told me she told her ADHD son to remember that “D is for diploma” meaning a D was good enough! Sometimes our expectations might not be realistic & we might have to ask God for an attitude adjustment. My mom had an immaculately clean house but never spent time with us kids. Her expectation of having a spotless home robbed her of the time to do what was really important.

      • Jules

        Wow, Susan, thank you for your response! I guess God is giving me you today as my answer!! Funny thing is my son was diagnosed with ADD throughout childhood and now that he is in middle school the doctors /teachers seem to think he has “come out of it”., however, I still believe he has it. In any case he has the opportunity to take 2 honors courses next year when he enters into High School. I am just so excited about this because I NEVER was capable of taking ANY honors class. The only problem is his two teachers believe he is capable of the work but he does not complete all of his assignments and is often forgetful .. Losing his books and stuff.
        I just want him to have this opportunity that perhaps would benefit him in the future so maybe that’s why I’m so frustrated. I know he is really smart but all the other things just don’t line up and I guess I want it more than anything for him. Thank you for your advice! Maybe it is not what he really needs .. I will pray, and let go and let God direct his path.. Our path…
        Thank you ! 😊

        • Susan Henderson

          I am so with you on them being capable of the work but lacking the executive skills to complete/find their assignments, losing their books & assignments, forgetting to write down their assignments etc. Life w/ my daughter got soooo much better when she got out of high school! She failed all of her 1st semester classes at community college & did a little better the 2nd semester. She took a year off & just worked & is now in welding school which she likes. Taking Honors classes may be good if he would otherwise be bored & it may increase his scores on the ACT/SAT but a 4.0 in an Honors class looks just like a 4.0 in a regular class when it comes time to submit your GPA/transcript to colleges. If you want it more for him than he wants it for himself, then praying on it for guidance would be a very wise course of action. You can’t follow them to college and monitor their assignments & grades even if you are paying for their college. They have to want it enough to learn how to manage their condition.

          • Jules

            Thank you Susan for all your wisdom, insight, and advice! You have really helped ease my mind these past few days. I am giving it up to God and whatever is to be will be.
            I am so happy to hear that your daughter likes welding school.. It’s a great field to be in! It sounds as though she never gives up and is not afraid to try new things. That’s a great quality!

            Our children will all find their place in the world and I just have to remember that I want my kids to want to be with me and not want to avoid me because I am harping on them.
            I hope to keep in touch! Thanks again! Have a great weekend.
            Jules

          • Susan Henderson

            Glad I could help!

  • Judie L. Brownrigg-Allen

    We lost our mother a year and a half ago what I wouldn’t do for one more visit with her. I am trying to have my daughter and son more involved in my life and I in theirs.

  • Jerry Ferguson

    I could be much happier and in saying that I go to Amanda’s comment. I let worry, frustration and comparison drown out my happiness. I do this unconsciously, but now realizing this roadblock to my happiness, I plan to be more focused on the things that make me happy and less on the things that stand in the way of that happiness.

  • Nancy McGhee

    Worry about people and situations stop my happiness. Loss of and missing lost loved ones (husband and son) attacks my happiness. That doesn’t feel like resistance.

    • Dee

      Nancy, you’re right – missing lost loved ones isn’t resisting happiness. It’s a true sorrow that comes at some point in all of our lives. In time, I pray you will find happiness in God, other loved ones, … but lost loved ones will always leave a hole that doesn’t go away.

  • Julie W. Onstott Murphy

    I am choosing to be happy and care for my needs. I weigh myself down with guilt a lot after my son died.
    I have been babysitting for my young grandchildren off and on for 8 1/2 years right after my 16 yr old son died.
    I now only pick two up from school and have them for a couple of hours. I’m choosing to use this time to grow ever more closely to God, and to visit Him more by going to mass and adoration. Giving up Facebook for lent and going to use that time for spiritual reading and reflection.
    Thank you and God bless,…+JMJ+
    Julie Murphy

  • Ben Harris

    This was such a great topic. So often we look at Lent or even other times of our life and feel like we are not supposed to be happy. We are called to reflection or responsibility, leaving happiness to carefree children. Remembering that I am a child of God, and my greatest joy is radiating his love to those around me – that’s happiness. It feels so satisfying because that’s how he designed us.

  • Martha Wuethrich Gossett

    Resisting Happiness seems so simple. Why do we make it so difficult? I know that what I truly need to be happy is discipline. Why then do I fight it every day? 😯 I’m going to get disciplined today! God wants me to be happy and I believe that ;by making myself a disciple of His, I will become disciplined like He wants me to be. So today I’ll pick up my cross and carry it happily following Him.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage and strength to change the things I can, and the wisdom always to know the difference. Amen ☝ 💝

  • Judie L. Brownrigg-Allen

    I am in hope of a spiritual awaking and deeper understanding of my life in His word this Lenten season

  • Theresa Kurzy Berend

    I find that I am truly happy when I have the time to connect with God and my family. It is the whirlwind of activities (done in the supposed need for socialization and community involvement) that fill up our days. So often we are in a rush (as we were yesterday) to get from work to school to baseball to music lessons and finally to Ash Wednesday services that we lose hours of focused family time. Balancing the need for family time and other commitments is something we need to work on as a family. I pray for wisdom and discernment in this area of my family life.

  • Jeannine

    Although I’ve come a long way, I know that I am absolutely not as happy as I could be. As much as I have learned to put my worries in God’s hands (and believe me, that is what gets me through my every day activities), I still have many issues to deal with. The main issues I am dealing with right now is work and my lack of productivity. I do not stamp a time card, my work schedule is flexible and my responsibility… the only requirement in my job is to get what needs to be done, done! In a perfect world this would be the best situation. Unfortunately, because there is so much work and I constantly feel overwhelmed, I tend to go the opposite direction of being productive…I procrastinate, which only makes the situation worse. So, I constantly have this burden on my shoulders and no matter what else I am doing, this burden is always in the back of my mind; 24/7, hence not allowing me to truly enjoy my life or to be genuinely happy!

  • Karen Marlin

    I’m currently receiving chemotherapy, I am trying to avoid being sad (resistance) and be happy on the days I feel well.

  • Tracy Jackus McTiernan

    I go back and forth. I just lost my mom this past Christmas Eve so I can relate to the conversations about caring for your mom. Cherish the time you have. This lent I am fasting from people who try to drag me down and I guess will increase my happiness.

  • Bonnie Kremer

    I watch videos in the morning, Before I get “busy”, so Thank you for these reflections. It gets me Ready for the Day! I am going through some “physical” changes and in 2 months, I need to make a Positive change and this will help me get through this time 🙂 God Bless.

  • Maria

    I thought if three things that make me happy. Of the 3 I do 2 more often than not. I will work on the third. GOD BLESS!

  • Paula

    I have to remind myself that my happiness comes from God and not from any other person or source. It is so easy to look for it elsewhere.

  • Camille

    I’m happy but not thought-out because I feel the need to always do for others and forget myself. Therefore, I need help trying to make myself a happier person.

  • Margie Cazares-Ortiz

    Thanks all for sharing. Opens my eyes how many out there taking care of elderly parents. I’m doing the same but it’s my 75 yr old dad who is not happy. Separated from my mom. I keep myself happy to care for him, dispite mom and sis no longer get talking to me.My Faith keeps me happy the most, when receiving The Body of Christ. Gives me strength too!

  • Richard Grindle

    The honest is answer is no and I agree that I can do more – hence Best Lent Ever. I pray for all us that as we journey through Lent that if asked this question again in 39 days the answer can be a honest yes.

  • AG

    “I don’t let myself feel it…”… Why do we do that? God wants us to be happy and some days is almost like we are resistant to that… Really? Resistant to being happy? why? It doesn’t cost anything, we just have to choose to be happy with what we have and be grateful that’s all He wants for us… but why is it so hard?

  • Emma Spaulding

    I believe I could be happier. I say that because sometimes I am afraid to be myself or to step outside my comfort to be happier or to show the world the real me. I do say though I am generally happy by my life, the choices I have made, the friends I have met, and how I can be happy for other people without feeling sorry for myself or even jealous. Those moments of pure happiness with the people I love, I wish could last forever, but they can’t. So I have to be able to take that all in and get ready for a new experience of happiness.

  • Caitlyn Anderson

    I definitely resist happiness… I constantly find myself nitpicking at all the negative in my life instead of embracing the positive, but over the past few days I’ve been noticing the joy in my life so much more! It’s weird when those joyful moments catch me off guard. But in a beautiful surprising way!

  • Nancy Holliday

    I am a very happy person. My Mom always told me I was born with a smile on my face and have had one ever since. One of my treasured gifts from God is the ability to see the good in even the crappiest day. It is a gift I do not take for granted.

  • Micheal

    The comparison game is a huge destroyer or happiness for me. I will go on social media and see my friends doing amazing and wonderful things and start to question myself about where I’m at and what I’m doing and why I’m doing these things when I could be doing so much more. Things start spiraling down from there and robbing me of the joy that I do have.

    • Joyce W.

      Micheal, are your friends as happy as they appear with all the amazing and wonderful things that they are portraying on social media? Are they happy when they are not doing these showcase worthy things? Do they know Jesus and find joy in Him? Do you know Jesus and find joy in Him – not the happiness that comes from success and adventure and money, but the deep joy that comes from knowing that you are totally and unconditionally loved, just as you are, and that you are precious in God’s sight? If this is the joy you write of, this is the joy that can bubble up unexpectedly when we praise God in the midst of adversity and pain, knowing that He is on our side.

      I know the comparison game well, but it takes a different track with me. I look at the women who have raised large families, always been ready with baked goods and casseroles for neighbours in need, hardworking, with clean, uncluttered houses, always active in the church – the kind of people you hear about when they die in their 90’s who have been fantastic mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers. Most grew up in lovely Catholic homes. This was not my background, but throughout decades of a very different life from these good ladies, God has been faithful and drawn me to Him again and again over the years, even drawing me from Protestantism to the Catholic Faith and confirmation at the Easter Vigil 12 years ago!

      I’m not the baking and casserole type, but I do my best. What is most important for all of us is to realize that God only made one of each of us, and we are all different. Only the person He wants us to be will be the person who fulfills a particular part of His plan. It’s exciting, it goes beyond winning marathons, taking exciting vacations, owning cars and yachts. It is a mystery that unfolds day by day, while we, poor mortals, try figure it out! God bless.

      • Micheal

        Thank you for your kind words and for helping to put the big picture into perspective. I am sure you are an amazing woman! God bless!

  • David

    I believe happiness is a feeling and I rather focus on Joy, we can always be joyful even when our cross is so heavy knowing that Christ gave his life for us and promised that our suffering will never be overpowering but can be offered up as a gift to Him. Without Christ we can do nothing, great words but in a busy life hard advice.

  • Katie Lambert

    I could be happier by stop worrying and being negative. I let the littlest things bug me and can get really negative. I had never thought of fasting from negativity during lent but I love this idea. Stop worrying about things I can’t control and let the negativity go.

    • Jules

      I love this .. Fasting from negativity… I will try this too! Thanks for your encouraging post!

  • Ginie

    I tend to be happy but certain things in life I allow to drag me down. Somedays people ask me about my smile…really I do as I walk into Church, smile. It’s not a conscious effort. I AM happy to be there. I am joy filled. Coming home for the most part I am happy, but if I could get my clutter and paper work under control I know I’d be happier. Part of my Lenten action is to work on clearing out clutter, paper or otherwise. This includes people who consistently drag me down. People whom I’ve tried to help, be friends with who are never happy. I want to be and to feel the ray of SON SHINE in me.

  • Lori

    I would like to think I am as happy as I could be but deep down there is still a sadness. I know that I am not happy with me. Life gets in the way sometimes and maybe I work a little longer/harder therefore not having time for the things I like to do, that make me happy. It is in these times that I need to draw from the Lord for strength. It is a daily struggle for me.

  • Cathy

    I think I am happy most of the time. I retired a year ago on April 1st. I thank God for all the time I have now being able to do what makes me happy. I am blessed to still have my Mom of 95. Her mind and body are still amazing. Sometimes I get frustrated with her as she can be demanding so I really try to stay positive when I am with her as I appreciate the blessing that she is still doing so well. I enjoy spending time with her as she has done so much for me over the years.

  • Anne

    As I reflect on the question of am I happy I’m not sure. I believe that I am but I look at others and wonder if I am. I’m thankful for what I have, I do get annoyed at family when they seem to not understand that loving God and others is more important than the little things in life. I’m in that generation gap of taking care of parents(my case my Inlaw’s) and watching my children be adults! Reflecting on happiness is I want to be more thankful for who I am and how I can be happy with what God has given me.

  • Danni A

    In reflecting I think that I am a happy person, I try to end the day happy or reset myself when I am getting bogged down by work, frustration or worry. I think there was a lot of truth said about being to busy trying to make myself happy to do things I know will make me happy. A big thing for me is going to bed at a reasonable hour, I have a bad habit of staying up till 12 or 1 on weeknights because I stayed late at my job and felt like I didn’t get enough time to myself. It creates this nasty cycle where I oversleep in the morning, go in late and end up staying late again, and doesn’t bring me any true happiness except for those brief hours between 10-12 where my house is silent and I get to do whatever I chose. I’m giving up a few things this lent but one of my main ones is giving up this night owl habit and getting myself on a better sleep schedule. Its day two, I only hit snooze about 10 times but at least I went to bed on time!! I signed up for this series after a suggestion from my mother, I didn’t realize this was a component but I’m glad it is, hopefully this does become my best lent ever~

  • Christy Kee Magro

    Viewing resistance as the paradoxical opposite of Happiness was my ” Ah Ha ” moment!!

  • Erin

    I let no being at my ideal weight prevent me from being happy.

  • Clicci

    I consider myself to be a very happy person. I have a great friends and am in a wonderful relationship. Since I am a white woman dating a black man my family does not approve and that makes me unhappy. I never thought I would disconnect with them like this but I do not want that kind of hate or anger in my life. Is that wrong?

    • Joyce W.

      Clicci, what your family think may be uncomfortable for you, but it is not what is most important. Does God approve of you dating a black man? That is most important. If He does, then you are within His will. Maybe He sent this special person to you. But search in prayer for His will, because I feel sure that mixed marriages are harder than “unmixed” ones (and they can be hard enough, when two people share their lives intimately for years and have to adjust to each other even without outside interference). If this relationship is not in God’s will, you and your dear one will both be wasting the time you could both be living in God’s will, waiting for the person He wants for each of you. If it is God’s will, then all the trials can be met with His help, but be sure that you will both need to be united in faith. Marrying an unbeliever would be much harder than marrying someone of a different colour! God bless.

  • homesteadmama7

    I am very happy this morning! And all because of my youngest daughter’s happiness. She’s 7 & the youngest of 7. She came downstairs this morning very cheerful, completed dressed for the day. She then, with a big smile, asked if she could do something to help me. She offered to put the cream away in the refrigerator for me, & offered to pour my juice. I asked if this might be part of her Lent, & she smiled even bigger as she said, “yes.” Her smile is contagious:-)

  • Holly Bacha

    I do think happiness, like attitude, is often looked upon as a choice. I wonder, though, is the happiness itself (the attitude) the choice, or is it the choices of what we do/how we interact/where we go/who we’re around that navigate or determine how we end up feeling?

  • Patsy Brown

    One year ago, my daughter had a brain tumor. While she was recovering in the hospital I was heading home for a shower and I thought my gosh, my life is on hold right now and immediately God graced me with the thought that my life was not on hold rather things that did not matter just fell away. It was a tough time but I was happy because I really felt God’s presence and strength during this time. Our life was so “busy” with work, school (senior applying to colleges) that our family was not connecting because each of us were pulled away by something. I had been praying before my daughter’s diagnosis for our family to be more connected. I would have never dreamed a scary medical time would be the answer to that prayer but I tell you being less busy and having the time to pray, talk with your spouse and kids is what makes me happy.

  • Jane

    I think the biggest obstacle to personal happiness is ignoring our culture’s definition of happiness, based on things and consumerism. It implies that happiness comes from external sources rather than internal sources. Happiness is a choice. Sirach 15 “there are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand” our quest for happiness from external sources will never be quenched; however, God will satisfy!

  • Marilyn

    I was mostly a happy,helpful person who enjoyed life, family,my faith…being involved in my Church until my life changed 14 years ago.I had back surgery & I developed a condition called CRPS which is Nerve damage.I have been in constant pain 24/7 since.I do my best to be happy but it’s hard to smile through the tears sometimes…I am very grateful for my Faith that has gotten me through…I have a lot to be thankful & grateful to God for my wonderful husband,family & friends…My Catholic Faith means everything to me…I am thankful to Matthew Kelly for these sessions…I so enjoy them & look forward to them daily…They make me happy.

  • Me56ra

    I like to be positive but I know I can be happier doing what I am supposed to do for myself. This Lent is resisting procastinating. I am resisting to be impatient. I know but more than ever I remind myself that God is in control everyday and I just must do my part. I have given myself a big challange this Lent season and is not only for myself but to inspire my children as well.

  • Deb Santoli

    One thing that brings happiness is every Saturday I pick up Vera who will turn 91 on March 1 and take her to mass. After mass we sit and talk. The amazing life that she has led brings joy to me. Then on Sunday morning I bring Holy Communion to another senior and what blessings I receive.

  • Pattty

    I can relate to Amanda. I find myself resistant to showing a lot of happiness. My standard response to “How are you?”has usually been “pretty good”. Lately when I’ve said that, I realize sometimes I’ve been feeling great and I should let people know that. If people see how happy I am they may ask me why, and that could lead to witnessing to them about the love of God.

  • Rey Cordova

    Continued to cement my faith is a free will that offers me the values and principles of knowing my actions are based on a belief substained with confidence.

  • John L. Kemmis

    Am I as happy as I could be? No. But how can I measure my happiness? When am I as happy as I could be? I don’t think I could ever reach a point of being as happy as I could be. Can I not always be more happy?

    Maybe I should consider, at what level of happiness am I satisfied? And if I am satisfied, is that when joy appears? Where does joy fit in with happiness anyway?

    If I am satisfied, that is, being content at a level of happiness, should I be? Should I strive to be more happy, to reach a higher level of contentment?

    Am I selfish at asking these questions?

    And as today’s first video implies, shouldn’t we consider these states of happiness:
    -our physical happiness
    -our emotional happiness
    -our intellectual happiness
    -our spiritual happiness

    Just maybe, this will be the BEST Lent ever…

  • Jan Onnen

    When I write down what makes me happy I am amazed at all the things that make me happy. It seems to be little things that make me the happiest- I did not know this until I went through this exercise. When I get too busy and stop doing these little things I get sad, frustrated, irritable, depressed and mad. This exercise really helped me learn more about myself and what it will take to make me a happy person. During lent I am giving more of myself to get a deeper relationship with God. This makes me happy but I sometimes prioritize incorrectly and the reading and meditation I love to do doesn’t get done.

  • Diane Fiore

    My husband is bipolar, among several additional diagnoses. My challenge is to be able to respond to his needs without escalating a situation, which requires presence in the moment, honesty with my own emotions and time alone. I miss my time alone far too often.

  • Pam O

    Wow! Amazing that it takes for someone else to point out that *we already know what makes us happy*. We just don’t do them! This so true! Wake up call! So today, rather than thinking about this *new* epiphany and tearing it apart wondering *why* I do what I do…I’m going to focus on all the things that make me happy today and work on not resisting them.

  • Cinthya Vodanovich

    This video presents such a different way of looking at happiness and it discusses happiness as such a basic choice but yet I realize that like others, I also, struggle so much with the choices that would make me happy.
    I agree with the idea presented and I realize that I constantly resist against giving into the choices that ultimately would make me happy. In my struggle or resistance I also get irritated.

  • Jaime Zorrilla

    Excellent reflection!, who can not agreed, I believe that happiness is a consequence habit of living habits that, as Matthew says, make us bring out our best version of ourselves…..easy, no really because in our days it seems like we live in a state o emergency all the time, I feel like not doings the things I am suppost to do I will not be happy…..thanks for creating this space for sharing

  • Aileen

    I am deeply unhappy at the moment. I am trying to pray constantly and keep my souls focus on God. But these videos are helping me to reflect on what happiness means and to work to choose happiness each moment. Pray for me please.

  • Laura LaDue

    I’ve always been an optimist. I look at the good in things. However, I struggle with maintaining that optimism with all the negative media. I am choosing to focus more on my family and my prayer life to help me find that happiness I used to have.

  • margie

    I am not as happy as I could be. I find that if I start moving towards my happiness, there is always something a little more important to do. I put off what makes me happy to do those things that appears to be more important. The resistance is real .

  • Denise

    I am 55 and recently retired. I thought my life would be different. I always saw myself married with a couple of kids, but that didn’t happen and I am still single. Sometimes that bothers me, but more often I can see God’s plan as a blessing. I was a teacher for over thirty years, so I had many children in my life, plus my siblings and cousins had children that they shared with me. Perhaps I would not have had the same energy for those children if I had had my own. I have always tried to be happy in my life and I am for the most part. I still pray to find that special someone, but I can be happy as I am.

  • Paul

    Sometimes in my quest to be happier, I feel like I am being selfish in pursuing those things that bring joy. But ultimately, achieving happiness can be contagious and could encourage others to do the same.

  • Wendy Matthews Neuman

    I think we all make a choice to be happy everyday! My choice is always happiness! I am a school bus driver and greeting those kids every morning with a smile and kind words. It makes there days happier too! I try to speak to everyone I see throughout the day! Even when I’m pumping gas! I say good morning how are you today! Just smiling and speaking to people can make someone happy! Hope everyone has a fabulous day! 🤗

  • Michelle Anderson

    I am a naturally happy person , i’ve just always tended to be more upbeat . Something you said really resonated with me , in my work , I felt that people didn’t always take me serious because of it at times . I would find myself tempering my attitude to fit theirs . I’m going to stop doing that . Letting my joy shine!! 🙂

  • Cathy Ann Trowbridge

    Its not my mom, but my husband who is terminal. 17 years older than me, our ages didnt make much difference for many of our 27 married years together. He never seemed happy, just more a negative person- and Ive always been searching it out wherever I could… now its hard to find happiness in dying. Thoughts of him in heaven and a free spirit to not be entombed in a broken body keep me going. I often times miss and envy others who live a normal life, but try to focus on Gods will for this time in our life. We pray more, and I focus on him being Jesus, and act accodingly, even when its really difficult. Resistance certainly growls every morning after 3-4 hours interrupted sleep, but this too shall pass. Glad to have this series to help me keep and gain new -happy perspectives no matter what happens!

  • Mary

    I can say that I am happy but I tend to compare myself when Im not where i am suppose to be. that just annoyed me, But I am working on being happy where i am

  • Nancy Davis-Lupardus

    I cared for my mom for three years till she passed, and now I have my dad who dose not need as much care but who is harder to deal with, I sometimes find myself frustrated with my 3 siblings for not stepping up and helping. God has chose me for this role so I am trying to find my happiness in this. I sure could use some prayers and strength to find my happiness during this lent.

  • Chuck

    When my children were young, we used to tell them “Happiness is a Choice…CHOOSE IT!” In my own life I often have to remind myself of this mantra. This lent I am attempting to give up on my complaining and trying to see or find the positive to the situations that I want to complain about. It’s only the 2nd day and I realize it’s a choice I should have made before. Things look different when you are more positive. Praying for all of us this lent.

  • Dale R Evans

    Yesterday I could not accept that I was resistant in the morning. This morning I woke up with the clear understanding I was resistant in the morning. I resist when my focus is on my needs. I move into the day when I accept I must respond to the needs of those for whom I am responsible. The transition is brought about by prayer.

  • Toni Duffy

    I work most nights and weekends. So when friends say let’s go do something I have to say no i am working. I end up spending a lot of time alone. But if i didnt have ny job i could not affors to go out. I have odd days off. Friends are working when i am off. Too much alone time. So i am bot happy all the time

  • Mary Brennan

    Hi, I am a Mom, Grandmother, and a great Grandmother, which dose make me happy, but I am not really happy, I just become for me some what home bound, just reasonely move, Which I am happy with my place, but I use to be active, I have lost my energy for now, I want to be filled with energy, in the last months I have grown older, I am trying to make the best of this new situation. “I believe it is just for now”

  • Peter

    There is always room for growth and ridding myself of sin. But I have decided to follow Jesus and be obedient to His commands. Therefore generally speaking I am happy.

  • Kathleen

    In answer to the question, yes, however worrying over my children is a constant. I worry for their happiness often. When I am able to talk or be with them and see their happiness I am less worried.

  • Jolee

    I feel so blessed to have been able to spend so much time with my mom while she was suffering and dieing with cancer. We had the best talks of our life during this time. I had to sacrifice to be with her,missing work and being away from my husband and children,but i wouldn’t change anything.It’s been 17 years but i still miss her so much but i have no guilt.

  • Pat

    Happiness for me is a sense of contentment. I had to learn to be content with who I was, and what I had. For me, this was no easy task and it meets with a lot of resistance constantly. As with any new habits, it takes time and going through the barriers of resistance. Sometimes it is very easy, other times difficult. I find that as I start my day, if I ask for Gods grace, that is the catalyst for smoother sailing.

  • David

    When I think about it, the Happiest times in my life have come in the service of others. It seems those times when I have been asked to serve are the times I resist the most. Though I want to say no to those things that interfere with my becoming the best version of myself this lent, I want to say the word yes more than I say no to my brothers and sisters this lent.

  • Elize Schiff

    Actually I am happy but on one side, my happiness is overshadowed by the lost of my dear sister, which has suffered a lot of pain. I tried to help her by donating my kidney to her but unfortunately after 2 years she passed away in 2015. I very much regret that i forgot to ask a priest to come and see her on her bad days and finally gave her the last sacraments. But the day she passed away the priest gave her the final blessings. This is the most unhappiness I feel until now. Maybe because I did not lived the way the Christians do, although I attend Sundays Mass.
    Now I will lent these 40 days and hope the Lord forgive me and accept my intention.
    Elize

  • Cyrus Cormier

    I needed so much all the taking care of “mom” comments as I am in that space today. I love my mom and would do anything for her. Recently I wrote down significant moments in my life that helped shape my life and when I re-read what I wrote most of the things were negative events. So I asked about 20 other people to share with me their significant events and share with me. To my surprise most of them were all negative events as well. I wonder why we focus on the negative and forget about all the positive events that God with is everlasting love has done for us? So I am in the process of writing a list of ALL positive events that helped shape my life and the number one thing was sitting in church one day and my mother holding my hand and praying for me. That one event changed my life forever! I love you MAMA!!!

  • Laura Z

    I think I have always felt that I am a pretty happy person. I have had an incredibly blessed life and I feel truly grateful for it. Lately I have felt that the relationship I am in is slowly sucking out my happiness. I ended up feeling somewhat unlovable and unworthy even though on an intellectual level I know this is not the case. I wanted so badly for this to be my forever relationship that I let myself get trapped in a superficial happiness. And though I can be happy on the surface I feel like my inner peace and happiness have been missing and I’m struggling to get them back. I dreaded ending this relationship perhaps because I will be alone once again, but I know that is not the case. I have God. I have my family and tons of friends that don’t hesitate to show me their support. I feel that resistance Matthew Kelly is talking about, where I know that I need to draw closer to God, yet I don’t. I know God is calling me to take my life in a different direction and I want to use this time to strengthen my relationship with him. I know that when He is in control things are better. Please pray for me, so that I have strength and courage to leave what is destroying my happiness and find that happiness that only God can give. I want to stop worrying about all the what ifs and what would be the perfect way to leave, but I have to STOP, Let Go, and Let GOD.

  • Betty’s Blessing

    Life gets hard and sometimes leaves you bitter. Being a care giver for someone that is suffering brings a lot of worry and concern as well. You enjoy your time with the person, as best as you can, so at that moment, you both are happy. All you can do is pray and try to be the best person God wants you to be.

  • cam

    I think happiness is about bringing it from the inside to the outside of ourselves. I, myself, feel extremely blessed to be the person that I am today and, yet, it is so easy to go through life without any true emotion. I am neither unhappy nor happy- it’s an awful in between. But today’s reflection is right- it’s about choosing happiness. It’s about knowing deep down that God has blessed you today and every day and seeing life for the goodness that it brings.

  • Hannah

    I don’t always slay resistance. Many times I don’t. It’s simply that I’m lazy, or want to do something else, or simply want to do what I want to do.

  • Anewerdawn

    I am happy more than not – when I’m not it’s because I’ve made my emotions dependent or conditional over that which I can’t control – which for me are the people I am closest to. There are situations I am in which are mightily challenging this and I’m always in resistance to believe I can be happy when my child is struggling with addictions and the lifestyle it leads to. It seems kind of perverse to be happy sometimes. I’m working on that though.

  • Shyne4god

    As I was watching the second video I was remembering yesterday watching 2kids dancing around being oh so happy ! I will have thought Oh to be a kid again! But we do have a choice of being happy!my happiest moments are spending my mornings with God !but I also find great happiness in doing for others !! My Grandkids bring me much Happiness !! I try and go to bed with happy thoughts of my day ! And of coarse being so Thankful to God !I try and remember that everyday is a Gift from God !

  • Paula Gaub

    No I am not as happy as I could be. I realize this past weekend I have to make changes to my life. I am not the person I want to ne.

  • Connie Wax Crosbie

    I am sick and no matter what I do they keep finding new things wrong with me. I find that dwelling on it and feeling sorry for myself prevents happiness. I know that when I push through the day without complaint I’m happier. I hate being dependent for financial support from others as I always worked. If I dwell on that I am resisting happiness. If I think God is allowing me to practice humility and my son to practice charity then I see this time as one of God’s learning lessons. I am happy He cares enough to teach me. If I allow self pity to prevent daily prayer then I feel worse. Prayer, adoration and Mass make me happier and I let self pity take that away. I pray that this lent I give up complaint and self pity and replace t with gratitude and joy in the midst of what seems insurmountable. With God happiness is attainable. For me resisting happiness is resisting God.

  • Theresa

    Thank you all for sharing. It’s great to hear how you love your mothers and do your best to take care of them. I am a mother of four and my children all live far from me. They all have busy lives and I don’t see them very often. I have had a lot of sickness and I thank God for good friends who have taken care of me. I thank God for my faith because I know that I am never alone and that He will never forsake me. This keeps me from feeling sorry for myself and I can enjoy what each day brings. God is Good.

  • Laurie Ann Cooper

    I truly believe that we are all continually on a quest to be happier and that quest parallels our quest for God. U2 puts it well in their song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. That being said I believe that each choice we makes brings us closer to happiness or away from it. I have continually tried to live each day thinking of it as a gift to be spent for the good, I have made many choices that others found crazy, like giving up a career to homeschool my daughters, but that brought myself and my family much more happiness than a new car or bigger house. I also believe that as we make these choices to be the best version of ourselves they line up with God’s plan for us and we are rewarded many times over. Always room to grow but so happy to have been guided by great mentors who helped me see that my happiness comes from following God’s plan.

  • cary silva

    This lent season I am practicing less worry because that takes away from my peace and Joy…I worry about the decisions my daughter makes the relationship with my son and the joy of my other daughter which drains my energy and positivity…this is my resistance …

  • Rae Mims

    This is such a hard question for me – which is strange when I think about it. I feel like I am in a constant quest for happiness yet I am not sure what that really means. Does it mean you are happy every minute of every day? Does it mean you have everything that you desire? There are definitely elements of happiness in my life. I am working at a job where I am extremely busy and stressed but I am learning alot. I get paid. I have an amazing supervisor who pushes me to do and learn more – though at the time I do not appreciate it all that much. I do not have a husband or children and that is the down-side. But, overall I guess when I let myself think about it I have more than a lack.Is that happiness? I don’t know.

    • Mary

      Rae Mims, Happiness is within you. It is the joy you find during your day and at home. I am alone, no husband or children, but I find the grace from going to church and prayer make me so happy. Talking to friends through social media brings me joy. Beautiful music as I eat dinner makes me happy. It is little things throughout the day that bring bits of joy to your life. I pray you find happiness this Lenten season.

  • Ra

    I have been taking care of my husband for a couple of years , I have become less joyful. I am by nature thanks to God I joyful person but lately I loose my temper and find myself not being kind to my partner, this lent I am going to be more tender and loving to him, I know God will help to be joyful again. My resistance to give into resentment will not win! Pray for me, please

    • Mary

      You are in my prayers.

  • Joan Lowe

    I almost didn’t get ashes yesterday. My husband had the car and I couldn’t hitch a ride with a friend. BUT, I went on line, found a nearby church that I had never visited, and got my ashes. Sitting in that church, looking up at Christ on the cross, I felt such peace and happiness. I was where I wanted to be. I pushed through resistance to get there. Hurray for day one!

  • Michelle Owens

    *Sunshine *Swimming *Family
    I love to relax alone in my own little world with quiet thoughts outside in the sunshine.
    Swimming for me is like floating in a cloud and clears my mind of clutter
    My happiest times are those with my big family! The laughter is limitless and babies are always available.

  • Renato Bacani

    Am I happy as I could be? I am happy the way things are right now; just because basically healthy and I am still alive and thanks to the Almighty. Trying to do the things that will make me the best-version of my life, i.e. participating in church sacraments and activities; doing community work for our organization and going to the gym regularly are just examples of what I am doing. But, worry is still there and I just could not ignore it. I just take it on a day to day believing that this is a part of life. You or I just need to pray and pray.

  • MikeF

    I’m a strong believer that we can control our feelings. We are not slaves to our emotions. But it’s much easier to be genuinely happy when we do those things that are right for us, correct for us, things that get us closer to God. I gave myself a 5 in the first chapter when we were asked to rate our happiness. Given my personal situation, it should be much higher.

  • Phyllis Baatz

    Hi! I am usually a happy person but when I get some people who are sadly negative get in my head, my resistance gets very difficult. So this was a great day to watch these 2 day videos.

  • Emily

    I could definitely be happier… It’s just that with being a mom to young children, providing them with a home education, not having time to process my day, not having much time to spend with my husband, and generally running around trying to do all the things I do, I don’t often have the time to really think about what I could do to be happier. Sometimes I think that I just need to accept that this is what this particular season of my life looks like right now and be ok with things the way they are…

  • Mary Jo Nolan Copeland

    Love these reflections! HAPPY☺️ To be on this Lenten journey with you !

  • Gale

    Am I as happy as I could be? No. I would like to spend more time with friends, volunteer at church, and spend more time in prayer – which I think will be my true key to happiness. Right now I am experiencing a lot of pain, somedays constant pain.. I would be happier if I was pain free. I am trying to give it to Jesus and deal with it until Surgery later this month. It makes it hard to think and do what I like. But I know prayer will help.

  • Rita M Garcia

    I am usually a glass 1/2 full type of person, but of late I find myself going the other way. Resistance.. one of our daughters is going through a bipolar episode and got removed from law school, my 88 year old mother who is living with me at the moment is so negative and Debbie downer it’s difficult for me not too get cranky with her. She was never like this but as her aches and pains take over she’s getting worse every day. I’m getting not to let it affect me and during this lawmen season I’m making more of an effort to pray through and put both of them in God’s hands.

  • LINDA

    Well my mom died about 16 months ago. My sister was her caregiver. However, since I lived 600 miles from her I would spend a month at a time with her and it was great. We had great one on one time with each other. I miss talking to her but have a picture in my car to see her face and I talk to her in prayer and it makes me feel very close to her. I also am watching my 2 year old grandchild and that makes me very happy. Her saying is Happy are me. I say that with her everyday. I love watching her grow and seeing the world through her eyes. I am using the motto If I am not happy it’s my own fault. So HAPPY ARE ME!

  • Terri

    Worry and frustration are two feelings that separate me from my happiness. Thank you for stating the feelings we all feel to put them on the list of resistance so I can now realize in the moment to take a breath, say a pray for help to let it go and let God.

  • richard

    I am trying join the discussion but finding the resistance to be overwhelming. Is my happiness dependent on everyone around me being happy or should I try to be as happy as I can regardless of the happiness of them.

  • Abbie Mitchell

    I’m definitely not as happy as I could be. I want to be “happy” but think I’ve gone about it in the wrong way. I’m finding that the more I am true to my self, and the more closely connected I am to God and my immediate family, the happier I become. One big obstacle to my happiness is the judgement I allow others to put on me. I’m trying to purge that and let it be their issue and not mine so that I can experience true happiness!

  • Sue Burdine Seidling

    I think iam a happy person, but after the videos, I know I can work on this, especially when life happens. God put me or I should say, blessed me with the opportunity to raise our 13 th Grandchild, and that has put my life in a different direction, which should give me great joy and unconditional happiness. But as I said life gets in the way and I get impatient, angry, etc.But with God in my life and running the show, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE, Happy Lent and God Be with you!

  • Linda

    I think I am blessed with a happy spirit. Pretty much I can find joy in most things that happen during my day. Working with children and spending time with my grands is the my happy place. But I think that realistically no one is happy every minute of the day. We need to remember that we can have sad moments but know that we will find happiness again. Just never give up the search….. it’s out there waiting for us😊

  • Maryanne Fraunces Odom

    I am happy. My struggle comes in moving graceful through the phase of a mother of four busy kids to almost an empty nester. I miss all the activity, conversations and company of my older three. I am adjusting to having a kind but very independent and busy 17 year old son who doesn’t need me as much- a good thing but a hard thing too. While I know this is exactly as it should be with my 4 kiddos, it is bittersweet. However, happiness is a choice and I have much to be grateful for and that is what I choose❤. Thanks for letting me share.
    Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all. 1Thess. 5:16-18

  • bal

    Im so busy and never focused on the “now” that I am rarely happy these days. Too much sadness about my past and too much worrying about the future. NOt in a good place right now. But i NEVER give up on God, and I wont.

  • thefourcees

    The thread below is absolutely beautiful and inspiring as I, too, am my mother’s caregiver. I have found myself resentful toward my siblings for not providing me with their assistance in her care, however, am slowly realizing the gift that God has bestowed on me and my mom in each other. It will truly be a gift I will carry with me the rest if my life. It is my hope and prayer this lent that when I slip into the mindset of resentment toward my family members that through prayer I can continue to see this beautiful gift. Thank you for all your inspirational reflections

  • Joyce W.

    Smiling is important, and I was chagrined a few months ago to realize that my normal facial expression shows a mouth down-turned at the corners! Someone is being grumpy and unthankful I think, and needs to change! Dealing with depression from time to time means that procrastination creeps in, leading to further depression. I do need to combat resistance on an hourly basis (I was going to write daily but that would let me off the hook). I cannot use this long, difficult gloomy winter as an excuse to be gloomy and unfulfilled. One good thing, the rare appearances of the sun over the last 3 months have made me realize how much I have taken the sun for granted. For me, the sacrifice of thanksgiving is important, finding all the things I can be thankful about every day and not taking God’s blessings for granted.

  • Fanny

    I realize I could be happier if I added benefiting activities to my daily routine like using my fixed bike to aid my knees! I choose to start. One of the things that increases my happiness is being grateful for the good poured on me and I am grateful for finding this group. Love and blessings.

  • JayAW

    I’m being completely honest, going to mass doesn’t make me happy. I attend mass because of obligation and guilt. My mom made me feel incredibly guilty for not being the perfect Catholic when I was a kid so I look at mass more as an obligation. Prayer doesn’t really make me happy either. I pray each day only to feel like God isn’t hearing my prayers and I feel alone and abandoned. What seems too make me happy? Sinning. Indulging in too much food, having lustful fantasies that release the dopamine in my brain to give me a sense of euphoria, gossiping about other people, judging other people that I don’t like, and so on. Sinning feels good in the moment and in a way, I need sin to feel human. All the praying and trying to be sinless doesn’t seem to work for me. I’m not Jesus as much as I try to be more like him. I’ve tried to rid myself of sin but I’m too weak to sustain that. So, I keep reverting back to sinning because that’s what makes me feel alive. I probably have some sort of depression because I don’t feel happy as a Catholic. I’m a sinner and I enjoy sinning. That’s my brutal honesty.

  • Suzanne Baltz Glasco

    I don’t think anybody thinks there is happy as they could be. I know I would be happier if my children were happier and my children paid more attention to me. I feel like as I’ve gotten older children don’t need me anymore and that kind of makes me unhappy. I just got married in September to a man I’ve known 30 years. I try to make him happy and I think I do and I believe he tries to make me happy. When I look around at my blessings I realize that yes I am happy. I

  • Mary Verrette

    My struggle with happiness follows losing my husband of 34 years four years ago. Since then, life has been so hard. I go for days without showering, don’t cook, don’t exercise, and it’s almost as if somewhere in my psyche there’s a little voice telling me I DESERVE to not have to participate in life. The rub comes from the fact that this way of life conflicts with my usually joyful, positive view of life. I struggle for balance; to keep up with the fast pace of life without going under.

    • RAB-G

      16 years ago, I too lost my dear husband after almost 32 years of marriage. With my broken heart, I tried to heal w/ many tears, but I began to realize that my husband would not have wanted me to be unhappy.
      That is when I had to rediscover myself & to make a different life because I knew that nothing would ever be the same again. With God’s help I have grown to love each day & try to accept my new life & Mary you will too. Peace & Blessings to you.

  • eliana

    i find am happy an joyful when i spend time with my girls, basically i am a happy person but don’t show it, I keep it in because i concern myself to what people thing of me.

  • eliana

    some misspelled words sorry.

  • Mary

    I am a happy person. That glass half full is full of chocolate milk! I have wonderful people in my life, kind people, generous people, and people who need my care. It is in giving that we receive ~ St Francis of Assisi. I receive the grace of God, and I am happy. I need to make sure it is 100% of my time, not less due to resistance. This will be my concentration during Lent. Combat resistance.

  • Leticia Cauble

    It’s easy to get frustrated angry annoyed when things aren’t done like expected or when kids are yelling and fighting each other. It takes my Peace away. Many times I start shouting as well. It doesn’t help. I need patience and God’s graces to help resolve these issues differently. 🙏

  • J-Hobi is my Sunshine

    The happiness paradox… How true this honestly is. Wow…

  • Matt Giordano

    Happiness is so subjective. I’m learning to consciously be aware of the moments and experiences that help me experience happiness. I’m also learning how to adjust my own words and actions in order to experience those moments of happiness more often. Being more aware and sensitive to what makes my friends and family happy (often different than the things that trigger my own happiness) is a continued goal as well. So much of Matthew Kelly’s writing has suggested ways for me to take responsibility for my own life. Im a work in progress but I’m pointed in the right direction. Lent is such a wonderful time to become even more in tuned to who we are and what our purpose is.

  • Kerrie Sterken Loyde

    I’m not anywhere near as happy as I can and should be. That is a choice. There is no other reason but the choice of one thing over another. That’s why this Lenten journey is so important to me as I strive to become the-best-version-of-myself. #bestlentever

  • Shonne Farrell

    I’m quiet person. I stay to myself most times. My happiness revolves around being with my daughter, prayers, reading, and coloring. This Lent I’m focusing on getting out more and doing something to help people who need food and someone to talk to.

  • Robin

    Im genuinely a happy person, content with my life and at the same time I often feel as though Im letting life slip away not doing or being the person God choose me to be because, I’m not involved, Im not volunteering as I use to, all because my husband needs me right now. Our priest have reminded that I am right where Im suppose to be. My job, my family, my friends, each day I have the opportunity to bring a little joy into someones life just by being there. This lent I want to pray more, be more attentive, and let go and let God guide my life.

  • Tasha King

    I’m a content person in general content in the moment happiness like pure utter joy can be felt be in little moments of my dad. Whether it be a favorite song on the radio. Remembering a sweet memory or getting an unexcpected text.

  • Geordie

    It’s funny, I was thinking about this this morning while I was getting ready for the day. I hadn’t watched the video yet and I was thinking of some of my friends. I contemplated with myself if I was happy because I am not able to do many of the same things they do. I then thought, I am happy but just in different ways. I have grown closer to God and have a “struggling” relationship with Him, I have a home, I have a beautiful wife who loves me with all her heart, I have a loving family, I have good friends. These things and many more make me happy.

  • Arthur Brown

    I have believed in enhancing my vision of God and Christ by trying to read a Christian book every two months. I read rediscovering Jesus and gave them out at Christmas. Because of the love of God and what he has shown me this Easter we will be handing out Everybody needs to forgive Somebody buy Alan Hunt. I just finished the book and believe you me if you want to conquer forgiveness read this book and you will realize that we have accepted forgiveness from Jesus from removing our sins then why should I not forgive someone else because I have been forgiven because of God love, compassion and the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. I also started using a Mass Journal. I got one from Dynamic Catholic but you could make one your self. It is broken down into 52 sections for fifty two weeks of Mass that I attend. If you were to go more then you might have a Mass Journal up to 365 days. The purpose of the Mass Journal is to put your reflection of what you got out of the Mass. I few high points. Then during the week review the Mass Journal to reflect on what God has spoke to you in your writings and then apply it or tell God you are thankful for all that he shows you on a daily basis. If we want we can continue our Lenten Journey 365 days a year. That is what I learned from last year’s Best Lent Every.
    God Bless each and everyone of you on your daily spiritual journey with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

  • Rebecca

    I would say most of the time I am happy. I always try to see the good in what I do or what I hear going on around me. There are times when I am unhappy and I feel like I shouldn’t be. I do think resistance has a lot to do with that. I feel like I keep myself from doing things because I can’t see what’s in it for me. My goal is to try harder not to resist and put more trust in God because I know he wants the best for me.

  • Kathleen

    When I spend too much time worrying about relationships, my worthiness, my image, my capabilities–I am not as happy as I could be. When I let God fill me with his presence–by way of spiritual reading, prayer, the beauty in nature, my grandchildren–I am happy. Happy as I could be? That’s for heaven. Can’t wait to rush into God’s arms.

  • Irene Docherty

    I am going to “resist”…. worrying about tomorrow… to encroach on my “happiness” today…. may be easier said than done… but I am going to make a strong effort to keep this thought in the forefront of my mind…

  • Grace Browne

    I’m a happy person most times. At present, I’m feeling unwell, and this is probably when I get frustrated, and angry with myself. I feel weak and defeated. I’m trying very hard to open my eyes and to see what’s before me. I am humbled by the fact that I don’t need to do anything right now, ie work, household chores. God is taking care of all of this. I just need to be still and heal.

  • Gianna Nos

    Happiness, in my mind, means my pleasure relies on something external. Joy is the feeling of contentment, satisfaction, complete peace. I am not finding the word “happiness” in the bible, but the word “Joy” is mentioned 165 times in the KJV. I know I am more joyful when I focus on the person and the promises of Jesus Christ and the Triune God (abide in Him), rather than focusing on myself, or comparing my circumstances with others. This Lenten Season I am choosing to search out those promises and the One who made them (soak in them).

  • Anne Dabecco

    Daily frustrations get in the way of my happiness. I would say that I am generally a happy person; have even been called a “Pollyanna”! But little daily frustrations can get under my skin and I can “snap”; falling into a complete grump in a matter of seconds. Makes me wonder if I’m covering a deeper need with the face of a happy person. My Lenten commitment is “surrender” to God. Surrender my frustrations, my fears, my angst, about things that are out of my control to God. He is bigger than all of it.

  • Sherry Bush

    I am happy-go-lucky! I am learning how to be alone and still be happy. Life has given me many reasons to be unhappy but I chose to look at the challenges as lessons. Some lessons I have had to repeat many times. I think this alone time is good for me, I need to strengthen my personal relationship with God.

  • Marilyn

    After reading all the comments of caregivers and those loving the ones who are ready to pass, it brings back the memories of the 18 years my husband was needing care because of several serious strokes . I tried to keep a happy face on all the time because we had teenage children who needed to pursue their goals and I wanted life to be normal for them while I took on the responsibility for their father. Was I happy? In retrospect I knew I was doing God’s work, and I looked happy, but it annoyed some people who thought I was not taking my husband’s condition seriously. I feel blessed that I was able to keep my balance while dealing with all the stresses of watching a loved one deteriorate, and I credit my faith for how we dealt with the journey we were given. What makes me happy now is knowing God was on my shoulder, He let me survive what could have shattered me and my family, and my husband died in my arms with dignity and grace. Our children are stronger for watching how we led our lives. Even now, eleven years after his passing, people approach me and say what an inspiration our family was to all who observed us. My prayers are with all those suffering and all those who are caring for them.

  • Marjorie Brown

    I like what Darren Guido stated. I could have written the same. Very eye opening as I’ve never realized putting off until later was resistance. I can see were resistance is eating up my happiness and weakening my resolve. Wow! Thanks for such a great insight.

  • Becca Berg Lemley

    I am married to a wonderful man & have 3 healthy children. I am happy! But my husbands family doesn’t have a desire to have a relationship with our kids. They are nice, but just selfish. We just had a baby boy & neither his parents or sister make an effort to see him. I’m allowing their actions or lack of, steal my joy. Every time I think about it, I immediately become less happy & worried. And it takes away from anything positive going on with my husband & kids. I have suffered from this for too long & I pray God can deliver me from this.

    • Mary Grace Phillippe

      Becca…what a heartache you have, you only wish to share the joy of this precious child with your husbands family, but I have seen the tole that this can take on a person… I will keep you in my prayers today that their hearts are softened and their eyes are opened to the happiness and love that is being given to them.

      • Becca Berg Lemley

        Yes! That is exactly my wish. Thank you so much for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. God Bless!

  • Karen Taylor Frigon

    I disagree with what Matthew said “we don’t do the things to make us happy because we’re too busy trying to be happy” . It’s because I’m too busy trying to make OTHERS happy, whether that’s taking care of family or being a slave to society’s pressures.

    • Maddie

      That’s a really good point. As Catholics, we try to be the best we can be for other people, that we forget about doing what makes ourselves happy.

  • Bob crawford

    My question is this: is happiness really the ultimate goal?

    • Rufus X

      I think that it’s a bi-product. Of living in harmony with God & God’s will. You can be really happy riding your bike, or really happy standing in a long line at the check-out at a store, or even really happy at Mass when someone is texting during mass. When I start to compare myself, or judge others, I usually crap all over my happiness.

  • Karen Bumstead

    I find that when I leave the present moment, I give up the joy of the moment by focusing on the future or being regretful for the past, I lose my happiness. Really I won’t gain anything in the moment from the future or the past and I lose the moment when I could be happy. Living in the moment makes me happiest. Sometimes just stepping back and witnessing what is around me makes me happy. I recently went through a rough time with my brother as he was passing from this life to the other battling pancreatic cancer. In the last two weeks he rarely smiled and he was a very funny guy. The night he died God put a smile on his face. That one sign made me happy even during the saddest of moments.

    • Maddie

      Thank you for sharing that, that was a great story and I’m so sorry about your brother. Your story is a great reminder that God places happiness in the most unexpected places.

  • Rufus X

    I just read something about learning patience. That it’s one of the key traits for happiness. Interesting someone posted about that. In the book Life And Death In Shanghai by Nien Cheng she talks of her life as a wealthy Chinese woman who was suddenly imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution and how she learned how to be happy under extreme conditions. As cliche’ as it sounds, it’s an inside job. I think the whole message of all of scripture is that true happiness comes from living in harmony with God and God’s will. Period.

  • Niki

    First I would like to say how grateful I am that my Aunt forwarded me the opportunity to be a part of this lent exercise. I have been struggling with depression and “finding” myself for quite some time. I know I need to get back into being an active member of the church, but I encounter so much resistance (aka – excuses) that I don’t go.
    I want nothing more than to be a happy person – I want my children to remember me smiling and being active and enjoying life. I’ve given myself a challenge to find the “silver lining” in all situations, but it’s a struggle since I’m in an unhealthy relationship with someone who is quite negative as well. I want nothing more than for us to figure this out – not only for our children, but for us as a couple. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this and sharing your stories!

  • Beth

    Happiness isn’t easy or daily for me, this is my greatest disappointment. Because I have so many reasons to be happy yet frustration and irritation easily fill my head and mouth. I am striving to become happier and more in the moment.

  • Eileen Forsyth

    is happiness so elusive because of our culture?

  • Patricia

    Resisting to do the necessary things in life delays our happiness. It feels so good to “do the right thing” and yet, we struggle with ourselves and become frustrated. Lord, help us to overcome our propensity to delay doing the things we should. Give us the grace to persevere carrying our daily cross knowing that you are there with us! Show us how to be happier in this life so we can give it away to others who do not know you. Help us to live in the moment and not project how long we may struggle with our challenges/burdens.
    I just read many of the entries today and understand the hardships of caring for someone. My gift came 25 years ago-a handicapped baby girl. I still struggle with the constant care that she needs but I also know that she has blessed our lives tremendously. I have come to realize that she was given to me to teach me to rely of God and to help conquer my resistance to happiness. She is a gift and so are our life challenges. How will we respond?
    Lord, help me become more selfless and not count the cost. Give me what is necessary to fulfill my responsibilities and become more like you.

  • Joanne

    14 years ago we adopted four siblings, I am 73 years old and still have kids at home.. Sometimes I feel I would be happier if I had my life to myself but after reflecting on everything being said I plan to find my happiness in these children

  • Lisa Huetteman

    🙂

  • Lauren H

    I am not as happy as I could be because I’m scared to get closer to GOD, fearing HE might make me so holy that I will have to do something really, really hard like the saints. I try to remember that HE will not give me anything more than I can handle, but giving up my self-will for a plan that I do not know is scary. However, I suppose it is better to be scared and happy, than “safe” and sad.

  • Gerry Murphy

    My Lenten promise is to be more aware of the blessings in my life and be more compassionate towards others. I am generally happy, but I have always been very impatience in life. I found more resistance in my first day than I ever thought possible. Could this be I am simply more aware? Probably? I pray that the Lord helps me from chasing things that interfere with my happiness.

  • Mary Grace Phillippe

    In reading these blogs I am filled with such joy and hope…to see such beautiful people in this world.. all of us struggling to do the right thing and knowing that our only path is with our Saviors love. You beautiful caregivers inspire me to give more🌹Thank you

  • Eduardo Hoover

    One of the unalienable rights according to the US Declaration of Independence is the pursuit of happiness. I have come to believe that it truly a “pursuit” like trying to capture the wind, never attainable though it seems very plausible. Can I capture happiness? If a windmill can beneficially harness the wind then I must be able to achieve the behoovement of happiness beyond plain old contentment.

  • Katrina Winograd

    No, I am not as happy as I could be. I have a figurative gaping hole in my heart from some very traumatic experiences in my childhood. For many years I have tried to fill that sinkhole with things that I thought would make me happy. But they only worked for a short amount of time. But now at the age of 52(almost) I have finally realized the only thing that is able to fill in that sinkhole is the love of God. His love, grace, acceptance and understanding of me will lead to true longterm happiness. I need to find ways to remind me of this so I don’t continue to sink down into
    misery and unhappiness.

  • Julie

    No, I am not nearly as happy as I could be. Worry, chronic pain, to-do lists, money, unhealed relationships, lack of prayer, and regrets all bog me down on an almost daily basis.

  • Mary Lou Crawford

    Just this short video this morning will help me. There was definitely resistance I felt this morning and I will work on these feelings. Thank God my cousin sent me this source!

  • jessica busson

    I think I am generally happy on the outside but in the inside I focus on the things I lack in my life. This takes away from my enjoyment in the moment. I am defiantly not as happy as I could be. I experience resistance everyday and usually resistance wins. During this lent season I am doing something different, instead of giving up something I am focusing on certain things I want to do. For instance praying with my husband each night even when we are very tired, reading my prayer book and doing this study.

  • Rebecca Desporte

    I know that I am only truly happy when I spend time feeding my spirituality. I suffer greatly from resistance in many ways starting each day by hitting the snooze alarm several times. I procrastinate and don’t spend quiet time in prayer first thing in the morning. I always have good intentions to change — particularly since I am now retired and have the time to do the things that make me happy. I can’t stay focused on doing a few things and always end up making my goals too hard. For instance, my list of goals looks like this. “When I retire, I will go to daily mass; I will journal every day; I will spend time in daily prayer; I will do more spiritual reading: I will read the Catechism, I will volunteer with the elderly; I will organize and clean out the clutter in my home…and there’s probably more.” Instead, it’s been two years since I’ve retired and I spend time feeling bad about myself for doing none of these on a regular basis and some of these not at all. Instead I stay up late watching too much TV, playing with Facebook, Candy Crush, Pet Rescue, Words with Friends etc. I pray this lent that I have the self discipline to start by resisting the habit of making my goals so unattainable. I plan to participate in meditating on Matthew Kelly’s “The Best Lent Ever,” going to daily mass and reading “Resisting Happiness”. I will begin journaling by taking baby steps using the guidelines of focus, act and pray. I’ve given up those time wasting games for lent. I ask this community to keep me in your prayers as I will you.

    • Denise

      I am right there with you, Rebecca. I retired in June and always have great goals, but somehow the TV grabs me or my iPad and then it’s 4:00 and I don’t know where the day went! I am trying this Lent to limit my screen time and make it a point to get out of the house early so I can accomplish my goals! That way, after I do the videos from this program I will feel like I have moved forward. Today’s goal? The linen closet! Hang in there!

      • Rebecca Desporte

        Good luck with the linen closet! I did go to mass today and am headed to the gym now. Wish me luck on giving up some TV and getting to bed earlier so I can get more done on my “wish list.” Lol

        • Denise

          Good luck. Sounds like you are off to a good start! Hang in there! 🙏🏻

  • IslandGal52

    As I get older I find it harder to be happy. Before the death of my parents, when our family was still intact I had hope. With their departure, the true personalities of my siblings tore the family in half. I hope God doesn’t hold it against me to steer clear of the narcissistic , toxic people I am left with.
    My greatest discovery was the day I learned that God really does love me. I only have to look at all the blessings in my life, and how good He takes care of me with food, shelter, and friends who REALLY care about me. He did tell us to avoid the near occasion of sin and being exposed to people who drive me crazy really stirs me in the wrong way. God please forgive me. I have to believe there are so many saintly hermits who felt the same way. Have a blessed day everyone.

  • Gregory O’Brien

    What makes me happy?
    Physically:Eating right and exercising. I have changed my eating habits and begun exercising regularly. I have lost some weight in the process, but best of all I am happier after I do it.
    Emotionally: Making time to be with my wife to actually talk and connect. It is difficult to slow life down and get quality time, but it always makes me feel better.
    Spiritually: Prayer!! Prayer can come in many fashions. Going to mass, reading the Bible, or even listening to Christian music when I actually take time to listen to the message in the song and what it means to me.
    Intellectually: Reading a book. I struggle to find the time to do this one, but I really enjoy my time when I find a good book to read.
    I am happier each day as I listen to Matthew’s messages and am trying to commit to actually doing the daily exercises. Hope everyone is enjoying it as much as I am.

  • Margarita Flores

    Hello everyone , today is my first time participating in a group discussion with people I don’t know . I am excited by it . I am so touched by all the dynamics you all shared about taking care of your elderly parents ,I pray our sweet merciful Lord will give you all the strength you need physically , mentally and emotionally to deal with all the aspects of it . The church teaches us that through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy like giving drink to the thirsty and food to the hungry , taking care and visiting the sick these are all acts of love and kindness ,doing all this and more for all of your Mom and Dad is a beautiful sacrifice for Lent . The Lord will repay you all for your time and dedication with peace and joy . Keep up the good work . I want to share a prayer I wrote for lent in 2008 , I hope it touches your soul.
    Lord as I begin my journey through this Lenten season,I ask you Lord for your presence .i promise to worship you every day .May you remind me of how I should act as I go through the course of my days . May my actions and words reflect you. I ask to know you more each day . Show me the way ! Show me how to deal with this world. Help me to remember that my expectations may not be the same as yours . Help me to see the true meaning in life . May my spirit be renewed and matured in these forty days of Lent . Guide me Lord! I need you and I adore you ! Thank you for always providing for my family and I . Bless my family and keep them safe.May your love always surround them . You are my savior ! Thank you Lord . AMEN!

  • Jayme Uboldi

    I think the hardest part of finding happiness is in people’s work. So many people I know spend 2/3 of their time working at a stressful and thankless job to raise their kids and prepare for their retirement. A lot of times all of our time and energy goes there and there is nothing left at the end of the day to take care of ourselves – like hobbies and exercise. I think that is one of the biggest challenges we face to happiness.

    • Lisa

      Is it possible for you to get a different job?

  • Like Amanda in today’s video I am generally a happy person. I definitely have moments of sorrow, worry and sadness but I try very hard not to dwell in them. It’s very easy to let others and even our own thoughts bring us down. But if I’m mindful, I can also find others who will lift me up and I can also choose to turn my own thoughts around to do the same.

  • Maddalena McKee

    Amanda so well said and thought out. But take it from me being joyful far out weights being taken seriously ! Those who take the time to know you will understand where your joy comes from. I often kid with people that I smile all the time because I am simple minded . 🙂

  • RAB-G

    The things that make me the happiest are not things, they are the people in my life 🙂 I feel happy when I see my children, grandchildren & husband happy. Then I feel JOY, Peace & Gratefulness for all that God has given me.

  • Jacqui

    I have been frustrated lately because I took a bad fall awhile back and am in constant pain when I walk. So because of that, I am limited as to where I can go or what I can do. Even my poor dog is limited as to how many times we can go out for a walk, which used to be one of my favorite things. I know there are bigger problems out there but I really feel isolated and there is not much enjoyment in my life anymore.

  • Jenny

    I like that Matthew didn’t sit behind a desk when he was talking. It made him seem more vulnerable and he seemed to speak from a place of honesty with himself. Loved the message. I like the idea of being real with myself, I think it starts with asking for humility…I’ve learned that humility is the acknowledgment of truth.

    • Dynamic Catholic

      Thanks for your feedback, Jenny! We hope you have your Best Lent Ever!

  • ZeySern

    when I’m at my happiest I almost feel like something bad is going to happen. Like i shouldnt be that happy. I block my happiness.

  • Paul Hoeing

    Matthew and his staff do marvels! Another great Lenten program. There is so much to be thankful for. My main effort is to Focus, Focus, Focus…..

  • Judy

    Amanda (worker in second video), her words really tugged at my heart. It’s as if I could have given the same answer. Am I as happy as I could be? Obvious,y no since Amanda’s words had such an impact on me. My question is, Why am I resisting happiness?

  • Gwendolyn

    I let worry and comparison steal my happiness. Going to focus on my happiness choices from the activity to replace worry and comparison. 🙂

    • Lisa

      I had a job where I worried about what everyone else was doing. In my next job, I thought only about what I needed to do. Everyone liked me for it. Recently, I applied the same concept at home. Suddenly, the stress was off.

  • Mike

    I would say that I am a happy person, but being content no. The difference between being happy and being content between immediate and long-term. As we all know our culture promotes immediacy and down plays self-sacrifice. I believe that if I am willing to let God in my life and teach me to be less selfish, I will be content…It’s like today’s Gospel “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will be saved.”

  • Sandra

    I think Amanda is right, happiness is a choice we make each day. We can choose to worry or we can choose to enjoy the trials/crosses that we have. I am going to try to make the happiness choice today and hopefully become more aware of the choices I am making that affect my happiness.

  • Kerry

    I am happy and grateful for all the blessings in my life…like my family. That brings me so much joy. However, I do go through periods where I DO compare myself to other moms who seem to “have it together” when I am barely holding and I tend to feel like I am undeserving of my wonderful children. Same thing as a wife to my husband. My husband works so hard for us and still manages to come home with a smile on his face and he’s a wonderful husband and father. I tend to feel that I’m not equally giving to him as a wife. I tend to tear myself apart and that definitely steals my happiness.

    • Lisa

      When my kids were small, I thought other mom’s had it together. Later, I found out it was just an illusion. Kind of like the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

  • Yvonne Moreno-Taylor

    I want to be but I let outside resistance keep me from embracing the things that bring me joy.

  • Kristi

    My happiness is much different then most people. A year ago I was diagnosed with stage four cancer in my liver. This is my second bout with cancer. I was sad and angry and felt God had let me down. But after my prognosis sunk in I had to make a decision. Was I going to live out the rest of my days angry and bitter or was I going to live life to the fullest? I chose the latter and in many ways this cancer was the best thing that happened to me. I have had an amazing year and have learned to enjoy each and every day God blesses me with. I cherish each moment spent with my children, family and friends. Before my diagnosis I was too busy working and worrying and rushing through life. Now I appreciate the warm sun on my face, the singing birds and a beautiful sunset. I never imagined I could be so happy to wake up each day. Our God works in amazing ways.

    • Shirl

      I need to learn from your example – thank you for sharing and may God’s healing hand sustain you.

  • Leah Levitt

    I struggle with saying the Rosary Regularly. I put it off until evening and then am either too tired to say it or fall asleep before or during it. I don’t know why I do this since I love saying the Rosary. I also do Adoration before Tuesday Church Service and say the Rosary while I am there. I want to be there thirty minutes so I can get my Rosary said. Invariably I am like five minutes late so I can’t do all five decades. I look forward to and really feel good after saying my Rosary. I am a convert to Catholicism in my old age and love being a Catholic. I said the Rosary faithfully every day for a year or so when I first learned it. I know it is resistance.

    • Marie

      The Rosary, I have trouble with this because it all brings back memories of being forced to participate and always wondering when is this going to be over as a child. I dislike the rambling of words, I want to feel the passion of my prayers. Maybe I need to revisit the Rosary and really listen to what Im saying. it’s not just the Rosary it all group recited prayers, do we really know what we’re saying or is it just rambling. My challenge for each of us is to take each childhood prayer and not only recite it but OWN IT!

      • Leah Levitt

        It is unfortunate that you were forced to say the Rosary without understanding it. Buddhists meditate. The Rosary is also a form of meditation. I find that pretending I am there helps. I do suffer from my mind wandering, but just bring it back. It is very hard to concentrate on both the words and the meditations. I like to say it with other people or EWTN and Catholic TV both have Rosaries you can say with them. There is also nothing that says you can’t say just one or two decades. Reading a good book on the Rosary helps. I love saying the Rosary but Resistance gets in the way.

        • Marie

          Forced may may have been a strong word, but not understanding it as a young child did not help. I would like to “want” to say the Rosary not because I should say it because I’m Catholic. I will look into some books. Thanks Leah

          • Leah Levitt

            You are welcome. I think it is vital that you want to and enjoy saying the Rosary. If this doesn’t happen you shouldn’t feel guilty. There are many forms of Prayer. I am currently reading 13 Powerful Ways ro Pray. By Eamon Tobin. It points out that there are many ways to Pray. You pick out the ones you enjoy and can do.

  • Laurie Brennan Manning

    No, I don’t think so. I own a lot of that though, yesterday I was lamenting to my boss that my road in life has never been without a lot of pot holes….but really they’re small bumps. I’m trying to see the good.

  • Melissa Nelp-Buerck

    I am generally a happy person and even when I am not I put on a happy face. I try to look at the positive of all things especially my blessings.

  • Diana Hall

    I feel that I am happy. I usually look at the bright side of everything. Once in awhile I look back and think that I maybe should have done more for my daughter when she was sick & dieing. I wanted to give her her space, she wanted things to be as normal as possible for her children, so I stayed away more then I actually want to. I pray she is looking down on me from heaven & telling me I did what she wanted me to do. I know I can’t change the past so for lent I will not look back & wonder if I did enough. I know she is happy in heaven & wants me to be happy. I am happy.

  • Team Beinecke

    “Happiness” has been like a bubble in my life: sparkling and soaring one moment then POP, gone. Until I locked arms with Jesus Christ I never experienced TRUE joy. Now I can seek happiness out in all circumstances because HE is in all things, working my experiences together for good, and because His joy is always with me, accessible through the my quiet moments and communication with Him. What do I do on the outside to increase my happiness? I can echo what brother Michael Kelly said, and to it some things like pets-I just love our furry family! And a good laugh, a good cry, a long embrace, a great book, kayaking… Some I do, some I don’t make a priority, and that negatively affects my happiness. But if I cannot have or do these things, I will still ALWAYS have access to the joy within me that is Christ my Savior and Brother.

  • John Peternell

    Really ties in to today’s reading

  • Jo Lumpkin

    The second video discusses how we let worry and frustrations interfere with our happiness. This is so true for me–I am happy but I am a worrier. Even though I know worrying won’t help nor change things it is my nature. This lent I am going to really make an effort to let go and let God! It will be hard but with prayer I hope to do better!

  • Hannah Diecks

    I’d say I’m more unhappy than happy, I tend to get agitated pretty quickly and my patience is definitely something I lack which tends to turn me into a cranky person making me feel not happy. There are a lot of changes and a lot of things out of my control right now which tends to make my agitation rise and my patience dwindle but I’m working to let go of the things I can not control and really lean in on my faith to guide and lead me through this time. I’m really excited to dive into this group and focus each day one day at a time!

  • Michael Ennis

    Generally, I am a very happy person. When I watched Patch Adams for the first time, and heard them say he was accused of ‘excessive happiness’, that resonated with me. When I was in 8th grade, I was sent to the office. I learned that I had been sent there because I was smiling all the time, and my teacher thought I was up to something. To this day, I am generally a happy person, but like others below, I sometimes let others negativity get to me, and it evaporates my happiness. Something inside me is still broken, and that is giving resistance a foothold into preventing my “excessive happiness”. Some day I will figure out what is broken inside me, and remove that barrier to my complete happiness.
    God Bless

    • Lisa

      I don’t think most people will think you are up to something if you are happy. There are always bitter people who just don’t get it or are unhappy in their own lives. I find it difficult to NOT hold onto the opinions of other people but I try to put God’s opinion in the first place.

  • Shirl

    I try to look at the world with an optimistic lens and for the most part am successful. Lately frustrations with work have been weighing me down. To resist the temptation to allow my frustrations affect my soul and to rise above them is my prayer this lent.

  • Debbie Owen

    Happy to me means have i made a list to set priorities so BUSY doesn’t steal my day and accept what i am able to accomplish and tweek the list each day. I also remind myself that God said if you put him first he will be sure what you need to do will get done, so my daily read is now my priority so i feel my day is set on a better path and then accept if i don’t get everything i wanted done:)

  • AP

    I too am generally Happy. I believe that it is a gift of the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist. This is what I know and as Matthew Kelly points out, when I resist the “right things to do”, I am far less happy than when I resist resistance and take proper actions. When I resist, fear, anger and worry abound. When I do the right things, like prayer, these things are neutralized. When my cup is full of happy, it flows into others’ lives and I believe, that is God doing his good work, through us.

  • Natasha Field

    Main speaker hit the nail on the head, it would make me a lot happier to work out a bit, read the things that expand my mind a bit and have a quiet few minutes to just pray, soak the quiet in and speak to God. As a matter of fact, our church is so close that whenever I’m running ragged, I will literally drag all my three children in there, Adoration or not, and center myself just for a few seconds (literally, seconds, kids are under 8 and they are so full of joy and happiness, they bubble). Those few seconds carry me for days it seems. Til next Sunday.

  • roniquebreauxjordan

    Generally, i am a happy enough person…the frustration comes in when what you work toward takes longer than you expected…

  • CaroleS

    I will be 79 and live alone with my dog on a farm. I think all of you are so wonderful to your parents and will pray for you to have strength. Just imagine each kind gesture as another diamond in your halo. I’m blessed with a terrific son who calls almost daily and will come and fix stuff. My Lenten goals are to fast from being judgmental and to be thankful for the many blessings I have. Because I’m very handicapped I have a caregiver who comes for couple of hours each day to help. That’s a major blessing. Have three other children who are too busy, so I struggle with that, BUT I have wonderful grands who are always in touch. Lots of good to focus on right?

  • Martha Drillette

    I am happy most of the time. I am also dealing with cancer treatment which leaves me feeling real for a couple of days after treatment. Through it all I’ve grown much stronger in my faith in God for with him all things are possible. Praying daily, attending weekday Mass, faith formation class and family time make me joyful.

  • Janice Bittner

    Am I as happy as I could be? Am I as happy as I should be? Not by a long shot. Even when I’m happy, I’m not really happy, if that makes sense. I have spent most of my life believing that every one else deserved happiness and blessings, but not me. My belief was “I don’t know what I did wrong, but it must have been a doozy, because I’m pretty certain God is fed up with me, and that’s why every one else has so much more than I do.” It has only been within the last 5 years that I’ve begun to learn just what a whopping big lie that is.

  • Susanne

    I have been off of work for 31 days due to complications from a hand surgery and today is my first day back! I was so excited on my drive to work today! When you deal with pain management and the feeling of not being in control of your healing process, you find yourself praying a lot. The result of what I’ve been through is a compassion for those who suffer with pain every day. I think of the soldiers who’ve been injured in war, people who’ve had accidents and become permanently injured, and I’ve been able to look at my setbacks as minor in comparison to the permanence that others will have to live with daily!

    I am happy that there is an endpoint to my pain. I am happy about every day that I am given. I am happy to have learned about specific compassion for others who are suffering pain.

    Happiness is what you choose to be…every day! It’s a mindset to live up to for the day with God’s guidance! Open yourself up to Christ guiding every move you make daily! It is through Christ that Happiness will come to fruition!!!

  • Carol Rosenberg

    I feel like this was written for me specifically. I am going through this happiness resistance phase right now. Not for the first time either! I feel supported and it is giving me more strength to push through. Thank you God for sending me this message.💜

  • karen teter

    My happiness comes from knowing I have my salvation, thanks to Jesus dying on the cross for all of mankind and following His Father’s will. I am also happy when I am thinking of others and how I can bless them and share God’s love. It might be a compliment to someone, asking someone if I can offer a prayer for them, or just giving someone a much needed gift card to help them out. It is a win win situation because it makes us both happy. We are God’s disciples on this earth and ask God, how you can help Him spread His love and truth.

  • Paula Hecker

    Years ago I took care of an elderly woman in a hospital where I worked. She was unresponsive to the people who were caring for her even when they were cheerful and pleasant. Then her son came to visit her whom she had not seen for a long time. Although she was unable to communicate with words anymore, she expressed her total joy as she focused bon his face with an ear to ear smile! Her face was lit up with total happiness at his presence. Her gaze never left his face! She literally glowed with happiness!

    That is the image I get in my mind when I think of going to heaven and finally beholding God’s face. That is the expression of happiness I anticipate in heaven. Yet, here and now, I can catch a glimpse of that joy whenever I come into God’s presence in the most Blessed Sacrament! That is pure joy and happiness available in any Tabernacle of the Catholic Church throughout the world! Learning to truly appreciate that wonderful gift in a daily awareness is a struggle for me. I pray this lent will assist me with that issue. I get too easily distracted.

  • Margaret Rutherford

    I resisted watching. My pain level was high. I knew doctor and OT and PT were coming. I wanted uninterrpted time without medical persons coming. When the pain was less and everyone was gone, l participated.

    Sometimes people are struggling and this access to Dynamic Catholic is a privilege, a blessing. It is also an open door to learning more about how to live and a way to find others to pray with you and for you. Please pray for those who suffer with no access to medical resources.

  • Anna Krystyniak

    In general I am a happy person, but I get caught up in the everyday moments when my Mom hat is on and feel exhausted and tired that my happiness is gone. My boys are young 6 and 7 and I love when they are just being goofy and signing in their underwear. But I go in Mom mode and not playful happy mode. I want to change that but easier said than done. One step at a time I guess.

  • Martha

    I have been caring for my husband who has dementia for almost 13 years. Most of the time, I am truly happy that he is still with me. However, there are some very difficult moments especially when I am overtired when I feel afraid that I may not be able to continue providing his care. I could never have continued my journey of caring without God’s constant help. This last year when my husband has become incontinent has been my most difficult, but since I can ask God for whatever help I require, I know that He will hear me and will enable me to do the necessary tasks. Today many are in my position of the old taking care of the old and family members living far away. Most days I feel contented knowing that what I am doing is exactly what I am to be doing. That contentment makes me happy.

    • Kathryn Duncan

      It is amazing how God can bring you joy out of the most difficult circumstances and provide the strength we need to keep going. I took care of my mom who had Alzheimer’s for several years. Yes it was frustrating, and overwhelming at times, but I must say that these were some of the best times we had in our relationship. I had always thought I was a patient, compassionate person but discovered that I had so much more to learn.

  • Julie Mendenhall

    I cared for my mom the last 7 years of her life, and was with her when she died. I was jealous of having to spend so much time and effort on her at first. When things got really difficult, I didn’t know if we would make it to the end together. As time went by I began to value not only being with her, but serving her. Even the hard things became easier to do with love. It wasn’t perfect. But I am really glad that I did it. God is good. He will guide your way through it all.

    • LosmanPO

      Julie, that was a great example of overcoming resistance. Thanks for that!

  • Debbie Keil

    My husband makes me happy. He is not Catholic and even hesitates when calling himself Christian. I know that I need to help him on his journey to heaven and the best way is to pray for him daily. I do see that I am not doing that as I should. I know I have to be the example of Christ’s love for him. I will be praying for his conversion every day.

    • Lisa

      Faith is a Gift from God and only God can give it. Thank God for yours and keep asking God to give it to your husband. God will wait for just the right moment. It’s hard to be patient. I have someone I’m waiting for too.

    • LosmanPO

      Debbie, As a man who was led to a life in the Catholic Church through my wife, I know that it is possible. Besides prayer, which is so powerful in these situations, the thing that influenced me the most was seeing my wife live out her faith in her daily life. Once I saw the joys and countless positive effects that came from our young family’s faith formation, I too longed for this joy. To be blunt, I did not want to be left out or left behind. It is a matter of faith and you may just take time for him to discover the need to become the best-version-of-himself. I would encourage you to continue to be that example of Christ for him. It may seem like it will take a miracle now, but God will meet you both exactly where you are. Trust in God and persevere in your prayer and in living the gospel.

  • Pat Fontenot

    I am a generally a happy person but when I stop to think about the day are things around me I begin to worry about everything. Thus blocks my happiness my own mind !

  • Faith

    When I am at peace is when I pray , or when I am in the presence of the Eucharist, I can find any time of the day to pray, it is NOT difficult to read or just be present. However I Resist Happiness when its time to get up and go to work (High school) More and more each day I refuse to get up and go to work, I rather stay at home or call my daughters and be with them and my grand children! I do not find happiness any more at work!! 🙁

    • LosmanPO

      Faith, I believe anyone who has worked for any length of time has experienced what you are feeling. Maybe not for the same reason, but sooner or later we discover that our purpose in life is not work. Don’t get me wrong, having a job and being able to meet your financial commitments is still important, but it is not the most important part of working. Work helps us to build our character. Matthew Kelly talks about this in a couple of his books, and I love the way he helped me to realize that I need to connect any work that I do to God. Although it was hard at first, I used Matthew’s recommendation and started to offer the hours of my day to God as a prayer for the important people and difficult situations in my life and in the world. I am much more content now at work because I understand more fully why I am doing what I’m doing. I am not in my dream job, but God is still not done with me yet. Give it a shot. It may not bring the joy and happiness you seek, but it may give you the contentment you need to go to work each day and to give the best effort you can.

  • Maria Munguia

    I’m known for being a happy person by my friends and family. Always looking on the bright side of things and always being calm and collected. As of late I’ve been struggling with my happiness, what brings me happiness as opposed to what makes others happy with me. I’m trying to do things that truly make me happy instead of trying to please everyone else. I hope this new effort will help lead me in the right direction for my life and future career.

  • Luke Meloy

    I used to be a happy person when I was younger, now, I am not sure what has change but I find I am unhappy most of the time. I am not sure why, I have a great job, a beautiful wife and 2 year old son, a house, family and friends who love and support me, I am very lucky. Yet still I feel unhappy. I feel as though I have a huge weight on my shoulders. I feel angry all the time, especially when others do things that impedes or hinders what I want to do or my timelines for getting something accomplished (i.e. Driving, work schedules, walking, interacting with people). I feel angry and worried about what is going on in the world and I want to change it but I dont know how. I feel miserable, beat down and dejected. I know I am in a funk and I dont know how to get out of it. My wife and I decided to take this “Best Lent Ever” journy together. I am hoping to learn and grow in my faith, to grow closer to god and my wife and to hopefully get out of this funk that is negatively impacting my life and my relationships.

    • Theresa Jones Allison

      Luke, I sympathize with your feelings and want you to know that you are not alone. I have struggled my whole life with anxiety and depression. Sometimes a doctor’s help is needed if it continues or becomes extreme. But my main reason for responding to you is to invite you to entrust your cares, your work, your family, your very self into the arms of our heavenly Mother. She loves you with such tenderness and wants to hold and help you. You know how much you love your children and will protect and comfort them without counting the cost. Now multiply that times infinity! Because that’s how much your Mother Mary will hold and help and protect and comfort you.
      Count on my prayers for you.

  • francescakotomski

    I’m usually happy. What keeps me there is doing what I enjoy, being with people who are happy and do healthy and spiritual healthy things. I’m not as happy and maybe confused when I’m living life without my driving purpose and principles. I like to help people gain greater health and that always fills me up with happiness but when I can reach them, then I’m not as happy.

  • Psquich

    I am generally a happy person. I am grateful for my husband and family. I love being with him and them. That makes me happy. When I worry about things out of my control it interferes with my ability to be fully “with” the people I love and that is something I have to work on.

  • Sharon Smith

    I have dealt with depression for five yeas. In March of 2016 until Decembet of 2016 were the worst time of my life. I tried to commit sucide 3 times. On the third try I couldn’t do it. My daughter called tha day as she always called me every day. I told her what I had done and she immediately went on the Internet and found a hospital in our area that had a geriatric psych ward and the had one bed available. She came from NJ and my husband, my daughter and myself went to the hospital. I was admitted on December 13th the feast day of St. Lucy (patron saint of eyesight). I was in there one week.
    I have a new doctor, new medicine, and I did 20 treatments of DTMS( deep Trans magnetic stimulation) this was first discovered in Europe. It is FDA approved and my doctor has been doing it since May of 2016.
    Also I go to daily mass, but I had not gone in 10 months. When I was depressed I thought the Lord did not like me. On the first Monday I go to Mass the 2nd prayer of the faithful is, may the mental ill get proper care. Now that was the Lord speaking to me. When I starts my DTMS treatments I was back being me. These treatments have helped but I am so happy and that is because I walk with the Lord. I have more engery and I love to cook and bake. I start my day off going to daily Mass and that is wonderful.
    I live in PA and if you want some information about my doctor or my treatments you can e-Hamilton at
    Thesmitties@yahoo. Com
    God Bless you. I hope you have a faith filled Lent.

  • Leah

    I’m a happy person most of the time, but once I start to worry and have fear in my life, my happiness seems to disappear. I just don’t know how to turn off that worry and fear.

    • Mog

      Leah, they were the same 2 words I wrote down yesterday as my resistance! I have only just discovered this. I will pray that we both try, with the help of God, toeliminate these from our lives, during this lent.

  • Babciamel

    I suffer from bi-polar disorder and happiness has been something that often eludes me. I would rather isolate myself by staying home (sometimes not even answering the phone or doorbell) than to get my self ready and leave the house. Tues. evening a friend invited me to join her and two of her aunts for mass for Ash Wednesday. Wed. morning, I vowed I would do this program with my first cup of coffee each morning. When I finished with the program for the day, I started into fb. Soon, I realized I was procrastinating. I hurried and made it to church just a couple minutes late. I not only sat with the friend that invited me, whom I haven’t seen in over a year; but I also ran into a friend I haven’t seen in a few years! Both of these women are the kind of friends that, when we see each other, we pick right up where we left off. Always comfortable enough to confide in each other. The original group I met decided to go out for lunch, and I joined. It turned out to be the best day I have had in months….since before Christmas. It feels so good to feel this good….all warm and fuzzy inside. I think that real friends help one achieve that feeling. All of this because I forced myself to leave the house to go to church. Today was a GREAT day!!!

  • Annette

    Two years ago my husband and I retired from owning our own automotive repair shop! Life was stressful and happiness was limited due to work and family obligations! Now that I am retired, I have more appreciation for evethong I am able to do without the pressure of filling every second in my life! I am in God’s word more and absolutely love this time! I am very happy to be God’s daughter as I continue to trust my life to Him! Lent is my time to even go deeper and appreciate His unending love for me and everyone who asks Him do it! God bless you all!

  • Joan Nelson

    I used to think I was just one of very few who were going through taking care of elderly parents. I am the fifth and youngest and it fell to me to look out for my folks. They were married seventy-two years when my Dad at 92 passed away in 1993 and Mama at 95 in 1995. I have no regrets for having looked out for them for many years. Then in May 2007 my brother, 16 years older than me and a retired priest of 58 years, was having health problems and came to live with my husband and me. It was determined in July of that year that he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. His doctors were about 45 miles from our home but we made sure I got him to his appointments and his weekly
    chemotherapy appointments when they began giving them to him. He lived in our home until Dec. 14 when it was necessary to take him to the hospital. He was there until Dec. 24 when he was moved to Hospice
    Care. With remaining two siblings and some very good friends he took his last breath as we finished saying the Rosary with Mother Angelica’s sisters on Dec. 28 – the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Shortly before he was reaching out to someone or something and in my heart I believe the Blessed Mother came to take him home.

  • Carmen Daniels

    There are several elements in my life that should result in me being happy but I honestly can’t say that I am. Recently, I have been trying to change my habits (i.e. cut out caffeine, pray 10 minutes a day, get on a routine sleep schedule, etc.) to make myself a better person and all in all make me happy. However I feel like the more I try, the more I fail, and the less happy I become. Now that I have re-started the book “Resisting Happiness” I am simply hoping to do one thing…live my life with God at the center of it! These videos and discussions are my first attempts at doing so :).

  • JoAnne Collins

    Thanks everyone for sharing your caregiving stories with us. I too was one of 6 siblings that cared for our Mother 24/7 for several months before she peacefully passed from this life to begin her new one last October, It was indeed a pleasure and a very special bonding time that we were granted from our dear Lord to have this time with this amazing Mother we were so blessed to have. Looking forward to our journey here in this Best Lent Ever and remember we are too blessed to be stressed!! 🙂

  • Cindy

    I once read a quote from Abraham Lincoln, who struggled with depression all of his life.
    He said, ” Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Wise words, and they tell me that happiness is a choice I make each day. My prayer for Lent is that I choose happiness,
    in spite of the circumstances of my life.

  • Marie

    I received my Resisting Happiness book months ago and It was not the right time for me. I was resistant, I was hurting over a loss of a friendship, feeling betrayed and confused. Then my child and grandchild arrived on our doorstep with suitcase in hand. The latter issue took focus off of poor me and made me focus on these two loved ones that needed my support. I have allowed my anger over these situations steal my happiness. My challenge is to not let others determine my frustration or happiness. I’m not saying they are a bad persons, I just don’t agree with their actions. Children need to be top priority and egos need not enter the situation. They say time heals and I know feel ready to accept change. I am in charge if my happiness!

  • Chris

    I remember when my kids were little and having hot chocolate, during that time my daughter said, “ooh look little marshmallows!, This is the BEST day ever!!!” Wouldn’t it be great if we could be that happy as adults and look at the little things and think, How lucky we are!

  • Cindy Rodriguez

    I feel that I stop myself from being as happy as I could be. I focus on things that don’t bring me closer to God and simply bring me pleasure. Like, watching a television show instead of praying. I have noticed that when I pray more I am happier, so why do I not do it??? I feel it is hard to do this.

  • Sherry McCollum

    I am relatively a happy person, I have a loving husband and family. Although I do get a little frustrated when I want to share with him my joy of watching these videos and talking about the experience. He seems to think I am trying to change the way he feels about his faith. I converted to Catholic when our son was about two years old (he is 18 now) and since then I have been learning more about the Catholic faith, became more involved in our parish. Going to church and being involved really makes me happy and I just wish my husband felt the same. But we love each other for better and for worse. Maybe this is a little of the worse. But I am loving this Best Lent Ever.

  • Cat Downing

    No but will focus more on being happy as there is much to be happy about and not let irritations steal my focus. I will work more on prayer and exercise during today and every day in lent.

  • NJ

    I am amazed about this discussion as I carry a heavy heart of just recently losing my mother. As with many of you I was her primary caregiver for the past 11 years. For the last 10 hours of her life I was blessed by being able to pray by her bedside, hold her, and tell her that I loved her until God called her. Two days after her burial my husband had major surgery and the surgery did not go well, so I am back in the caregiver role. At this time my happiness and sadness are on a roller-coaster ride. However, I have found that praying; especially the rosary calms me and brings me happiness and peace. During this Lenten season I have included in my prayers, The Seven Sorrows of Mary. To sum all this up …. I know I need time, but my happiness is the fact that I know God will help me through this.

  • Tony Pantera

    I am put to mind of what I learned about hedonism as a Greek philosophy. Seek pleasure (happiness) at
    all times. This is not so easy in many cases. If I eat food (Yum, happy) to the point that my stomach hurts (Yuck, unhappy) then I really did not act in a way for my overall happiness. If I don’t know if I am as happy as I can be, then I’m probably not and need to look to make changes.

  • Sharon Zagyva

    I find this discussion so relevant on many levels. The older I get the more I realize that happiness is a choice, a verb, a state of mind. Being thankful, thoughtful and joyful all go hand in hand. I have to make the decision each day to find joy in my life and to provide joy to others. I find it much easier sometimes to be cranky or dwell on the little things that are annoying, hurtful, or hard to do when in reality there are so many blessings in my life, so many people, activities and other things to rejoice in…..the biggest of all which is my faith. At Ash Wednesday Mass last night I was thinking about all of the good we can do if we remember that we are created in God’s image….we are created to be joyful, kind and loving….what an amazing gift that is if we choose to be mindful about it and embrace it!!

  • Louise Springer

    Sorry I didn’t know Amanda when I lived in Neenah; she seems like the type of joyful person who brightens rooms when she enters. Being aware of how blessed we are can bring about feelings of guilt…do I really have the right to be this happy compared to the rest of the world? Amanda reminds us that showing that joy is sharing that joy. I WILL be happy no matter how long the checkout lane is!

  • Mary

    I don’t know if “happiness” is the real goal. I like to think that Contentment is the optimal emotion for everyday life.
    I had been a devoted wife, loving mom, a foster parent of many, and an advocate for the homeless for over 30 years. In the last 5 years, I have lost my husband to another woman, and all 4 of my adult daughters to Parental Alienation. (My ex turned our daughters against me to cover his infidelity). I also lost my sister who died suddenly last May. She was my best friend. So, am I happy? Not everyday, but I can say I am “content”. When I pleaded with God to explain why I had suddenly lost so much of what I had held so dear in my life, He responded, “How could you better understand the loneliness of the homeless and marginaled unless you TRULY new loneliness?” He, of course, is correct. My favorite Mother Theresa quote has always been, “Find someone who believes they are alone, and convince them they are not”.
    Within the inner city, and with Mother’s intentions in mind, I lovingly approach each of the un-homed and crouch next to them against the sun-warmed bricked buildings, and we share moments of deep understanding. It is not about the sandwiches, or the blankets, or the woolen gloves, but about the stroke on a cheek, the soft words of compassion and the sharing of voices amidst a world in which they…no…WE…are too often invisible. Am I happy? Not necessarily, but I am wonderfully “content”.

  • Laura

    I’m having a hard time with some of this. Jesus never promised that we would be happy in this life. Instead he told us to deny ourselves, carry our cross and follow him. Everyday I try to choose what is unselfish, what is not what I want, but for the good of another. This often brings frustration, weariness and stress. If you look at the lives of the saints, they suffered and they carried their cross. They weren’t looking for happiness. Is it me or am I amissing something here?

    • Joan Spalding

      I think of St. Paul 2Cor: 6 who spoke of joy and suffering coexisting. And that our precious Lord, in the midst of our suffering, will fill us with His joy, the Joy of the Lord – not of this world. When we cry out and place our suffering at the feet of Jesus, he lightens our burdens and showers us with love. Suffering will come. But I think happiness is a good thing to strive for, and I don’t want to allow Satan to take it from me. “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that you would have life more abundantly.” John 10:10

      • Laura

        Thanks for the good insights and the truth of the Gospel!

    • Kim

      I’m struggling with similar feelings Laura. I’ve been thinking, was Jesus “happy” as he carried his cross, suffered and died for us? I don’t think we would ever see an image of Him smiling during His passion. Yet, once I heard a reflection by Bishop Robert Barron about how in Jesus on the cross, we see the most joyful man ever to live (unfortunately I can’t find it again…). A lot of the time I am too feeling exhausted in my efforts to love God and others. I realize when I allow my frustration/weariness to get the best of me I am not being a good witness to the Gospel…it can be so tough. That’s why we need each other! Let’s preserve in denying ourselves so that we can one day be resurrected with Him. I find great strength in Hebrews 12.

      • Laura

        Thank you Kim. This was most helpful! I read Hebrews 12 a few times yesterday and it was a good reminder as to why we are carrying the cross. Your statement about needing each other also hit home for me as I rarely rely on others for any kind of support for anything. Maybe that is something else I need to look at. God bless!

        • Kim

          Glad to hear it. Please know that I will hold you up in prayer today as you strive to love God and neighbor.

          • Laura

            I too will pray for you.

          • Kim

            Thank you Laura!

  • Fran Hopkins

    I definitely have the joy of the Lord. That is my strength and I love people and love to laugh, BUT all my life I tangle with procrastination and that is my resistance battle!

  • Rachel Gilmore

    A family member posted this and i decided I wanted to jump on board because I felt like I was not close to God. I been starting to go to church every weekend after God called for my daughter to go to a catholic school for a Pre K program that was all day. I decided this was our calling as a single mother. God provided what was needed for my daughter to go but I had a lot of reliance about the whole idea. I am very proud that I listen to God calling because of how happy but daughter is of being successful in her education. Now it is time for mommy to find happiness. I meet this great guy but I put a lot of resistance in the realtionship that we broke up for a little bit. But God was calling me telling me that I was happy and needed to go back. We are starting to talk but I see myself so happy talking to him. I am really focusing on getting back into my faith during this lent season. My plan is to go to confession because it has been since I was in 8th grade. This will allow myself to show my daughter a great role model due to getting her ready because next year is her second sacrement that she will be recieving.

  • Brenda Gavin Merkes Bohlken

    As a human being, sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the negative in my life. This just leads to more irritation and can be very unhealthy. It produces anger, resentment, and criticism. During this Lent season I am going to try to focus more on the positive things in my life which will definitely make me a happier, healthier person.

  • Lisa

    Tired and hungry — and hormonal! That’s what tosses my happy train off its track, for sure!
    I love in Amanda’s video when she shares her fear of her appearing “happy” might make people think of her as weaker, or not as intelligent. Do we sometimes appear more somber to make people think we’re not “flighty”, thus sometimes curb our overt happiness? Just thinking…

  • Joan Spalding

    Fear creates my biggest resistance. I’m afraid I’m taking on too much, it will cost more than I have, I won’t be successful,… I want someone by my side who has already succeeded in doing anything I want to start doing. But then, that creates a commitment to that person that I might be sorry I made…

  • Sandy

    I don’t feel like I’m in control of my happiness. Even when I try to do the things that I know that will make me happy exercise reading praying listening to God’s word comma I don’t feel I can pull myself up out of the discouragement and sadness sometimes other times I make very happy I can let all of that sit in the back and just ignore it

  • Michelle Molina

    I definitely think I could be happier! I have recently changed jobs because I was being bullied and just treated like a slave. Since than I have been happier and I can see it reflect in my family like as well as in my self. I am currently going through therapy to help me through so family issues but I know that no matter what happen in my youth doesn’t depict who I am today. Every day is another opportunity to change your life in a positive way!!

  • Joanne

    I do a lot of self sabatoge, and the lesson today really made me reflect on what makes me happy. Being with those I care about is what it’s all about
    Today, I booked a trip to see a great friend and former coworker in May
    It makes my heart smile to know how happy he is that I am coming to visit and makes me happy to have this to look forward to!

  • Erin Saunders

    I reflect on what frustrates me most, or drains my happiness, and I realize it is me giving in to the resistance; not pushing beyond what will give momentary discomfort to reach my full happiness. I pray this lent that I continue to have my heart open and to push through the hard stuff to the tru happiness!

  • Mary Ellen Pope

    It seems to me, that lots of ‘stuff’ makes me happy…. being pain free in this moment, clean windows, clean house, good food, dancing, travelling, sheet hanging on the line and smelling so good when we make the bed etc. etc. etc. But as I get older…(I’m now 78) I find myself feeling more and more content which leads to knowing in this moment… I am happy…and content! Do contentment and happiness go together?

  • Kathryn Duncan

    I know I could be happier. I just don’t think I deserve it. Sometimes I get caught up in mulling over past regrets and even though I know God has forgiven me I can’t seem to forgive myself so I think I don’t deserve to be happy.

  • Ssamaca

    Happiness. Am I happy? Do I have to be happy? I read Matthew K’s great book, Resisting Happiness and it had some great thoughts. As I read it, it seemed that if you weren’t happy, somehow or other you were not “good” or “holy”. Good person = happy person. No matter what life throws at you – you’re happy about it.
    Was Jesus happy? I wonder. Did He have to be? He was pretty sad in Gethsemane. Maybe he needed to take a walk or listen to His favorite music. Would that have made him happy? Did he even care whether He was happyat that point?
    Seeking happiness is fine. And I don’t have a bad life and all the problems and sadness I read in many of the posts. I wish we all could not have this sadness. And it’s OK to be sad, or not happy, and really feel what’s going on in your life. As long as it doesn’t stop you. Doesn’t create Matthew’s RESISTANCE which is very real and very bad. But to you have to notch up to Happiness in the face of sadness, pain, trouble, etc? I don’t think you do.

    I feel the only true happiness I’ll know is in Heaven. I hope I get there because if I don’t………………………………………. God love us all.

  • Bryan Cunningham

    I am happy today because I took time for the programme. I made lunch for two others and in the afternoon could give support to a young woman who was being pressurised by her husband not to allow the second unexpected pregnancy so close to their first who I will baptise soon. Distractions are plenty. Courage and kindness lead the way

  • Tracy

    I feel at times like the young lady in the video. When I am happy in the back of my mind I start to sabotage my happiness by allowing the worries of not being the best version of myself to creep in and steal my happiness.May God change my way of sabotaging my happiness to His way of true happiness.

  • Becki Kinney Sellnow

    Happiness, in my opinion, can involve selfishness as well. Here’s my struggle…i live in Southern California right now, but all or our family lives in Wisconsin. I am happiest when the sun is shining and it is warm. I dislike snow and cold very much. My son and his wife are expecting their first child next month and want very much for my husband and I to move back to WI to be able to enjoy our first grandchild. I know I will not be happy when it snows, but I know that if I stay in sunny CA, i will miss watching my grandchild grow up. Selfishly I would stay in CA and visit regularly, but I know my son wants us to be there with them and therefore I will give up my sun in exchange for my grandchild.

  • Annette Franco Howe

    I think people perceive me as happy and upbeat, however, I often feel like that’s a facade. I’m not outrightly sad or mad, but I always think, “When was the last time I was soooo happy? When was the last time I had real fun?” and I find myself unable to remember. And then I get mad at myself. God has been so good to me. My parents are alive, I have a loving husband and a wonderful son. And everyone is healthy. Shouldn’t that be enough to make me happy?

  • Cheryl Biermann

    I let others selfish actions rob me of my joy. I cannot “Let it go.” I keep hashing it out, why it was wrong, ect.

  • K

    I am not as happy as I could be. I tend to focus on more of the negatives than the positives. This lent I want to try to live more in the present rather than worrying about how things might turn out or the mistakes I feel I have made in the past. I also need to stop always comparing my life to those around me and instead focus on bettering myself resulting in me feeling happier and prouder of who I am.

  • Kathy

    I am generally happy, but sometimes I start comparing myself to others and wanting more. Like I wish I had grandchildren like my sisters do or I wish I could travel more like my friend does. I want to be more content and happy with my life as it is.

  • Tom Kubilius

    Matt!

    Have you read Steve Pressfield “The War of Art”??

    He talks extensively about resistance in a very similar way to you. For him it is the resistance that prevents an artist from expressing themselves in their art. Our greatest purpose for existence is happiness and communion. That why the Father made us. So resistance preventing our highest ‘art’ which is happiness, makes sense in both cases.

    I recommended Steven’s book. (HE also wrote Gates of Fire and the Legend of Bagger Vance)

  • Mary Ann Paxton-Gambill

    Honestly, I don’t know where to begin. My husband and I have adopted several medically fragile, terminally ill and special needs children. I am happy in the way that I know what is important. I do not struggle with overcommitting myself because it is not even possible. At this moment I am sitting in a hospital in Cincinatti with my son on a ventilator. Things like this can happen any time and for any length of time. It make it difficult to commit to anything, meaning a daily schedule, routine and even involvement in a parish consistently. Our life can be very isolating. I write and have a blog, which brings me happiness in the way of knowing that I am bringing to light the value to society of children like mine. But I am not consistent, and I doubt myself constantly. Our life can be one of constant life-threatening issues, exhaustion and trauma. I am hesitant to even express that part of our life because there is such a need for families for children like mine, but finding a support system is very hard. People burn out very easily and are inconsistent. I do not really know where to start in order to answer what makes me happy, but I don’t feel depressed or sad. So if I can’t even answer that question, then do I move on without answering it or do I try to answer it the best that I can?

  • Julie Ann Juhl Nielsen

    I have not been happy for the last two years. First I lost my Daughter after moving to be very close to her and her husband. We had 4 beautiful months together to the day before God called her home. This was in December. Then I lost my Dad this past December Christmas Eve. He was 89. I so want to choose happiness everyday, but my heart is so heavy….how do I choose “happiness”. My daughter was 45, and my best friend. My Dad was so full of happiness and I so miss hearing his voice every week!

  • Ellen Saville

    I, right now, am struggling with happiness. My husband and I were married for almost 50 years when he passed very suddenly 2 years ago. I am currently in a Grief Share group trying to learn to live with the loss. We were high school sweethearts. I am also struggling with finances. So, when the video yesterday was about resistance, I realized that I was resisting letting my 3 children know how badly my finances had become. I asked God what I should do and He replied I needed to tell them so they could help me. After all, they all have run their households and knew how to budget. So, I have asked them to come over this week end to help me. Being 71 years old I believed I should be able to take care of myself. Also, it’s hard to admit to your children that you need help because you have never had to pay bills because your husband always did that job. I realize I have not been a good steward of the money he left me and I have no idea how to fix this. I also realize that the girls love me dearly and would do anything for me and I was doing a disservice to them by not letting them help me. (There’s my pride and control issues showing). I also realize that I have not experienced happiness since he died. I have had moments of joy and having fun. But, I believe happiness is fleeting. So, maybe I have experienced it in the last two years. I think I am mixing up happiness and contentment. My life is currently in flux. So, I know I must step away from my pride and control issues and allow my children to minister to me as God wants. This is sometimes a very hard lessons for people my age to learn. To give up control you actually get more control.

  • Donell

    I am a very fortunate Grandma (Nana) who gets to help care for my special needs little granddaughter. I have her 3 or more days a week. She is the most incredibly happy person anyone would want to meet. She always has a smile on her face which is contagious. She passes that happiness and joy to everyone around her, day in and day out. She brings so much warmth and happiness and joy to my life…..I feel incredibly blessed that God has sent little Kate to us. Kate is happiness personified!!

  • Angie Perrey Groves

    I think I could be happier than I ultimately am sometimes. I sometimes feel like if I am too happy, there must be something bad about to happen rather than just relishing in the moment and time in my life that offers so much happiness. I too let little silly things take over instead of letting them slide on by ending my joy and happiness. I plan to focus in on that during lent to avoid all negative talk, situations and to really dig in and be the happy person I know I am.

  • Victor Frauenfeld

    As everyone can read below, happiness is different for everyone. Happiness for me is being one with God. Happiness is so difficult to attain when all the distractions of the world are around you. Everything pulls at you to “pay attention” to it. The only time I am truely happy is when I am in God’s presence. Because when I am there, nothing else is pulling at me. I am completely enveloped in God’s grace, peace, and mercy. This means that I can be “happy” at all different things, with all different people. One day I can be in a situation that definitely does not make me happy, and the next day be in the same situation and be happy because God is there with me.

    My prayer for everyone is “Dear heavenly Father, please help everyone find their happiness through and in you. For with you, all things are possible.”

  • Heidi Guevara

    I, also cared for my Mom before she passed and it was a great honor and gift that God had given me. I too, a nurse, had to balance my growing children’s needs with caring for my Mom but those moments I spent caring for my Mom were the most treasured times. I also have MS which means that I most likely, as a Mom, will be put in the same position, as I am blessed to have two lovely daughters that will share my car. When needing people to do things for you, especially your children, it is humbling. We, as Moms, are so used to caring for our children, not the other way around. But as my Mom, gave me that gift, so will I with my girls. God has blessed me and will always meet my needs, like the sparrow in the Bible.

  • Donna Hebdo

    I am happiest when I am an active member in a church, serving others through choir, women’s groups, Bible study, and social agencies. Since moving to a new town, I have been resistant to join the church here, attend Mass regularly, and/or become involved in social activities. During this Lenten season and beyond, I will push this resistance aside and become more active in serving God and others, which will restore my happiness.

  • Margaret Inglesby

    A dear friend, dying from cancer, taught me a valuable lesson. She was proud and didn’t know how to accept help, but her faith showed her another path. When she was finally able to accept the help, it was joy to both the giver and receiver. We’re all here to learn from each other. God Bless all!

  • AmDg

    Something to consider…

    Happiness is something we experience due to things external to ourselves.
    Joy is what we experience welling up from inside, from our relationship with God.

  • Brian Dugan

    I feel as though I am happy but sometimes happiness can be confused with contentment. In other words I, we, will be happy as long as we remain status quo in the moment. But look out if things in our lives start changing and changing us! We must expand from the moment more times than not to be happiest.

  • Chad Mayer

    I am resistant to happiness because I am so afraid of being rejected by others that I don’t get involved in community very often. I suffer from depression. Any advice?

    • Marguerite

      Chad, Have you thought about seeking a counselor? Or possibly looking for a group in which to join? Your local churches may have some resources for you. I will pray for you! 🙂

      • Chad Mayer

        I do have a social worker and I take medication but nothing in depth. I have been thinking about seeking one though. Thank you for your prayers. I have considered the Church but I’m so afraid to be rejected and hurt so I hesitate. Resistance.

      • Chad Mayer

        Thank you for your prayers. I had replied to you earlier but I don’t see it on here.

  • Karissa Rutkowski

    I have so many blessing from God: my husband, our 5 kids, friend, good health, but so often it’s too easy to focus on what I want to change and the obstacles keeping that change from happening. Please pray for me that I can find peace in my day and joy in everything God has blessed me with. 🙏🏻

  • Barb Stuart

    When I was listening to and reading about happiness, I had to stop and think about what makes me happy and I seemed stuck in that middle ground and I thought I knew what makes me happy but I don’t think I do anymore. My children are doing fine and my grandchildren are okay also but none of them will let me share my faith with them.They put me in my place often and I take offense,I try to not feel the pain but it still gives me a jab.

  • Cheryl Diamond

    Oh how to the point you are on resistance. I see myself doing it everyday, because I am too busy with little things. I need to get my home based business going, and always I am trying to get minor things done. I am so afraid of getting behind. I need to ask Jesus for assistance, and take the time to do what I have to do, to make this business work. I do not know any other way.

  • Tom

    The crosses we bear and resistance to overcome them is a struggle everyday. I thank God everyday for my wife, children and grandchildren. But what I thank Him most of all for is the opportunity to live life with Him in Heaven. The sacrifice that Jesus made for us makes this all possible. With His grace and mercy this happiness will transcend to life eternity. As He said eyes have not seen and ears have not heard what He has in store for those who love Him and their neighbor as He desires.

    May the Holy Spirit provide all of us the graces we need to be Happy!!!

  • Cliff

    I guess my comment for Amanda or anyone else out there, how do you enjoy the true happiness when daily we can encounter people who are struggling. I know I am blessed for feeling happy, but then feel guilty when someone around me is not for some certain reason.

  • Markian

    So, i have been in a separated state in my marriage going on a year. Happiness is super difficult for me. I am trying to surrender all to Christ, begging Him for the peace we get only through Him. I am waiting for this book resistance. Happiness only comes in short bursts for me.

  • Lisa

    I feel happy when I make the connection during prayer.
    I feel happy when my family is happy. (I know, I have little control over that.)
    I feel happy when I complete something. Ah…resistance!

  • Marguerite

    I consider myself to be a happy person. I have noticed a decline in my happiness, though, when I overwhlem myself with too many “to do” tasks and can’t complete everything on the list. When I don’t put things off and prioritize things, I am most happy. My husband and I are completing the “Whole 30” program as of yesterday, and I am already feeling the happiness is taking off the pressure of not being sure of what my next meal will be – I am enjoying meal planning and looking forward to my next healthy meal, and am thankful that we are able to nourish ourselves in this way. I’d also like to work on my spiritual nourishment – and these daily reflections are helping! Thankful for my co-worker for sharing!

  • Sue Goulet

    My mother passed in 2002 and my father in 2010. Both became more frail and needed more from me, my sister, and my brother. At times I also became impatient and cranky with them. Hopefully more of the time I was cheerful and loving. Reading all the posts, I get very ashamed I was resentful. ,but I think they knew how much I loved them. I try to express love for family and friends now, in my parents memory.

  • Ally Greer

    This was a perfect reflection for me today. My happiness seems to be directly linked to how well my two girls behave (really how well my 2 year old behaves). As my daughter has begun to find her independence and test boundaries, my happiness has certainly decreased, allowing frustration and anger to take over. Thank you for reminding me that happiness is a choice, not a result of how well my children behave.

  • Karla Perez

    Am I as happy as I could be ? I want to say yes I am. I always try to tell myself things happen for a reason, and even in the darkest hour we must find the positive side from it, or the little light that it can bring up and focus on that instead. I always tell my mom that it takes the same amount of effort to focus on the negative that it does to focus on the positive, the only difference is the results it gives us, either we find hope and continue or we get stuck on the negative feeling miserable. But to answer the question, three things that I now make me happy:
    1. I love traveling. Traveling for me has become my biggest hobby. There is just something about exposing yourself to a new culture, to the unknown that fascinates me. I love listening to people speak in other languages, and comparing and contrasting cultures. I love adventuring through the world. And I think I do tend to reach out towards it, I know traveling makes me happy but I also know that it means I have to be financial stable in order to do so, so what do I do? I work. I work 60+ hours a week, 2 different jobs, in order for me to be able to provide myself that luxury and that happiness that traveling provides for me.
    2. Another thing that makes me happy, dogs. I love dogs. All kinds of dogs. I love spending time with them, watching them, playing with them. There is such a joy that can be found in this living creatures, a type of joy that is hard to find with humans.
    3. Paying off debt. Although this is a “weird” choice. There is such joy of accomplishment when paying off debt. It makes me feel fulfilled. And although I am totally against debt, and spending money that you don’t have, I wasn’t always like this. From college to about a year ago, I was never conscious of money or the real value of $1.00, and in order to understand did, I had to learn it through a very hard experience. I learned it true when people say, people learn better from bad experiences. I am still currently working on this with my student debt as well as credit card debt but it feels so good and brings so much joy to my life every time I pay something off.

    • Chad Mayer

      I understand about the dog. I have one and I love her so much. She is very very spoiled!

  • Maria

    I am grateful for a very blessed life. I have a family who loves me, I participate in an awesome parish, I do well in school, and the talents and gifts God gives me have brought me great joy. The times that I do become unhappy are times when I’m focused on one tiny part of my life that I wish could have gone better, but it didn’t oftentimes b/c of something I did/didn’t do. It’s hard, but I try to open myself up to God in those moments, remembering that He truly loves me and that this hardship will pass shortly and ultimately make me stronger in some way than I was before.

    So am I as happy as I could be? Not quite, but I know how I can be. Time to take on the resistance!

  • Ashley Mouton

    So for Lent, I’ve given up negativity and worrying. I find myself worrying about little things, like whether someone will like my outfit, or where to eat lunch. And my negativity comes out especially when I’m driving. Two days in, I feel happier and I find I’m making other people happier with my behavior as well!!

  • Genie C Balantac

    … I am excited for this journey with all of you!

  • TB

    I just check my email and decided to listen. I am glad I did. This day has been and continues to be happy. Why? The Lord was the first thoughts I had this morning. It was chemo day for my wife and we had to leave early at 9. This is chronic but as she explained it to me everyday is an answered prayer because she and I are still together and the disease has not won. We usually sit and share lunch together at the center, BLT’s nothing could be better.
    I think the happiness search is tied up with living in the moment with your focus on what and how Jesus wants to lead you now.

  • Angela Ford

    No, I am totally not as happy as I could be, but one of the amazing things I experienced after reading the book and even during the book. I would have moments like that 2 year old girl described in the video. Being close to God makes me happy! Being a part of the church makes me happy. For as long as I can remember, being a Catholic has been such a sense and source of pride in my life!

  • Have a lot of debt and worry about what the future holds , my relationships. I pray to Let Go and Let GOD. Pray for me as well. Thank you.

  • Tom K

    This is a bit tough for me “AM I AS HAPPY AS I CAN BE?” Maybe I am over-thinking it. I see happiness as a general heightened “REACTION/EMOTION” to pleasant positive moments and specific events one enjoys and reciprocally reacts to positively making us feel HAPPY. When it comes to my general self status – I just don’t innately ask myself or focus to “am I Happy today”. I don’t see happiness emotion as a steady state or normal. I don’t see I live in a world that continually stimulates me to a happy emotional response 24/7. I generally take note and react to when I feel “bothered” or don’t feel “right” which may well be when I do not react to positive things with happiness when I know I should have that reaction. If I feel bad or bothered there is a reason I can usually find. It is attributed to I am not “satisfied” with something I did or did not do. When I am bothered I can attribute it to “resistance” having won. As much as I find Happiness a true blessing and special emotion God has blessed us with the capability of; I feel there are many other emotions and reactions he has put into our tool box that allow us to GROW which can be as positive if we are aware of what they tell us about ourselves. Just as the body sends a feeling of pain to warn and show there is a problem needing action, there are many emotions and feelings that can propel us to a new level of development if we recognize and respond to them correctly. Striving for a perpetual state of PEACE with the Lord and my world at large I can see and grasp better than to ask am I as Happy as I can be. Again maybe I have over thought this by not conflating satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment, …. into the generic term of happiness.

  • Carl

    I have found much joy since I began discerning a new vocation to the priesthood 5 years ago. The joy I experience comes from the ministry I get to do for others and it is such a blessing from God. I often asked myself why I had resisted for so long this calling to happiness. Perhaps God knew when I would be ready to stop resisting. Fortunately He never stops trying! To others I say keep listening for His voice. he may be waiting for you today!

  • Deanna Lieser

    I feel bad because God as given me so much and yet I always find something else that does not make me happy.

  • Kathryn S. Mazzara

    I use to be much happier. But 12 years of debilitating chronic bed, in bed has changed that. I’ve been pain free for 39 days! My miracle that my Mom and brother had always been praying for. Resistance in the form of worry and phobias, from this 12 years are a struggle to win over. But my joy comes from communion with my church family in our persuit of seeping our faith, from my family and husband that cared for me so beautifully those dark years. And of course my poodle Roxie and all that beautiful unconditional love she brings.
    I’m not as happy as I should be or was; but I’m much happier than anyone of those past 12, dark years. I’m a work in progress. I’m getting there.

  • LJ

    Taking a closer look at the sacraments and my own discipline and desire for happiness really makes me very unhappy. There is really no security in them. Let me explain first by addressing this segment of online participation. I am not set up with a computer, I pray regularly and that means that I have to make an additional effort to participate. As the Eucharist is central to the life of a Catholic, now that Lents here, Monday nights have been assigned for parish discussion, as a topic for study, The Parish stands there, I showed up at the designated time as did one other person. We both had something in common and that was that we had planned our day around this Monday evening participation, in regards learning more about what really matters.
    Also, we were both disappointed, no presenter and no reply to my two phone calls. Between you and I the disappointment goes very much deeper and not something to be made public.

  • Adriana

    This reflections are wonderful, i really got inspired, we forget that we were created to be happy. I get worried about my children and many things of a daily life. This Lent, I will focus on all the positive things around me and i will smile to strangers, reach out to family that i haven’t spoke in a long time and enjoy and be more aware of the people around me.

  • Teri Digges

    Happiness comes from joy, and joy is a fruit of the Spirit of Christ.

  • Hannah Jade Fiala

    I don’t think I’m as happy as I could and should be. My husband and I are 100% travel with our career. That being said, we are 15 hours from home. I think the transition has been extremely hard for me because we are not by our loved ones. However I have been better and try and think of the positives with the situation. Thank goodness for technology, especially FaceTime, so we can see them!! Also this is only temporary and it’s bettering our future. I’m so glad I joined these videos and can’t wait to see my journey throughout this time!

  • Patricia Brownlee

    It is heart warming to see the positive and consoling experiences others have had with the passing of a loved one. I wish I could have had even an abbreviated experience such as these with the passing of my mom. She has been gone 24 years and I am just now letting go of the hurt I felt growing up and as an adult. After some cathartic experiences, actually my very last chance as I see it, I have finally reconciled that my mom did the best she knew how and by letting her go and her letting me go, I can feel the happiness I have longed for for so long.

  • Norma Diaz

    I am a mom that is not happy I pretend I am for my family .I am a mom who somtimes depends on her daughter alot for alot of my needs am I selfish or lonely I spend alot of time alone in my house my dad lives with me he’s 81years old somtimes I talk to him but he doesn’t understands me like my daughter so what do I do I feel lost confused I’m married not even my husband can fill my lonely Ness like my daughter does am I selfish cause she has her family but I need her with me?

  • Prolifedem6M

    Happiness is a decision. Abraham Lincoln once said (paraphrase from memory), “I’ve always observed that a man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.”
    I have chosen to be happy.

  • Kathy

    I am happiest on the days when I go to morning Mass, and I get annoyed with myself when I don’t go. It’s resistance in the purest form for sure.

  • Brenda Weiskopf

    In general I feel I’m a pretty positive and happy person. I tend to see the glass half full and look on the bright side of things. My struggle is often with my husband who is the polar opposite so we clash, and sometimes his glass half empty, negative perspective sometimes bring me down. I love him, and he is who he is, I just sometimes need to remind myself to not let his negativity bring down an idea or conversation. Sometimes it takes bringing up a subject slowly and carefully for him to ease into a more positive perspective. A lot of times I just need to take a breathe and not let it drag me down. Nothing makes me happier than being there for and with my family.

  • Jennifer

    Like Amanda I value my sleep above all else! I have 5 kids so sleep is far and few between. I know that I can be happier. I need to slow down a bit I tend to over commit with the kids. I would be happier if I would take more time for myself too.

  • Rosie

    As I get older, I choose to not let things bother me. It doesn’t always work, but I feel much more at peace with myself, if I encourage myself to be the best I can be, with the help of God. I’m not sure why I am more at peace but I thank God. The stresses of any day can sure put a damper on happiness. I know I could definitely be happier but many times worry stops the happiness from entering in and continuing. I thank God for the His presence in my life and giving me the grace to keep on going.

  • Allan Darish

    I think I let the daily frustrations we all have get in the way of my happiness. Sometimes it is when I am alone, other times when i am at home. Trying to cart your briefcase, groceries and the mail into the house when you get home, and then fishing a key for the door out of your pocket and trying (and failing) to keep the storm door from flying open in the strong wind….son of a ….! I reach for that phrase far too often. Having to maneuver around your spouse at the kitchen sink to get to the cupboard where your pills are….eye roll….I know we all have these little frustrations in life, I think the challenge is to keep them in perspective. I do have a phrase I’ve used for that purpose when someone presents me with a problematic situation – and hopefully, 99% of the time it WILL apply. “No lives were lost, no limbs were broken, no meals were missed.” I guess i just need to pull that out more often when I feel like using the other phrase… I am doing more spiritual reading this Lent, and it is helping keep me grounded in my faith. Pray that my frustrations don’t boil over and cause the same feelings in others!

  • LaQuita Hilzinger

    I find that as soon as I start to look at what is absent in my life I begin to feel unhappy. Instead, I am trying to focus on all the blessing in my life. What my sister would call an attitude of gratitude. When I start realizing how fortunate I am – faith community, good job, clean water, comfortable home, enough to eat, people who love me, etc. – it becomes very difficult to stay unhappy. Don’t get me wrong, I still get tired, irritated, and discouraged but it doesn’t last long. When asked what things make my happy I thought of reading, singing, and spending time in nature. So far I’m doing fairly well with two, I’m a librarian, lector, cantor and choir member. I think I’ll try to work on #3. Rather than flop in a chair in front of the TV in a climate-controlled room I’m going to make it a point to walk along the beach or take a leisurely hike at least once a week.

  • Susan

    Everyone says I’m always upbeat and happy but deep down I’m afraid to be happy because there is always someone who puts you down. I actually had a person say to me, Why are you always smiling. It actually mad me sad. I know I’m happiest when others around me are happy and when something spiritual moves me. Like the giggle of my grand babies, or the love of my family, or when the Homily hits home and I know GOD has a great future for me. I also want others to be happy, I always say to my family BE HAPPY. I really should be the bright yellow happy faced poster child.

  • Jennifer

    No I am not. I’ve gotten better in the past year as I’ve gained friendships. Being a stay at home mom is very hard for me. I often feel like life is a daily fog, just wanting to get it all done so that I can have my time. When I feel true freedom and happiness is when I’m working outside.

  • Sharon Richey

    Happiness….I feel I used to be so much happier in my innocence of youth. This is hard to say since I’m only 43. I spent so much energy focusing on my family that I often forget that I matter and deserve to be happy to. I need to find my happy again.

  • Laryce Schwieterman

    I think as adults we seem to think happiness can only come from complex things like things that take a long time to obtain or that we have worked very hard to achieve when if we really step back and think about it, happiness can come from very simple things. Our daughter is 6 years old and has cerebral palsy. She goes to school each day and that is the highlight of her life, but what makes her happy??? The squeak of the bus door when the ramp comes out. The joy she feels when she hears the voice of her teacher when she arrives at school. Do we become the happiest we can be when we hear the voice of our spouse or child, mom or dad or do we just go on about our day. When she was little she went with me a lot when I worked at the church with a friend of mine. She was fussing one day and my friend said why don’t you go lay her on the floor in front of the tabernacle? So I did. In a few minutes she was laughing and so content. It was not like her. My friend said, “look at that, Jesus and her are having a conversation. We have all the sin of the world that block us from truly hearing him speak to us. She doesn’t know that. We need to be more like her.” I was succumb to tears. Tears of happiness. I had struggled with being the mother of a special needs child and here was my answer from God. He shook me too the core. I was done feeling sorry for myself because I was going to have to raise and most likely take care of her all of her life. I was given the honor of being a mom to this beautiful creation of His that I can learn so much from about Him and how His ways are not our ways. Each day she laughs at something that we all look at each other and wonder what it could be. Sometimes it is the dog snoring while she is sleeping next to her, or the clothes tumbling in the dryer. Maybe we can’t find happiness in those things but maybe we should all try a little harder to not work so hard to be happy.

  • Cathy

    I have decided that during this Lent I would suspend my membership on Facebook. Although I like a lot of the commentary I find that it has become more and more political and many of the comments are nasty. Even if I agree with the principle of the discussion I find myself becoming more negative in my attitude as I read them. The more negative my attitude the less happy I find myself. So since yesterday (Ash Wednesday) I have not been on my Facebook page and frankly today I was happier and more relaxed.

  • Sandra

    I enjoy reading all the comments. I to am a full time worker and care giver.
    Although I get tired and frustrated at times. I thank God I am the care giver
    And not the person being cared for.
    Thanks for sharing your stories.

  • Sue

    My mom was in a nursing home for four years. Prior to that she lived with me after my dad passed away. Sometimes I felt like some of you being burdened. However now that my mom is gone for two years my sisters and often talk about the good times we had when we went to visit which was often. Sometimes we didn’t feel like it however when we got to the home and saw her eyes light up when the five were there it made our day. she would talk about the old days. She had short term memory and remembered more about the past than the present. It was so much fun listening to her. We were all there when she had the last rights and went home to God. She had a peaceful and beautiful death. I still miss her very much and I am glad we spent our time with her.

  • Nicole Haboush

    1/Working out after a good cup of coffee
    2/Taking care of my dog
    3/Doing a good work whether work emails or contract or piano practice

  • Brenda

    Am I happy? I would say most of the time…No. But God and I are working on it. I used to think I was happy..But I am realizing that…I wasn’t really. I always said I was Catholic, but I guess I never really knew what that meant. Mostly it was just What I was. Like many of you I was my mother’s care giver thru many illnesses and was with her when she passed. I too felt guilty when I could no longer care for her in my own home. Mom always prayed. Always said the rosary. Got to mass when we could take her. With her passing and my mourning….I am finding my path back to my Faith. Learning..Praying… Loving. Mom’s passing is hard and Sad, but it has brought me back to God which brings me much happiness. Someday I pray for true full happiness. Working on me.

  • Elizabeth McCoon

    I am not a happy person, in fact it took me years of therapy to realize why. As a child i had to pretend to always be happy to make sure my mom didnt get mad, now as an adult i realized that i wasted years trying to please others and was never happy doing it. Im a single mom and this lent i am choosing to change for my kids. Im choosing to rekindle my relationship with God in order to pursue my happiness. I worry all the time and need to try not to and try not to let others dictate my feelings. I want to be happy, but i dont know how and plan to search for it and hopefully become a better person.

  • Sandy Zlotkowski

    I am the primary caregiver of parents in their eighties. Recently we had to put my mom into a nursing home which grieves me to no end. I still have my dad and myself to care for. I decided this Lenten journey was to be out in the Desert as our Lotd was, to purify myself of all that was unhealthy and bringing me down. I am choosing joy and happiness and a stronger relationship with Jesus.

  • Margaret Patocka

    This is Day 2 & I’m already fighting the resistance feeling of committment to another thing in my life of responsibilities. But, BUT! the prayer today has re-inspired me as I wrote down my answers/reflections. I’m now not feeling it as a burden but thinking it as a release!! 🙂 God bless all of you today.

  • Julie Welling

    I have been diagnosed with severe depression many years ago. Two years ago My husband and business partner of over 40 years very suddenly passed away. I wasn’t sure I could ever be happy again ever! I did everything they say not to do after your spouse dies. I sold the business, sold my home that had over 7 acres of land and a big barn, I built a new house down the street from my daughter and her family. It its toll on me. I ended up in the hospital with transient global amnesia. The stress was too much and I forgot everything for 1 day. It all came back and I knew then I had to make some changes. I started to let myself grieve. Started to fix up my new home. And joined a new Catholic Church. For Christmas the parish hand out Mr Kelly’s book, Resisting Happiness. It has started to change my life. The book itself is great. When I start to put something off, I think of resisting happiness and get up and do whatevereededto be done. I go to more classes at the church and I just ordered 9 more books from DynamicCatholic to keep me going. My Catholic faith makes me happy and I want to learn more and more and it. I want my family and friends to see me happy so I can share what I am doing a spread the word. I pray this will help with my depression. I truly believe it will. I think God gave this to me at the perfect time. I was going downhill mentally, I had just lost my husband and I felt all alone in a world the I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in. Then Matthew Kelly’s book came into my life. God knew that it was what I need at that very time. And he was right. I may not be as happy as I could be, but I am so much happier than I was a year ago, and I see nothing but more happiness coming my way. And I am looking forward to my Best Lent Ever!

  • Trevor Pelkey

    I am not always as happy as I can be, but am getting increasingly closer to it through my faith in God and surrounding myself with wonderful programs/people like this!

  • Justin Spector

    Definitely am not. And it is all resistance. I do know what I need to do to be happy but I put it off and say maybe tomorrow. But tomorrow never seems to come. I think we all should stop putting off what we want in life and just do it. No sense of procrastination. It just gives us an excuse to do nothing. May be convenient to say tomorrow but then we are just kidding ourselves.

  • Al Villanueva

    I find, just in the last couple of weeks, that I am getting ever closer to being as happy as I can be. I retired early from my career due to a medical/mental issue nearly two years ago and have been struggling to accept this, and be a good husband to my wife who works until this June. I am a music minister at my parish and discovered the Resisting Happiness book in staff mailboxes. It only took 4 pages to recognize myself, and to see how amazing this Lenten journey can be!!! I think my main share for others commenting is to take each day, one at a time, with God’s guidance. I made it to the gym today, am reading and caring for my spiritual life and planning for family time – feeling great! Thanks!

  • Ted Villalon

    No. I let things drag me down. I feel that I am underachieving and that brings me down.

  • Jackie Maddy

    I love to read the comment section of these video sections…I can feel the goodness of these people. I can feel their desire to do better and I love getting ideas and suggestions from them.

  • Jo

    Sometimes I’m super sad and upset and I have no idea why. I think maybe it’s the priority of work first (after God). I need to put my wellbeing first.

  • Jan

    I am relatively happy, but I know I could be happier. I could be a better version of myself if I did more of the things that make me happier such as helping others or getting some of my favorite projects done, or even started!

  • Stephen Mateka

    I see the day’s reflection a few minutes after I get out of bed. I have already greeted The Father, Son, & Holy Spirit with prayer & offering my day to Them. However, I don’t watch the video & read all associated with it. I prefer to watch & read when I get home from work. I don’t feel as though resistance won the morning, although thanks to this program I am now aware of all the moments of my day I fight resistance. I look forward to watching & reading as part of my daily prayer & reflection time. I am able to get the most out of it at that part of my day. Thank you Matthew, for this Best Lent Ever & all you do for the genius of Catholicism.

  • patti hager

    I try very hard to be happy. But I am also very good at hiding what is worring me down deep. I am learning to turn that all over to God and trust Him. To live His live. That Is making me happy.

  • Jackie Waugh

    I think I could be happier even though I consider myself a happy person. I am happiest when I tend to my spiritual needs.

  • jesspinosa

    I am generally happy, and the source of that happiness is God Himself, with whom I spend time through my morning and evening prayers, journaling and most of all, Mass and Holy Hour-1/2 everyday. When my first grandson was born in October 2015, I thought he would be a source of joy for me. When I have his chubby little body in my arms, listen to his baby voice babbling away, feel his arms around my neck, watch his tiny butt swinging as he crawls all over the floor, hear him laugh, the joy I feel is indescribable. But the missing joy is due to the fact that I do not see him very often. As of today, the last time was on New Year’s Day. It is not only the distance that keeps me away from him (some health issues prevent me from taking two hours of travel each way to visit him) but also the silence from his parents, and that hurts me so much. In this day and age, communication is so easy to fire away short email messages just to let me know they have not forgotten me and sending photos of my baby boy. But I do not allow even that to take away my peace and happiness from me. I know that God is aware of my feelings. Their names are mentioned so often during my daily prayers and I hope someday soon that God would say to me, “Okay already! Here they are.” Then I could truthfully say I am truly happy.

  • terry

    I’m generally a happy person…I love spending time with my children and grandchildren….I love gardening..and..I do like my job….but, with it being a very people serviced job, I do get annoyed at times and…I do have a habit of judging people…this lent…please Lord…grant me the grace to be patient with all those I meet and see them as you sons and daughters..

  • Elizabeth

    I must admit I am grateful. Gratitude has made me appreciate my circumstances and this makes me happy.

  • Dani

    I spend more time unhappy than happy but I am working hard to change that because I have the potential to do so much more good in the world if I’m happy. One of things I’ve been trying is that instead of just trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, I’ve started slowing down and enjoying the journey itself and really take time to observe God’s wonders. We are missing so much of God that we just walk right past everyday.

  • Victoria M. Rivera

    I am understanding to what extent resistance has undermined me all my life. Always waiting to know what my purpose was and never able to turn a dream or passion into a reality. I hope during this Lenten season to begin turning this around with the help of God’s grace and Matthew Kelly’s daily lenten inspirations.

  • Brittany Foti

    In honesty I do not think we are ever as happy as we could be, however I believe that this can change! I am usually happy, however if you take today for example I let resistance get the best of me as we all tend to do. I am not as happy as I could be, however I want to be more happy! I believe that true happiness comes from spending more time with God!

  • Savannah

    I believe that I am as happy as I could be. I’m participating in Lent and I’ve come back to God from a place of love rather than the usual toxic guilt, I have everything I need, my goals are progressing smoothly, I have great relationships in my life and I even have some little luxuries. But, human nature would dictate that I COULD be happier. I could have more money. I could be more compassionate towards difficult people. I could have the career I want right NOW. I could eat healthy all the time and pick up an exercise routine.
    I will lovingly deviate from today’s lesson to offer a different perspective. Happiness, to me, comes from doing three things.
    First of all, gratitude is a staple emotion for happiness. If you’re too busy ruminating on what you don’t have yet and what you haven’t accomplished yet, it’s hard to make decisions based on compassion for yourself. Fear will break you. Guilt will wear your spirit down. Instead, give thanks for everything God has helped you to overcome. In that frame of mind, you will gladly do more things to take care of yourself and you will find yourself growing closer to God. And isn’t that how you achieve peak happiness?
    Secondly, don’t demonize the actual feelings of anger, hatred, fear or sorrow. The actions that result from an excess of these emotions are bad, for sure. But feeling these emotions in and of itself isn’t bad. It’s perfectly natural and your feelings are always valid (even if the words and actions that could result from them necessarily aren’t.) Feel those feelings, acknowledge their validity and bless them. When you do those things, it’s easier to have compassion for yourself and it’s so much easier to let those feelings go. If you try to deny your negative feelings, you’ll only hold them in and your spiritual vessel will have no room for happiness.
    So, yes. I do occasionally have negative feelings. But I honor them and let them go. Then, I return to my default state of contentment and tranquility.
    And lastly, surround yourself with positivity. Only play soothing, uplifting music. Only surround yourself with vibrant colorful art and stay away from dark, disturbing images. See yourself through the eyes of the Creator and speak loving words to yourself. Because if you can be loving to yourself, how will you be loving to others? And as I was taught in school, J.O.Y comes from loving Jesus, Others and Yourself.
    Watch the news if you must, but cleanse yourself and connect to God after you’re done, so that the bitterness of the world won’t change you.
    All that being said, I think today’s exercise is an excellent reminder to engage in fulfilling activities more often.
    For my three activities, I will write more often (even if it’s just fan fiction) I will go to the archery range more often and I will see my friends more often. When I do these things, I feel competent, I feel loved, I feel important and I feel like I have purpose. 💖

  • Jaden

    I’m 17 and I don’t think that I’m as happy as i could be. I hang out with friends, do good in school, and laugh with people. But, when alone sometimes I don’t feel happy. I feel like when I am around others I force myself to be happy because nobody likes a debby-downer, so I become this happy-me.

  • Brenda Hamilton

    After listening to the videos and reflecting on happiness I was reminded that my happiness as I am sure it is true for all of you comes from our commitment to something. Looking back on my life it was always those times when I committed myself to someone or something there was joy. Over the last 15 yrs however, being fully committed seems to wax and wane leaving me a victim to my own resistance. Sadly the greatest resistance has been to my faith and to myself. Giving of myself in service to others has been my calling in this life. I find incredible joy in being a Physical Therapist and Pastoral Minister. So much so I often don’t realize how much until a patient says you are always so happy or I’m going to miss you. But, despite this I find I am spent at the end of my day to give time to myself or to my faith. Sundays come and go and sleep often wins over going to Mass. at the end of my workday I can’t seem to overcome my resistance to exercise to fill that need. So this Lent that will be my focus. Weekly Mass attendance and a scheduled time to exercise.

  • Faith Barton

    That question strikes me… No, I can’t say that I’m as happy as I should or could be. It’s becoming more common that I just forget that God is in control and as Amanda said, let worry and anxiety take away my joy. That’s something that I’m really trying to work on. 🙂 Thank you all for sharing your amazing comments. I pray that God brings joy to your days always.

  • Dave M

    Happiness to me is making other people happy and that gives me happiness. I have often been told by people that l make them smile and happy , also alive again by saying and doing nice things for them . l may joke with them and make them feel important in things they are doing with their lives , where other people may not show that affection towards them . I feel this is happiness to me !!

  • Leanne

    Without a doubt, I could be happier. However, to the outside observer or an acquaintance, they would see me as a happy, joyful, friendly and caring person. I can relate to what Amanda was saying in her video too, that deep down, we both have anxieties and worries. It is something I actually need to see a Doctor for.

  • Ed Broadhurst

    I am a bit confused here. I understood this to be a Lenten venture. The questions posed pertain to happiness, but all the commentary pertains to the death of a parent. Am I missing something?

  • Nicole M.

    After thinking about the question “Are you as happy as you could be?” I want to say yes. How could I not be? I have an amazing family, a job, a great boyfriend, and goals that I want to achieve in life. Even though on the surface I should be overflowing with happiness, I’m actually not. Like Amanda, I let worry and stress bring my happiness down. I truly do put main priorities aside that will make me happy and I let smaller not so important things take over. Then at the end of the day, I’m usually disappointed and feel like I should have done things differently. Writing down three activities that increase my happiness is a start. It helps me reflect and think about what I can do to reach my ultimate goal of simply just being happy.

  • kinderkumu

    Happiness has been overflowing for me since I have come to peace with the fact that I don’t have control over everything, God does.

  • Kevin Dillon

    Darren this happens to me especially when I am tired. When I feel a low mood coming on (or am about to get irritated) I tell myself God is with you Kevin be kind.

  • Debra Danielson Tarbell

    I had the privilege of being at both my mother’s bedside and my mother-in-laws bedside when they passed. Their passings were very different. My mom had heart surgery that she never awoke from. My mother-in-law had an illness and I was privileged to take care of her for a few weeks. During the short time before their deaths God gave me several glimpses that proved to me that He is real and there is something more. This has strengthened my faith immeasurably. I look forward to this season of Lent to spend more time with Jesus. Its just to easy to get to busy. May God bless you all this season.

  • Pearl Brown

    I am generally happy especially when I see my granddaughter. I could be happier if I stick to my prayers each day which I am asking God to help me with. With this Lent I am striving to be a happier person and a prayerful one and dedicate this Lent to God

  • Patri

    Fighting resistance feels like giving in. I resist doing things I know I should be doing but if I look for the moments of joy in the thing I’m resisting everything becomes easier.

  • nancy homa

    I am happy if I don’t try to run my own life and everyone else around me! I need to start my day with God. I need this devotion to bring me back to this place during this season of lent. How easily I am distracted!

  • Julie Muetzel

    After listening to today’s video and reading through many posts, it is clear to me that it’s the relationships in our life that make up an important part of our happiness. My mother had a strained relationship with both her parents, and when her mother passed she suffered greatly at feeling she didn’t do as much for her and with her as she could have. About 6 months ago my husband and I had the opportunity to move very close to my mother and I have been blessed to begin to redevelop a wonderful relationship with her, and look forward to helping her as she ages. This has truly upped my happiness quotient!

  • Short answer–no.

    • Chad Mayer

      If you don’t mind me asking why is that James? Not trying to be nosy. Please forgive me.

      • I just don’t feel I’m getting satisfaction out of my life. I can do better; I can be healthier, have relationships, etc

        • Chad Mayer

          I pray that this series will be of great benefit to you. As St Augustine said our hearts are restless until they rest in Him. God bless you my brother.

  • Kathy

    I do want happiness, but how is that achieved when one suffers clinical depression?

    • Chad Mayer

      Feel free to reach out to me. God bless you.

  • tjbowen72

    Me: #1 Spending daylight hours with my 3 sons; #2 Dancing & singing in my living room; #3 Talking to my husband about nothing in particular. These things rarely ever happen because of work/ time restraints. I’m either at work or in a bad mood due to work or too tired to focus… So the time rarely seems available.

  • Thais

    I am not as happy as I should be because I allow myself to dwell on the small negative stuff. I need to learn to be more positive and enjoy all the blessings God has bestowed on me. I don’t have problems, I have situations. I need to trust that God will take care of those situations.

  • Barbara Niesel

    I was NOT happy this morning when I discovered my hearing aid (right ear) was not working. I tried several things to fix it and nothing seemed to work. I already had an appointment to see the hearing aid specialist for some normal adjustments in a few hours but my fear was that if this aid was broken,it might be weeks before it gets fixed or a new one arrives. My escalating catastrophic thinking went on with increasing anxiety…”what’s it going to cost me?” “This is the worst time for something like this to happen.” I had to do my “self talk and remind myself that God expects us to ‘”bear our daily cross’ in life as he did.” This was not a matter of life and death. Just before leaving for my appointment, I tried one other maneuver to adjust the non-working hearing aid. To my surprise, that fixed it and it was working fine. Once again, I had to remind myself that God is always there for me. I was ecstatic with “happiness.” I shouted for all the world to hear that the Lord had once again intervene and fixed an annoying problem for me. I thanked Him a thousand fold. There is no way I would have calmly thought of that last maneuver in trying to fix the hearing aid, if the Holy Spirit had not stepped in and pointed me in the right direction. I know this sounds a little crazy …but to me this was one of those daily miracles where in the Holy Spirit and/or our Heavenly Father intervenes on my behalf. Sometimes we have to step aside so that the Lord can do his work. A little bit of “Happiness” went a long way. This Lent my plan is to do spiritual/reflective reading…no mater how long or how short…every day through Easter. In the past this has been a true blessing for me and this Lent I look forward to this reflective time with our Lord.

  • Norma Peters

    This is really hard for me. I don’t know what makes me happy. I don’t think I am ever happy.

    • Chad Mayer

      Why is that Norma if you don’t mind me asking?

  • Grace

    No I’m not as happy as I could be. I am content. But I give thanks to God everyday for my two children, our health, my husband who has a job, the food on our table and the roof over our heads.

  • Armye

    God bless you all for giving of yourself and taking care of your parents. I’m blessed to my loving sisters and their children help care for our parents.
    After many years of working nights I’m able to hold a day shift to be home with my family at dinner. I’m the happiest when my husband and children openly communicate with me about their goals, frustrations, school or work, political views, or perceptions on their day to day events. We occasionally one, two or all of us have a meltdown but we remind each other we’re tired from starting our day at 5a.

  • Kathy

    How does one find happiness when dealing with clinical depression?

    • Chad Mayer

      I deal with depression Kathy. I try to stay connected to God and know that He is in control. I understand how you feel.

  • Brittany Pataky

    I am a generally happy person. I’m blessed with a great god, great family and great career. However I tend to let worry take over in times of trouble or stress that compromise my happiness instead of just putting my trust in God. That is something I’d like to work on this Lenten season is putting all my trust in God and try to stress and worry less.

  • Lisa Luke

    I’m a happy person generally and it’s interesting that I sometimes hear people say to me…well, you are just always happy – like it’s a bad thing or that it’s unattainable to most people. I have heartache in my life, I have things that disappoint and when I find myself not being happy, I make a choice to mediate/pray and try to find something positive. It’s hard for sure. To the question, am I as happy as I could be? No – although I do feel overall I am joyful and happy; I let worry, procrastination, stress and fear step in too often. My biggest thing, though, is I’m thinking of my to do list in some of my happiest times. I need to be more present. During Lent, I am trying to reflect on what makes me happiest and be present for those times of joy!

  • Parent of two toddlers

    As a mother I am always choosing between alone time at night to “catch up” on chores and to exercise or sleep. I know my morning would be happier if I went to bed by 10pm but it is often 2am before I “finish.” I could choose to work out in the morning and do chores throughout the day. I believe I would respond with patience and love to my family if I had more sleep. I would love to fast from harsh words. I need to rearrange my routine so I have less resistance to start my day.

  • Pat Sas

    I am generally a happy person but I do get annoyed with people and worried over things beyond my control.

    I am fasting on the negative and remain joyful and thankful for all the gifts God has given me.

  • Vivian Vega Bolanos

    I believe I am as happy as I can be, but many times, I choose not to focus on all that I have that makes me happy. Instead, I give in to worry about what needs to be done and what hasn’t been done.

  • Sarah

    I wouldn’t say that I’m “happy” but more “content”. I love my family and friends and have moments of temporary happiness but I long for joy of heart. To feel complete spiritually – which is what I’m hoping for over this season of lent.

  • Allison Ansley

    I’m so happy this is a free program! I will continue engaging with Dynamic Catholic and Best Lent Ever.

    • Chad Mayer

      Welcome aboard Allison!

  • Christopher Jachulski

    The snooze resistance demon has been with me for a while now. God was merciful and woke me up an hour before my alarm set so I could go back to bed for an hour. When the alarm went off at 05:00 i got up!~ No ifs and or buts and got my day started by saying ” I will serve”. That way, I’m already poaching in the devil’s territory first thing in the morning. Hooah!

  • Mark Darrow

    I do feel that most of the time I am happy. When I exercise, read holy writings, with family & friends… I feel happy. Not sure why I’m not always able to stay happy. Why do we fall out of happiness??? I hope to better understand that through this Lenten period.

  • Ivan

    I’m a happy person, sometimes confused by other because of it. Sometimes labeled as fresh or overconfident. But when is time to perform a task I will do it to the best of my capabilities
    I’m happy around my family, specialty my brothers and sisters, I could make jokes with them without the fear of being misinterpreted
    I could be me.

  • Mary Jalove walker

    I always grew-up knowing being Happy is a joy and a gift to share with everyone. I would try my hardest to see how i can help them to be happy. As time went by I notice that the reaction from that person was sometimes a negative reaction to my happiness. My happiness was crushed. I found that I needed to turn the happiness to be mine. I have started to paint again.(watercolor) i feel better, happier and know I am a happy person. I do share my paintings in cards and write a short note of happiness with each one. I feel happy this morning.

  • Anna Bruno

    i have no idea because this last october my grandma past away and i guess my feelings have all been messed with and i really dont know who to go to if i need help to handle them.

    • Chad Mayer

      Go to God. I know. I lost my great grandmother a few years back. We were very close. I took it hard.

    • Chad Mayer

      I’m also very sorry to hear that.

    • Chad Mayer

      Is there someone close to you that you can talk to?

  • Judy

    As of Ash Wednesday, I am making a firm effort to overlook annoyances, thoughtlessness, and mishaps that tend to make me irritable and complaining. I have already been sorely tested and am proud to say I’m following through. I feel this is a way to become happier. I can’t leave the circumstances I live with so feel this is a way to make the situation more pleasant. With Gods help, this might improve my life.

  • Mike

    I’m happy when around people who are honest and enjoy life and are quick to laugh. Coffee with my buddies and laughing makes my day. Unfortunately that’s an hour or two every three or four weeks when we meet. The rest of the time I have family to enjoy via text, phone or email or in person when we’re together in the morning and evening. These times make me happy. God has given me these gifts. I search often for His will in all my relationships. It’s when I fail in doing my part that I can’t honestly say I’m happy.

  • robert hemhauser

    I am not as happy as I could be because I am grieving the passing of m beautiful wife 6 months ago. Even when I go to mass The tears flow at certain times,

    • Louise

      So sorrry to hear of your loss Robert. Please know that I am praying for peace and comfort for you.

  • Maria A.

    I feel like I let the world consume me all too often. I get caught up in what’s next for me and for my family rather than where I am right now. I don’t know why it’s so hard to just let the worries go, but it is. If I can consciously work toward leaving the daily worries about the future behind, I think I can allow myself to open a door to greater happiness.

  • Drey

    What a great reminder to choose happiness. I’m excited to find Dynamic Catholic and start my Lenten journey.

  • Terrie Munger

    I like what you said Amanda…it is true, we focus on so many things all day that we don’t always think about if we are happy or not, do we feel the joy God intended us to feel? I have come to realize my most treasured moments are when I visit the tabernacle and pray and when I sit in quietude with Jesus. I have always been a watcher of life, not sure that I consciously live it the way some do. I am more aware as I age that I need to move too, to offer more to others in need and that I think will make me happier – it would feed my spirit and that makes me happy. Sometimes I resist this though, I say I am busy and sometimes I am, but other times it is an excuse and it sabotages my happiness. I could very easily get stuck in my thoughts and the sand and be blissfully in a lonely solitude if I didn’t challenge myself to move toward life and relationships with all God’s people(isn’t that where we see God in others we meet?). To those who wrote about taking care of aging parents it is a blessing I too was given – they are both gone now and only their love and faith remain but because of theirs I have mine. It is a choice everyday – you are right.

  • Erin

    I have stage 2 cancer and I am already finding this Lenten Journey to be a blessing! It is supplementing what I am already learning. I have met my resistance head on in this journey and I feel called to grow. I have learned that letting go of some details in my life and focusing on one thing at at time brings peace, I have learned being present to my loved ones brings joy and living in balance between prayer, activity, self care, and service to others makes me feel a regular happiness that just lingers.

  • Flo Garcia

    I am Happy, I love life, when I wake up in the morning I give thanks to God for allowing me another day to get closer to Him, to share Him with people that I will encounter throughout the day. I wasn’t always like this though, I had to loose all my material things in life, not my home, not my family, just things that I THOUGHT made me happy, like a $400 purse every week, trips to others states every other month, my business that kept me away from God, but allowed me to enjoy though “at the moment” happiness. I had an encounter with God and He showed me that although I was happy on the outside I was so far away from true happiness, and guess what, I am turkey blessed to have had that experience of loosing all those things because I gained the true happiness GOD! Without God I will never be happy, so I share my story with as many people as I can because GOD IS HAPPINESS. you don’t have to loose everything to find happiness but in my case it was the only way that I needed to open and eyes and see that God needed me to recognize that He is the ONE & ONLY TRUE HAPPINESS… God Bless you all.

  • Poor White

    Hello, I enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. Let me start by saying I quit my job in 2008 to care for my elderly parents and a recently born disabled son. It was a wonderful experience. My mom died three years ago and my dad a year before her. Now I just have my son. Something in Terrie’s post made me think about how often I just stay home and watch the mass on EWTN because of my son’s disability. I say to myself it is to disruptive and difficult to take him to church. This past few months I have come to think he is my crutch from having to go out and deal with people. So this lent I am praying for God to give me strength and to help me find my way to a new career or job path where I can use some of what I learned during the seven years I was a care giver. Deirdre L

  • Patricia Brady

    I am not as happy as I could be because I often get in the way of myself. In other words, I spend time worrying about things, and it robs me of energy that I could be using in a more productive way. The Serenity Prayer helps me to give up the things I can’t control. So I am working toward a better way of thinking, which is to let go and let God!

  • Susan Williams

    Happiness is a choice – I never really thought of it that way. I suppose that is true, but how to make that choice a habit? That will be a challenge…

  • Barbara Levich

    I was looking today at one of my favorite quotes: “You always have time for the things you put first.” So why don’t we put first the things that do make us happy, like quiet time with God, or spending time with our favorite people or activities? Is there some false humility that says I don’t deserve the happiness it would give me because it is somehow selfish?

  • Peggy

    I know that I am a worrier even though I say “I Trust In God” and that only He knows what is best for me or my family. So I feel the one thing I show resistance to is setting quiet time up for me to just sit and be with God. I know by doing even this one thing I would be a much happier person.

  • Deborah Forster

    Three things: working with my Therapy Dog/ team members to bring joy to the faces of children, patients and nursing home residents; baking for friends and family, being with my family

  • Aneeta

    I am so glad you said the word “comparison”. That seems so be my problem- seeing and comparing where others are in the stages of their life, feeling that I have been left behind. But I am happy where I am, so it’s a constant battle of being happy but comparing.

  • Cindy Reimers

    I truly am a happy spirit and I praise God every day for that blessing.

  • Dana Synoski

    I think i discourage my own happiness a lot. Like when I am having a really productive homework night or just relaxing with a cup of tea i might think in that moment “wow i love my life and i am so happy” and then a million thoughts or moments or memories can flood my mind and take that away. there are so many things in my life i can be happy about and i am the one that has to allow that happiness.

  • Casey Papp

    I 100% AGREE WITH THIS VIDEO. I love how lately this is how I have been feeling and this is the video for today. I am not near as happy as I could be and I am a very happy person. I feel like there is a desire or something amazing missing from my life that is making me not the happiest I could be. I just don’t know what it is yet.

  • AM

    I am happy and grateful. I struggle with guilt of others’ needing me. I seem to have many who could use me in differing ways. I’m always thinking of them but see “resistance” to action sometimes. Sometimes I simply just don’t have enough time to do it all. Then I don’t do what I think I should be doing as a friend, etc and feel guilty. Does tht make sense?

  • sd

    I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a long time. I go through phases where I feel good, but lately I’ve been feeling really bad. I am not happy. There are so many things to be happy about in my life, but I just can’t seem to get beyond the depression. Really trying to work on seeing the bright side of things this Lenten Season.

  • Carrie Flower Costabile

    I am a happy person much like Amanda just described in the video but I too allow worry, sadness, and negativity to over shadow my happiness. Many times, in regards to worry most especially, I feel like if I let go of the worry, whatever I am worried about WILL happen. So more times than not, I allow my worry to take charge rather than allowing myself to be happy.

    Also, I lost my Dad about 8 weeks ago after he battled 3 types of cancer for the last 5 years or so. I helped care for him over that 5 years depending on what he was going through and in the last 6 weeks or so if his life, I spent most of my time helping my Mom care for him while he was home with hospice.

    I was by his bedside the day he passed away, and my Mom, my sister, and I all told him just before he took his last breath that it was ok for him to go. His whole goal until his last breath was to make sure the three of us were ok and we wanted him to know we would be ok when he passed.

    I miss him terribly and continue to struggle with his passing. I know it was his time and that this was God’s will and I feel very blessed that I could be there with him until his last breath but this too can overshadow my happiness. In fact, many times I feel guilty for being so sad over his passing, even though I am so relieved he is no longer in pain or suffering due to his illnesses. I know one day the sadness I feel will subside, at least enough that I will be happy. I have found my way back to the Catholic Church since losing my Dad and I feel blessed knowing that God is forgiving and loving and has welcomed me back with open arms.

  • Helen Good

    As long as I am praying daily, attending Mass at the Church that I grew up in, being active in my Church parish, reading spiritual material every opportunity I get, yes, I find that I am basically a happy person! I love God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, my family and my Catholic faith! Without any of these key elements in my life, I would struggle! I often think of my paternal grandmother that brought me to Church with her in my early childhood years. She instilled in me the desire to love God and attend Mass regularly. Without her doing that for me, I may not be where I am today!

  • Chris beahan

    Sometimes I get too busy that I don’t allow myself to be happy. If I see other people sad and not having a good day, I feel guilty to be happy. If I don’t get the time for one hour to pray, read scriptures, and meditate I am not a happy person.

  • Theresa

    No, I am not as happy as I could be. I actually feel that void and know what does make me happy, but like Matthew says, I’m resisting. Even in this moment I’m thinking about one thing that makes me happy and I can feel myself resisting it. Why would I resist my own happiness?

  • Lacie

    Let me start by saying I am Baptist. I have always been intrigued with the Catholic Church and have lately been studying, researching, reading, watching videos, talking with Catholic friends and being more and more drawn to it.
    I have been in church my entire life. I was baptized at 12 years old and I have a personal relationship with Jesus. I wake up every day, I pray, I determine to live a Godly life. I feel as though I’m genuinely happy in my heart.
    My struggle is that I have a very short tempered husband. He has a way of raising my anxiety and stealing my joy. I’ve been praying for him for years. 15 to be exact. When he’s happy, we are all happy. But when he is not, we all suffer.
    I’ve tried telling myself that he doesn’t control my joy, but I seem to lose that battle every day. The fact that I have been to 2 Catholic services lately has really angered him. He says I’m giving up my family for a “new” religion and that he will never allow our children to step foot in a Catholic Church.
    I guess what I’m saying is, I would be even more happy if my husband would change. Is that selfish of me? All prayers appreciated.

    • Toni Sanchez

      Lacie, you are in my prayers, I feel your pain, I don’t think You are selfish.
      God Bless

    • Jarrett Wendt

      Bless you Lacie! Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied! It is not a selfish to desire holiness for others, it is love. Love is to desire the best for the other, keep on desiring that with all your heart, but also put on the patience of God, whose patience is directed toward salvation.
      I’m sorry to hear of your marriage struggles, I burden my own wife with grumpiness from time to time. We have been helped by the 5 love languages book.
      Catholics believe marriage is a sacrament, a fountain of grace for the couple and the world. Lean into your marriage as much as you healthily can. Put your spiritual health and prayer life first, and then breath grace into your husband (perhaps in his love language, if you know what it is).
      I hope and pray the best for you, and place you in Mary’s tender arms. May God show you the way and fill you with grace!

  • Lmomof3

    Does anyone else struggle to figure out what makes you happy?

  • Marty

    What brings happiness into my life…my children and seniors in my life!! Once (in 199 7!!), I wrote a response to a Dear Ann Landers letter that I never sent. My last comment was…Just as a child’s gifts and talents need to be unwrapped and developed, a senior needs to have his gifts tenderly wrapped and returned to his or her Maker.

  • CindyH57

    Wow I’m blown away from all the comments here. I had an episode of impatience with my Mom today, I wasn’t feeling well, but picked up her medicine (she quit driving about 2 years ago) she is 80 and in pretty good health, lives on her own in an apartment. When I arrived I and forgotten to call her back, she reminded me and then told me she needed a couple items, I was kinda short with her, they weren’t items she needed right away,and told her that. I immediately felt so guilty, I apologized I then helped try to resolve an issue she was having.
    I have read Matthew’s book in January and loved it, I try to follow what I’ve read, but am still a work in progress, so I will be grateful for another opportunity to use Lent as a time to practice having my patience especially with my Mom.

  • Erika Layton-Reynolds

    After 9/11, when I saw people lose everything….I kept it in my heart to enjoy everyday blessings in honor of those who struggle so fiercely merely to survive. I eat, sleep and work in a safe place. I have everything I need to be happy, so I live my life as knowing God has blessed me, To be happy, you have to be mindful of all you do have, even when it seems like you don’t.

  • Tina Stephanz

    For me it is so much easier to be happy and I find it takes more effort and drains more energy to be unhappy. That isn’t to say that I am happy all the time, but I know that I am really the controller of my happiness. Hard to remember with negativity surrounding you. During this time of Lent, I am really trying to focus on finding the best version of myself, looking towards taking the negative and making it positive. This applies to events and people as well. I am working on asking myself am I the solution or part of the problem? Am I caving to the negativity around me or am demonstrating my inner desire to be happy in spite of it all?

  • Valerie Hoover

    I’ve been taking care of my mother-in-law for the past seven years. The last year has been very hard on my husband and I. Sometimes I find myself getting very frustrated with her and then myself. I pray for strength and compassion to be able to care for her with love and kindness.

  • Anne Ranker

    I think I am a happy person deep down but I seem to let other people get me down. A friend wrote to me today and told me I should not allow anyone to take away my joy. She is so right. Someone hurt me so badly just a few days ago and refuses to talk or respond in any way. I suffered with depression for several years but although I have been able to come off the medication recently, I still get times when I feel very depressed and anxious. I know I need to turn things over to God but I am still learning how to do that Becoming aware of how resistance is becoming an obstacle to my happiness, both general and spiritual, may well be the way forward to achieving a state of peace with God and the world around me.

    • Candida Rosario

      Immerse yourself in prayer. You may not feel it at first but you will eventually. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayers. God bless

      • Anne Ranker

        Thank you Candida. I do try to do that but it is so hard when you are feeling hurt and angry. However, this Lent I am going to try to immerse myself as you suggest. I just need to let God into every part of my life. God bless you too.

  • Louise

    I would like to recommend a book titled “Switch on Your Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Christian neuroscientist. “She exposes the “switch” in your brain that will enable you to live a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life where you achieve your goals, get your thought life under control, and even become more intelligent”. It’s called neuroplasticity and she alligns her research with biblical scripture.

  • Allister Timmons

    I’m not as happy as I’d like to be. It’s been years since I’ve had a string of days in which I’m fully immersed in absolute happiness. Absolute love. Why don’t I allow it? Because I’m selfish. I need to allow God to transform me. You only get one life.

  • Maria Hinojosa

    I am usually a happy person, but when my baby sis passed away 6 yrs ago followed by my dad it really left a great sadness in my heart. since then I have been up and down with my happiness. I am a single mom. I take care of my teenage son and my elderly mother as well. Sometimes stress at work and grieve over loved ones these past holidays had led me to slip into frustration and depression. I started drinking a little too much to in my mind ease the pain and stress, but all it did was cause me to gain 15 lbs and feel more tired all the time. I love to jog and exercise and I wasn’t even doing that anymore. I love to do art and read, but that was also suffering. I have decided enough is enough! I need get back to my happy state and seek a closer relationship with the Lord. So here I am! God Speed!

    • Candida Rosario

      God bless Maria. Exercising always makes me feel better so hope you get back to doing those healthy things you loved.

  • Candida Rosario

    What makes me happy: first a foremost feeling the presence of the trinity and our heavenly Mother in my life. Seeing my children healthy and happy, enjoying my relationship with my husband of 24 years, going on vacation to relax, seeing the reaction of my Dog Molly when I get home, getting a deep tissue massage, country living, experiencing nature (animals, fruit plants, trees,) and more.

    I also know there is a lot of distraction and resistance in my life and I could certainly be happier.

  • Tammy Poitras

    I have depression and Anxiety. But little things can make me happy. A hug from my husband. A young student of mine, scooting closer to me in the classroom. Helping a friend.

  • Ina Lampman Hohlt

    I want to be my happy self again. With so much that has happened to me, I feel like I am swimming in an ocean of negativity. So much negative has pulled me under. I am prayimg that God shows me the way to walk on the water than to sink to the bottom. Pray for me my brothers and sisters.

  • Charo Albarran

    I have a hard time trying to find balance in my life to make room for those things that make me happy. I am hoping over this Lenten journey I will learn how to make this happen!

  • Meg

    Definitely not the happiest I can be. Is it sad to say that life gets in the way of happiness sometimes?

  • JD

    I’m with you, Tammy. I find that the simplest little things that occur in everyday life give me some of the most meaningful moments of happiness. I believe if we consciously look for those things each day, and recognize them as little blessings, that over time we become more joyful. God bless you.

  • Sean Reid

    I am not always as happy as I can be
    But being with my family and god
    Makes me as happy as I can be
    And there is nothing like those moments

  • Toni Shea

    So grateful for this forum and Michael Kelly and his wonderful books, insight and encouragement! Loved it last year and sharing with other participants was very uplifting and informative. Determined tis year to make this the Best Lent Ever. Bible Study weekly, and this daily forum. So glad to be with you all on this journey with Michael, God and each other. When we think that God does want us to be happy, it gives us permission and a mandate. Thanks and God Bless

  • Sherri

    I am not as happy as I could be. One of my barriers is anger that I have had many losses in life and I need to get those feelings out because they are real, but the person who should be one of the closest humans in my life will bombard me with accusations of having a victim mentality, when in fact I am a survivor. When I am complimented by others for things I feel I am truly humble about, he will even say things such as “Don’t tell her that, I have to live with her”. This hurts deeply but standing up for myself is scary because this person is revengeful and I realize I have given too much control over to him and my health has suffered as well as my self esteem. I feel trapped by my present circumstances because I feel money talks and he knows he is in the driver seat. I do not have a support system or advocate to back me up or stand up for me.

  • Colleen

    I allow the insignificant things sometimes ruin my joy. I let situations and actions of others that I can’t control steal my happiness. I feel that I tend to focus on the negative more than the positive and if I could just shift that focus I know that would allow me to be happier.

  • Gary Moose

    I love this group and you all inspire me and make me feel happy. I am an alcoholic but not a practicing alcoholic. We having a saying in AA called H.A.L.T. We halt whenever we feel too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. I love and pray for each and everyone of you that you see that God wants us to be happy and with his help nothing is impossible. GBU

  • Adriana Mrizek

    Having a balance in my moods and emotions is a big challenge for me. Being bipolar requires that I focus every moment on the present and take baby steps. I want to find balance through prayer and at God’s side.

  • Regina May

    Almost 3 years ago the love of my life, my husband, Ed died at the age of 70. We had been married for 48 years and he courted me for 2. We made our joy together. It took me 2 years to really find my joy again! I worked at it many ways with family & friends, at Mass on Sundays and daily. I made a Cursillo weekend and meet with my Cursillo sisters weekly and a monthly parish wide Ultreya dinner and sharing of testimony and community. I know that God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are within and around me. I am selfish and am determined in that I will not allow anyone to take away my joy! It is a daily workout to remain in this state of joy, on purpose!

  • Vivian Arendt

    For me to experience happiness, it’s important to stay ‘in the moment’. It’s the only place where I encounter God.
    Letting myself drift to past hurts or projecting my worries to a future that may not materialize kills my happiness. I try to stay in the present moment and love God now and know, that He loves me now too.

  • Dorothy Infante

    I wanted to be real happy and the gauge of my true happiness is exactly what Matthew Kelly emphasized in this day 2 video … BUT resistance always win me, thus my quest of happiness is still a big challenge for me.

  • JJO

    I’m not even sure what makes me happy anymore! That’s a sad statement. I need this Lent to renew my joy! My Lenten fast is fasting from negativity and complaining. So glad to have this wonderful program.

  • Cathy Flanagan Guadagnoli

    Great message Matthew. I have never thought about “resistance” in this way as an obstacle to pursuing my happiness. My relationship with God, my family, grandchildren, traveling, cooking, are some of the sources of my happiness. I will attempt to recognize the resistance that comes about during this Lent to allow my happiness to be foremost in my life. Thank you for your video message.

  • Margaret Johnston

    I believe I am a happy person, I love my life, have great friends, a God who answers my prayers. I make it my job to make people smile and it is working. If you walk with a smile on your face, people will smile back. it has happened to me.

  • MaryAnne Casaul

    I find that I am a happy person and I try to find things to be thankful for every day. Today for example I saw a robin outside my window. Seeing that first robin of the season made me happy and thankful to God for His gift of creation. The more thankful I am the more happier I become.

  • Elizabeth Riley

    For the most part I am a really happy person. I do alot of things that make me happy in the moment like reading or doing crafts. Knowing that some of the crafts that I do will go to those that need them or be satisfied in receiving them makes me content which is a form of happiness.

  • Susan NLN

    I probably am but feel I could be happier. Life has been a bit difficult and that tends to bring me down. However, I have my daughter and our dog who bring me so much happiness. I’m a work in progress and I know the good Lord will open my eyes and heart to all He brings me that brings me happiness in His blessings.

  • Peggy

    No, I’m too reserved happiness is for others

  • Tom Schroeder

    I am happy mostly everyday of my life, even more so with my wife and two boys. The boys remind me of the little things that make them happy and we, adults, tend to take for granted. Laughing is one expression of happiness and I smile because I mean it and want others to know I care about them and the relationship we have, whether it be personal or work related.

  • Yvonne Macedo

    I can be a snappy alligator when I’m not feeling well. I need to pray about my illness and move forward!

  • charlie

    I tend to look at others’ faults by discussing what they should do to correct their faults and or wrong doings, without looking at my own failings—take the heavy stuff off me! In doing so, I sabotage my own self-improvement efforts. However, I feel I am basically a happy person, and try to see things that occur in a positive mode.

  • Mae Custer

    These reflections, as well as reading along with Matthew Kelly’s book, have prompted me to realize that I’ve been putting off my happiness for retirement! I will play my guitar, walk every day, attend daily mass, visit shut-ins … once I’m retired. I am happy when I do these things, but am not making them a priority now.

  • Denise Vega Ruvalcaba

    Others see a big smile, loud laughter and really the small things do make me happy. It’s in choosing like the staff member said. I know the days when I feel gloomy because I’ve chosen to surround myself with negative people, negative activities and have chosen negative self talk. When I choose to put myself in a good place I know I’ve chosen happiness.

  • Valerie DeMato

    I think I could probably be happier if I took the time to listen to my needs, such as sleep and exercise! I am getting a little better at it, but I have a long way to go. It is amazing to me the impact upon my disposition when I have had sufficient sleep and exercise! I am more smiley and receptive to others and feel better about who I am.

  • Paul Thibeault

    I am happiest when I focus on what I believe God has in store for my life. Walking with Him by faith brings me peace, joy, and clarity that drives my daily actions.

  • Alicia P

    Sounds like “resistance” equates to selfish self-centeredness. Doing what “I WANT” instead of what I know is best for me. If I’m SELF-centered, I can’t possibly be GOD-centered. And it’s when I’m living a GOD-centered life that I find I am most “happy”. That’s when all things seem to fall into place. How’s it go? … “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And all these things shall be added unto you …”

  • Dena Ames

    I try to prevent the material things bring me happiness but rather find happiness in the little things. I equate joy with happiness. I set a goal for myself this year to live life joyfully every day. That can be difficult and I don’t always do it, but I strive to do that each and every day.

  • Diana Wilkinson

    I’m probably not as happy as I could be. I appreciate the many blessings in my life, devoted husband, amazing children, a job I love. I lost my father a year ago, suddenly. It turned my life up side down. We had to put my mom, who suffers from Alzheimer’s in a home. One of my sister’s who suffers from several addictions is now living in a home for women. These new realities weigh down on me, in so many ways.

  • Heather Felton

    I’m not as happy as I could be. I’m a middle school teacher and am very busy with grading and lesson plans and working on the yearbook that I lose sight of the things that make me happy, like spending time with my mom – who just moved to Florida to retire and be near me, my young teenagers before they don’t have time for me, and my husband who is a cop
    And works the overnight shift.
    I need to take time to leave work at work and be present to my family.

  • Thomas Moore

    As humans we are constantly looking to be happy in our physical being forgetting that we are also Spiritual beings also. We tend to try and satisfy our physical needs and want and neglect our Spiritual side. Until we are successful in unifying both our physical and spiritual we will never be truly happy we will always fall short.

  • Sharon Callon Schwartz

    It took me a long time to realize that my inaction was actually resistance… I originally called it stubbornness. I was stubbornly defiant in little things, and slowly my resistance robbed me of joy until I was in deep despair.
    Deliberately choosing to take action (like getting up when the alarm went off) instead of resisting, delaying, ignoring, etc brought me immediate joy, especially when the action was helping someone else. For me, it’s about engaging with life. Whatever life brings can be joyful – even the difficult or painful parts – because I’m really living instead of resisting.

  • Sue Oberkirsch

    It seems that lately every time I experience joy, something always comes along and brings me crashing down to earth. So now I have been resisting happiness so as not to experience the crash.

  • Angela M. Williams

    Totally relate to suppressing displays of happiness, giddiness and a sense of humor. Sometimes you are led to believe you don’t deserve to be happy and you become a target; people are always trying to steal another person’s “joy”. Misery loves company….People don’t take you seriously and I have even been asked if there was something wrong with me. Yes, I believe sunshine is nature’s Prozac; yes, I believe laughter is the best medicine; and yes I believe I will always be God’s child…so sometimes I can act like it. Doesn’t mean I am a person that is lacking in emotional balance.

  • Maureen Mabile

    I’ve been told by several people that I always seem to be happy. I agree with them to a certain degree. However, fear of rejection can defintly pull me down. My motto for years is laughter is the best medicine for any issue. I feel laughter brings joy and happiness into many lives. It’s healthy to laugh each day.

  • Griselda Cuellar Diaz

    I am a happy person but when something goes wrong or when I can’t do things as best as I think I could I get really down on myself. When this happens it is hard for me to get to my happy place again. I need to learn to let things go and take a deep breath.

  • Aleisha L Boutte

    I could be happier but i allow my self to look down on what i do and not give my self praise for all that i accomplish in my life. I may not be where i thought i would be in life but i feel i am on the path to better myself. Yes i am 36 years old, i still live with my parents and i suffer with financial problems. These are the things that keep me down. I keep having to remind myself that i am lucky to have my parents home to live in, That i am a full time student working on becoming a nurse and i also have a full time job. This lent my goal is to buckle down on my spending, I have a problem with saving money and i need to learn how to just buy the things that i need not the things that i want. I am also going to dedicate my time to spending more time reflecting on the good in life i have and stop looking down on what i don’t have, I need to learn that the good things come to those who wait and its just not my time yet.

  • Mary Stoa

    I am happier now than I have ever been in my life simply because I have chosen to live a faith filled life and try to do the things that God wants me to do. Happiness just becomes a way of life when you put God into your life.

  • Marie Lissade

    No, I could be happier but my life has issues that I wish could go away

  • Kristina

    Am I as happy as I could be? I think I am happy. Could I be happier? Yes. I have struggled this year. I am an empty nester for the first time. My only child left for college. It has been a struggle to learn to focus on me. I have learned that a routine is important. Yet, I allow resistance to get in the way of what I know is important. This lent I have given up facebook because it wastes time for me spiritually. My goal over these 40 days now 39 is to get physically mentally and spiritually healthy. I am fighting resistance so I can find more happiness.

  • Sandy Miranda

    I have moments of happiness. Other times I find my feeling kinda like a routine focus. Not sure if that makes sense ? But going along doing the same things not noticing any feelings at all . great topic

  • Zoe

    I TRY to be happy. I’m almost AFRAID to appear to be happy, because as soon as I do….SOMEONE has to put a stop to it.

  • kelsey brown

    I am a positive and happy person for the most part. However I find myself not as happy as I could be. I am a teacher and I feel like my day consists of giving and giving which is great and really rewarding watching my students grow, but at the same time I feel like there is not enough time in the day or I don’t have enough energy to do the things that make me happy.

    I absolutely love theatre and singing. I direct the school’s musicals and often am not home till 6pm. When I get home I am tired and hungry and just want to relax, but at the same time there are so many things I want to be doing but feel like I don’t have the energy for. When I don’t get to do things for myself (I feel selfish saying that) I become irritated.

    I feel life is one big juggling act or one big puzzle and I am still learning how to put the pieces together.

  • Lilia

    My father past away 20 years ago. My mother was in good health at the time, about 10 years ago I noticed that her memory was declining, she kept repeating I don’t remember often during the day. Soon after she was diagnosed with dementia. I have 9 siblings but, I’m the closest daughter living in the same town. I informed all my siblings of her condition, Basically I took over most of her medical needs, legal and anything necessary for her to continue to live at her home. Seven years ago I became disabled with a rare condition of the central nervous system. At the same time my children where going of to college. I had been very vested in my kids life and suddenly my husband and I were empty nesters. My purpose in life changed drastically and as my condition progressed it became more difficult to get around. I continued to look after my mother and try to make the best of everyday, I needed to focus on gratitude and service. My siblings would come to visit her every couple of weeks; and for them she appeared normal considering she was getting older. last year I noticed some behavioral changes and became concerned when she started getting very crafty to get what she wanted; even tried to sell her house without saying anything to me. She was getting passive aggressive with people and eventually she was acting out with me.
    At her next doctors appointment I shared with the doctor and he immediately told me that she was now in advance stages of Alzheimer’s and she was no longer competent or able to live alone. She called some of my siblings to let them know what I had done. We called a meeting to find a solution and make living arrangements for her. Many of my siblings are in denial of my mothers condition and blamed me for her short comings. At that point I decided to step back and hand over the responsibility of her care to them, and shared with them about my condition and the fact, that her doctors have only seen me in the last 10 years considering she has 10 children. They decided to have my mother move in with my sister that lives 2 hours away. I still help with picking up all her medications at the pharmacy and making sure her bills are paid and all her health insurance issues. There’s minimal communication with my mother due to her
    condition. Three of my siblings have chosen not have a relationship with me, mainly because I’m the executor of my mother trust, that she set up while she was still healthy. Its a daily struggle, knowing that in my mothers mind, I’m just the provider for her medications or whatever other needs arise. I trust in God will give me the strength to endure accept his will. to surrender and try to find peace and continue to serve my purpose regardless of her or my siblings acceptance. Last year my husband and my oldest son were diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I thought that the issues with my mother was all I could endure. My life has taken another turn; two of the most dear people in the world to me; had to be admitted to the Behavioral health unit 6 months apart from each other. To date they have daily struggles and my son had to move back home as he was not able to take care of himself. In my mind I felt that I had truly surrendered. As my own medical condition worsens, I suddenly became my family’s care giver. I found out that I needed a closer relationship with god on a daily basis. I continue to live in gratitude for all the good and the bad, to be of service. And give thanks for every day I’m able to be here and find joy in the simple things in life. I know there’s resistance and I need God to help me stop..

    • Mike

      I just posted my story of Happiness and my story is very similar to yours. I have 8 siblings and the illness of both of my parents have cause such a separation. Some don’t want to help with my parents or financially, and it is very confusing how they can’t see how they should help out. My mother went down hill in the last 4 years, she is unable to chew her food, or let’s say anything. We do evert hung for her. What has been my difficult times is assisting with cleaning her when she has accidents. I know that she would not have wanted her son to do that. Prayers for you…

    • Lilia

      Mike,
      Seems like you have an amazing mom. I’m glad you’re able to be there for her. It’s a blessing! I’ll be praying for both of y

  • Mike

    Happy…mmmmm the first person that comes to my mind is my mother, even though she has full blown alzheimer’s somehow she was able to teach me to love thy neighbor, forgive those that hurt you, remember to always be Happy and thankful because we are alive. It has not been easy to be Happy at times due to the dynamics that come in to play for caring for a person whom you love so much, with this illness. I have thanked God for allowing me to experience the complete circle of life by being there for her. She was there for me when I needed her, now it is my turn to be there for her and would not have it any other way. She doe’s not say much and can’t see anymore but that is just enough for me to enjoy her last days. I love smelling her perfume, caressing her wrinkels ect. As mentioned, she does not move much so I have to get close to her and hold her hand to feel my face. That simple affection brings a smile on her face, which is priceless and I will never forget. I know she is on her way to be with my Savior and that is what bring’s me Happiness. Again no room for anger or sadness, she raised me to be Happy and to be a man of faith, and in doing so, she will part from this earth but my Happiness will continue knowing that she will be waiting for me.

  • I am also an incredibly stubborn person & have a LOT of resistance. I also struggle with depression & anxiety (clinical & hereditary).

    Our priest recently told me God wants me to be joyful. He got our whole parish Matthew Kelly’s book on Resisting Happiness. I was surprised – I grew up thinking that I was supposed to be hard on myself – strive for perfection, & that happiness was a selfish thing… if you were a good Christian you took up your cross & accepted suffering.

    My priest is quietly radiant & it’s clear he is at peace & is happy with his life’s work. That is something I want for myself too. Our Pope appears to be filled with love and quiet joy!

    I am praying for conversion – deeper faith, understanding & closeness to God. I pray for healing & for help in letting go of my stubbornness- my resistance.

  • Karen

    Am I happy? Most of the time I view my life with happiness. Even with my hubby in Hospice, this has given us a time to be closer, more honest with each other and pray together. This is happiness and joy.

  • Beth

    Exercise, prayer, being with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, experiencing the music, culture and events in the community. What keeps me from doing these things? Work responsibilities, focusing on finances, wasting time with media distractions. Today I will take the opportunities I have to act in ways that keep my focus on the things that make me happy instead of giving in to the other distractions.

  • Jean Prescott

    God”s beautiful world makes me blissfully happy, and I sometimes feel closer to him when I’m driving into a spectacular sunset than I do in the middle of Mass. Odd, that.

  • Daniela Bianchetti

    I consider myself a happy person but latelly I have been lacking the time to do things that make me happy. I can improve the quality of the time spent with my family but instead I divert my attention to obsession with cleaning my house. I am devoting this Lent also to work on this journey.

  • Stephanie Nicolini-Borem

    Putting my worries and faith in God more so recently has helped increase my happiness. When I forget that, I tend to be less happy.

  • Valerie

    I am 18 years old, and it seems like the happens has disappeared in me! As a 7 year old child I had the best thing happen in my life. And that was being adopted by an American family from Russia! It was the American dream! And I would not stop smiling ever! But as the years have passed it seems like the struggles that I contend with set my happiness back and constant worry fall on me! I am constantly worried that I might do something wrong and might get in trouble! It seems like I always think negative thoughts of what is going to happen next.

    • Dorothy

      Valerie- Your name means Strong; Healthy; Valiant. Know that you are not alone. You’re part of something bigger than this world. You are loved! The childlike feelings of joy and wonder are still within you. Keep your heart open to see miracles surrounding you. Ask your guardian angels for help😉💫☮️

  • Jay Novotny

    I am happiest when I do good or great things, If I go on a great hike in the mountains and climb over 14, 000 feet it makes me feel great, or if I spend time saying the rosary, This Lent I am just going to focus on what make me happy and hopeful I can spread that joy to my family and friends

  • Lauren Connolly

    Basically I am a very happy person. Even when times are tough and I struggle I try not to let that affect my happiness. I am sure that sometimes I don’t succeed at that. So this Lenten season I am going to work on being genuinely happy every day because all it can do is make my day better and brighter.

  • Ally F.

    This is fantastic!! I can definitely relate to the not being taken seriously because you’re “too happy”. And I, too, let worry, frustration, and comparison take my focus away from my happiness. Thank you so much for sharing this, it is refreshing to be reminded that it is up to us to choose happiness!

  • David Boff

    I have been through many self helps over the years. The one common theme in all of them is write this down. That has always been my resistance. I just never did it. Too busy, too tired, or any other excuse. I was travelling yesterday and could not get to this lesson yesterday. So this morning I read it. Today was the first time I ever “wrote down”. 3 simple lines – what makes me happy. They came so quickly, in fact a fourth and fifth came too immediately. So quickly that if I kept writing them down I would not be typing this. As I wrote the first 3, I was completely overwhelmed at how simple a task could so profoundly destroy my anxiety, worries, irritations and anger. I sit here stunned at what these 3 lines say. This task was so simple yet completely eye opening. I thank God for this. I pray and offer every breath of my day as a prayer for others to find this simple joy. NO MORE RESISTING 🙂 God Bless you all.

  • Mary Ann Jacobs

    Mary Ann
    Matthew I so identify with what you are saying. I am very good with the excuses for not doing something I know will make me happy. It takes a real effort to slay resistance, I’m going to make an effort to do it.

  • Jaquie Castillo

    I feel as though I am not as happy as I could be. I believe a major reason for that is my job. I work retail, I have for the past 7 years and I used to like it, for six years I did but the current store I’m at has made me hate retail. Sometimes I find it hard to change careers because I feel as though nobody will hire me doing anything else when they look at my lengthy retail management experience, they’ll just question why I’m looking for something different. I’m working on looking for something different that won’t make me have to fight resistance every morning because I don’t want to go to work, I want to love what I do! I pray that God help me find my happy place this Lent season, and I ask that you, my brothers and sisters, pray for me and anyone else that isn’t as happy as they can be. Thank you and God Bless

  • Dorothy Cabral

    I have always been told ” your such a happy person” and for the most part I am but, there are times I just put on a happy face and pretend to be. Growing up my grandmother, mother of 11 children which she raised on her own after losing my grandfather 13 years into their marriage, she always told us to paint a pretty picture by putting on a happy face, no one needs to know your problems. Hence, it truly masked my unhappiness rather than working things out to resolve the issue I would put on a happy face!
    I knew at times what I needed to do to change the situation but I resisted it most of the time out of fear and depression. In would do just enough to get by in life but this resistance or avoidance behavior never let me live life to its fullest potential. So lived life not as happy as I could be but I did the best I could at the time. I now face resistance and they for the most part live my life being the best I can and am happy with that!

  • Darlene Matteucci

    I am struggling with whether to move closer to my family in Illinois or to remain in North Carolina. I have prayed on it everyday and am placing it in Gods hands. It is a terrible delema because I miss all of my grandchildren in Illinois but love my life here in Roth Carolina. DM in NC

  • MaryCarol

    To have God throw a life altering chronic disorder into your entire families life is viewed by many as a tragedy. Daily I choose the happiness of living every moment and valuing every moment, because the reality is that it all could end any moment; is right in front of you every day. Choose HAPPY!!

  • Ruth Major

    HI
    I feel that worrying about things I can’t control is standing in the way of that peaceful happiness we all so desire.
    I want to fix things. I want my grown children to be perfect. I want my country to be perfect. I know this all boils down to faith in God. When I fix my eyes on Him, I let go. But I don’t do that enough. I feel I should be in control. Will work at this.

  • Kevin Doherty

    Great reflection! It reminds me of a time earlier in my career when I was working in a large corporation seeking feedback on how to advance, and my boss’s boss told me “You smile too much.” He basically told me to stop looking so dumb and happy all the time. That if I smiled less, I would be taken more seriously and advance. Leadership gurus seem to agree that self-awareness is crucial to personal growth, and I was never aware that I did smile so much. How could I keep from smiling!? I was doing what I loved at a great company with the loving support of a wife and 3 little kids at home with a 4th on the way. I had every reason to smile! Well, he was and is still a very smart man who had great experience working at some of the iconic US companies that are well known for how they develop their future leaders. Since he was so credible, I followed his advice. I smiled less, and I advanced. And what I advanced to were rooms full of people who don’t smile much. Over time, I have discovered that emotions are contagious. During their staff meetings, if the leaders are all so serious about themselves and the business that they lead, they emanate that seriousness across the company. Happiness and joy flee the workforce, or simply become forced emotions at sanctioned company “happiness events.” You know these events. The 3rd Friday of the month birthday cake in the break room events. The “Okay, we have cake for 15 minutes, so everyone be happy!” events. Eventually, I learned that the smiling me is the best version of myself, and if I have to smile less to be taken seriously, then that company culture is not for me. I apologize for the length of this reflection. As Mark Twain said, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter!”

  • Amy Reinhardt

    If I had to choose three emotions to define the past year, I would select anger, sadness and frustration. God has given me and my family a tough road filled with impossible obstacles to overcome, and I won’t lie, at times I wanted to give up. I didn’t want to smile, I didn’t want to be happy and because of resistance I chose to wallow in the hard times. So to answer the question, “Are you as happy as you could be?” I know the answer, it’s no. But things are getting better now, and I am actively working to maintain a positive outlook because having a smile on your face and a sparkle in your eye makes life a whole lot clearer and brighter.

  • Diana Oviedo

    I try to be happy but I feel that at most times I fake it to not allow others to see the truth. I’m happiest when I’m with my family and I don’t allow my stress to interfere.

  • Teresa Dolezal

    No I’m not. I focus on the future and past and I don’t live in the present. Then when I realize I’m doing this I tend to get down on myself about time I’ve missed with loved ones. I also compare myself to others a lot and tend to have a glass half empty attitude. Like the first video said, I know exactly what makes me happy but I let resistance win way to much.

  • Leane

    I worry all the time and compare myself to others which I think makes me doubt everything I do and decide. I’ve always been this way and realize that it makes me sad, it consumes me and I want to stop doing that to myself. I need to allow myself to think positively about me.

  • Frank Brennan

    I make myself unhappy by not speaking my mind.

  • Dorann

    This was a very difficult activity for me. When I asked myself what makes me happy, I had no answer. I thought of all the things I do that I enjoy, but I realize they are simply attempts to fill a void ( reading, etc). I kept at it and realized that the thing that makes me feel happiest in a true all out way is when I serve as a Eucharistic Minister. And I imagine that is the time I am in closest connection with God.

  • Mindy

    I really relate to Amanda’s story. I often let anxiety and comparison get in the way of being truely happy. Instead I need to focus on who God created me to be and trust that he will take care of the things I worry about.

  • Agnes Jackson

    I find happiness in my grandchildren. Watching them grow and learn. Helping them to learn about Jesus through CCD and things I teach them.

  • Marilyn

    I am happiest when I place my anxieties and fears in Gods hands and repeat to myself ” God ~Your Will be done unto me and my loved ones not my will but yours”
    and give them up to Him and I find my inner peace and happiness …..things always work out for the best then .
    If I relie only myself, I am not as happy and joyfilled .

  • bernaboop

    I love reading all the comments as it helps me understand how y’all GET what MKelly is teaching us. I have two adult children with special needs, the younger one much more difficult. Back in my single days I lived a great life, traveled and did so much! So I accept this challenge and journey I’m on… but trying to find the words to explain to those who love me that I do not want to put her in a home or have others care for her! I am happy being her mom, fighting for her rights, dealing with her seizures and difficult behavior! I feel like they think I’m foolish but this is my journey and I love the folks who want to walk along side of me but please see this does make me happy!

  • Sharon Seguin

    I really identified with Amanda about feeling she might not be taken seriously if she’s too happy around others. Also most days I’m frustrated because I get busy and allow life and distractions take away my awareness of my happiness.

  • Cathy Holdrieth

    I used to be one of the happiest people in the world. But I have not been that girl in a long time. My boys have grown up, they are 30 and 32. I miss the time I had w/them when they were younger. I enjoyed each stage they went through: infant, toddler, preschool, Santa and the tooth fairy, elementary school through high school-their sports activities, their friends, laughing during dinner, tv shows and movies. there was so much love on a daily basis! I also had a job as an elementary school counselor where working w/children on various issues and helping them find answers and behaviors that would help them deal with those issues was tremendously rewarding. And I received dozens of hugs from kids every day. I loved the social aspect of being with colleagues everyday. I went through a divorce and have had 3 back surgeries. I am also taking care of my 82 year old parents, even moving in with them to help them as my Dad lives with severe spinal stenosis and is also as suffering with final stage kidney disease. I feel depressed,hopeless and tired all the time and I can’t seem to make myself get out of bed and do anything. That makes me feel like a whiner and a loser. And my mother make me feel guilty about being tired, sleeping in or taking naps. Instead of feeling happy and joyful I feel short tempered, on edge, exhausted and miserable all the time! Learning about resistance has made me think about my situation much differently!!!! I am not a victim of all of these things after all, I am a victim of my resistance!!! Yesterday, for the first time and I don’t know how long, I did not hit the snooze button. The small victory made me feel great. But I didn’t make time for day two of the best lent ever. So today, D3, I listen to the day 2 videos. It’s amazing how God teaches us things that we need to know just when we need to learn them!!! Today I have realized that I am resisting taking care of myself physically by staying up too late and not getting enough hours of sleep by not eating healthy at all and by not doing the physical therapy exercises and walking and swimming that I must do if I want my back to be strong and carry me for a long time into the future. Instead of doing anything for my emotional, intellectual and spiritual health I resist the things I need to do and instead just read Facebook and watch TV. Being unhappy is not a situation, it is because of my incredibly stubborn resistance to do what Will make me physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually happy. It is my choice and it is my battle. For a long time now resistance has been kicking my butt and I have been a total loser. It’s time to stop resisting the things I need to do that can make me be happy instead of miserable. It’s not up to needing the situation to change, instead it is up to me to beat my resistance so that things can change I don’t want to be the victim and loser anymore, I want to win. One thing that I know for sure is that I can’t do this by myself, I need God’s help with this. The good news is that anytime I have turn to God and ask him for his help he is taking my hand and got me through it. So I guess it’s time to ask him once again for his help and his strength. It’s time to do the things that I know are good for me and will make me happy! Thank you for today’s invaluable lessons and insight! The message really spoke to my heart and my soul.

  • Tricia Bates

    Interesting perspective from both videos… the 4 pillars make up the whole and if one is neglected the whole isn’t the best it can be and is not as happy as we could have been… I’m going to focus on physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual individually to see how each affect my overall happy😊

  • Chrissy

    I use worry as a defense to experiencing happiness because if I’m open to happiness then disappointment feels so much worse when it happens. Worry is a safety net. I pray I can overcome this false sense of security and instead allows myself to be open to God’s desire for me to experience all the joy He gives me ❤

  • Yolanda Salgado

    I think I’m generally a happy person; however, if my day hasn’t started right or if I’m awoken from a nap, or stopped in the middle of something I wanted to do then………..not so much. I’m learning to move the focus away from me because the things that make me happy aren’t centered around me, but others.

    • CaroleS

      Think we need to center around God-see if that helps.

  • Peter Bibbo

    Increasingly, I relate happiness to holiness. I feel happiest when I feel holiest, that is, when I am actively trying to get closer to God through prayer, solitude, and daily living. Just about everything else seems like work, be it home maintenance, hobbies, certain relationships, even ecclesial functions. Work to me relates to earthly obligation; holiness relates to self.

  • starry13

    I’m not. I tend to focus on difficulties, and let’s be honest, right now there are plenty, rather than the beauty of nature, or my younger brother’s patience in the face of hardship, or the love of my faith community.

  • Eliud Greco

    I feel happy , but the same like you when I am happy I let things worried me. Like I don’t have the righ to be happy. I am fascinating right now watching these videos that will help me to be better person at myself. Thanks🙏🏼

  • MAL

    I am happy pretty much all the time, but I do get aggravated by people who do dumb things.

  • jane Mackey

    I am not as happy as I should be and God has declared in his word he wants joy and joy abundantly for his children. I should be very happy, yet I am not and struggle . I know what makes me happy. But can I really do those things every day? I guess the trick is to make a list and do one of those things.?

  • Michelle Hubbard

    I think I could be a lot happier. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, my daughter, career, and my life, but there are still some things that I wish were better. Many of these things are within my power to attain, but I find myself not reaching for them and becoming complacent. I think we all want to be happy and do/feel better, and we have to work for it, when many times it’s easier to be “lazy” and just wish it would magically happen on its own.

  • Osler Rivas

    For me, happiness is when I don’t allow myself to be burdened by my past and realize everyday that there is a lot of things to do and think of, at present. that I don’t fall into the trap of thinking of the future. By perfecting this frame of mind, and deal only with the present, I know I have full control of what is going on with me. This leads to my ability of recognizing resistance and a better chance of “not letting it win”. This combination defines my state of happiness.

  • Sylvia

    I am like Darren Guido today. Husband and I fast till 5pm and I am just a bear by then.

    Happy though. I am. Have old job back. People at work were happy I came back. Good to be appreciated. I feel I can still contribute.

    Shot at home too. Husband about to retire. I am so proud of him. Praying he will find enjoyment in new chapter of his life and I fit into the plan with him. Just have to put it all in a Gods hands

  • Debra Marra Donaldson

    I am, as Amanda said, a generally happy person. At times yes worry , frustration , get in my way and happiness goes away . But more times than not I find a positive way to turn things around and happiness prevails

  • Tere

    Am I as Happy as I could be, No!, because I continue to let the NOISE of this World be the principal in my life, not making the time for God to be first so that He can guide me. I need to remember and practice as my father lived his life “Primero Dios….”. “Be concerned with the Kindom of God and what He requires and He will provide all else”. Amen.

  • Jonathan Chew

    I have the exact same problem, I don’t let myself feel happy because I always get caught up in worry and frustrations. But why? That’s so pointless, I really should just allow myself to be happy!

  • Maria

    I struggle to believe that I have happiness in my life. I know I have a great family and friends, but all I seem to see are the things that I don’t have and constantly compare myself to those around; they have better jobs, they enjoy their jobs, they have husband or boyfriends, they are skinnier than me, prettier than me, more intelligent, more confident, more assertive, more respected, they own their own property, they have children, they seem happy. I know I can be hard on myself but sometimes I think I deserve it.

    I feel so far from God these days and can’t seem to feel a connection to my faith and this worries me. I want to get closer this lent but don’t know how to with just feeling like I’m going through the motions. There was a time when I felt closer to God and I was happier then, even when some of the other things in my life weren’t right.

    Please help me.

  • Kathy Kawa

    For the most part I am happy person. I choose to be happy everyday because I do believe it is a choice you make. Somewhere out in the world someone is worse off than you. This Lent I’m working on not worrying so much about things out of my control and focus on the things I can change.

  • Juanita Brewer

    No. I am my worst enemy because I was truly happy when I did my work in school as a social worker. I applied my belief in God with the with I did. And my family was very supportive. However I developed epilepsy and later menigitus. While my doctors urge me to stop working I resisted and later was forced to quit working and I had to quit driving. My husband saw how this sadness was affected me we adopted two loving dogs from an area His children never went to HBE. They have died in the past four months and in June an aunt I truly loved died. Sometimes I walk with God a great of light and ask why. I do the as a child. He take me hand, listens and tell me how much He truly loves. The makes me happy but resist letting this be a part of my daily life and allow my light to shine. Please pray for me

  • Cathy

    I am not as happy as I could be. I know because I know what it feels like to be truly happy. I had a very happy childhood with a wonderful family. I have since made some decisions that led be away from that great happiness. Decisions that have led to stress and unfulfillment in my home and spiritual life. My concern is that I will need to give up some of the things that I believe should make me happy, in order to be happy in my current circumstances, and that bothers me and keeps me from doing it. I just feel stuck and don’t know which way to go.

  • Donna Melton Reed

    I remember years ago when I told my brother that I was about to go through a divorce, his response to me was, “Donna, you’ve never been happy.” What?! I was dumbfounded. I truthfully had no idea what he meant. I had always considered myself to be a happy person and thought that this was what life and marriage was supposed to be. My brother’s statement has entered my head so many times since then and many times I’ve thought, “Am I happy now?” I try to keep a positive outlook on life but I’m not always successful. I believe God has attempted to teach me repeatedly how to attain my own happiness. Soo….some things that make me happy: good coffee with cream on a quiet, sunny Saturday morning; the sound of birds singing; seeing my girls get baptized; watching my oldest guide little ones at the daycare; hearing the excitement in my youngest’s voice when she talks about her career goals; and hearing my grandson call me Nanny IS quite possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard and makes my heart overflow. Yes, those things definitely make me happy! There are many others but since it is my grandson’s birthday….I’m going to seek some more happiness. God bless!

  • Emily

    Amanda is and outstanding speaker I saw her at Allen Hunt’s event in Cincinnati about a month back. Very impressive! A great example of doing what makes her happy was giving up her first job with the world said she should do but trust God and live with what I knew would make her happy working for Dynamic Catholic. I wish I had that willpower at such a young age! I gave up fear for lent – which is the voice and actions of resistance. This series is perfect for what I gave up! Thank you Dynamic Catholic team 🙂

  • I can relate with Amanda. Also I tend to do the things that I know don’t bring me happiness but I have already begun to change that 🙂

  • Alicia M

    No I feel like I just go through the motions of life with no true happiness. I want to feel normal again. I haven’t felt like myself in awhile.

  • Shanna Kreps

    I didn’t use to be happy. I went through a lot of bad experiences. Are there still things I would like to change in my life? Of course. #1 & #2 being having a better relationship with my Lord & Savior and finding a job that I am able to go to every day and not be anxious. But one of the things I am working on is living in the moment and being happy with what I have. I always strive to better myself; however, I am honestly in the best place mentally that I have been in 20 years. So am I as happy as I could be? Yes I am because God is on my side and I know I can turn to him when I am worried or anxious.

  • Shelly

    I find that when I feel at peace within myself that’s when I’m the most happy. For this reason I’m trying to let go of everything that causes stress in my life. I will try to keep things in check and view things in a more positive light.

  • Jenny S

    I do not think I am as happy (or content) as I could be. I attribute this to a lack of routine in my schedule currently.

  • Erik Epskamp

    Resistance to happiness, yep that’s me. I am not as happy as I could be. I deflect most any discussion of my happiness for a multitude of reasons. Often rather than answering the question as I should I take the middle of the road ” I’m not unhappy”. The discussion ends there. I choose not to reflect inward and I am uncomfortable doing so. . I have told myself that happiness is not given despite being deserved.

  • Cheryl Vivona Boncorddo

    I am generally a happy person especially when working with children at my current job. However, I do resist happiness with worrying about the future. Like where will I be in five years from now? I guess I have not given it much thought.

  • Andi Nguyen

    I just forget to think that I am happy, but I am happy.

  • Andy Hovey

    I’m not as happy of a person as I once was. I tend now to become more consumed with the things that aren’t going right around me, instead of focusing on the amazing things and good things that God has blessed me with. I rediscovered through these activities, that the stress from comparison, and an error of entitlement has stolen the happiness inside of me. The last couple of days, I have had much more marked happiness and more gratefulness for my wife, children, and much more calm and the relative negative aspects of my job and has not bothered me near as much as recently and in the past. Praise be to God!!! ✝

  • Patrick Sheridan

    I would recommend highly, to anyone completing this course, to take LESSON 2 very slowly. This is a gold mine of valuable information. Take note if the four categories; (1) physically (2) emotionally 3) intellectually and (4) Spiritually. Write down what Matthew’s suggests under each of these categories, consider them, and either uses them as you own ideas, develop you own ideas, or use a combination of both. This is the most intelligent information I have listened to in a long time. Please!!!! do not blow this off. This is life changing advise. I believe Matthew is directly connected to Divine Intervention to be able to develop these ideas and broadcast them to millions. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for passing on such excellent information!!!!

  • Kristen

    I am normally a happy person unless I’m stressed or anxious. Anxiety is a huge issue for me, including major anxiety attacks. When I’m focusing on those I can’t succeed in being fully happy.

  • Nope. I know I’m not happy — I have let procrastination delay my happiness by not doing the activity that needs to be done to achieve it!

  • Isabel P

    I enjoy living grateful. That brings me happiness. I choose to see the positive side of everything. That brings me joy and at times excitement. This lent, I’m choosing to focus more on the Lord’s presence in everything and everyone.

  • Michele Flynn

    I am 55, I have 3 beautiful grown children, a granddaughter and another granddaughter on the way. My husband left me, after over 30 years together, 4 years ago and I have been searching for happiness ever since. I go through the motions of life, paste on a positive attitude, but at my center I am so sad. My life is dramatically different than what I thought it would or should be. I am tired of struggling to find happiness. I have so many blessings in my life, but I cannot seem to move on from my divorce. I hope to find some bright light from these videos.

  • Alice Iwinski

    I have a daughter who’s been struggling with depression for the last two years. She has often told me “I’m not happy like everyone else”. We’ve had many discussions about happiness and what it looks like, feels like and whether or not other people are really happy or grappling with their own unhappiness on the inside. She’s also worked on this in her many therapy sessions. Her daily goal is not happiness but rather contentment. I love this. I agree with both of today’s videos but at the same time I feel that we may be setting ourselves up for yet another measurement (the happiness meter) and possibly failure which leads to another way for us to berate ourselves. I think we need to strive for balance between becoming our better selves and not a perfect self. The journey to happiness with all its ups and downs needs to be celebrated just as much as the end goal.

  • Mary Morrison

    I was working at a job that I had once loved but was no longer making me happy. I looked at why I was working (paying for kids college) and realized that this job had meet its goal. The kids were graduated and I was struggling on unhappily out of habit and fear. I was afraid to give up the money. So I prayed about it and put myself in God’s hands and retired. There was a lot of negative pushback from the secular world but I think it has made me happier than I’ve been in a long time.

  • Andrea

    I hide my happiness too sometimes. What a beautiful reminder to let it shine!! I’m a happy person and I commit to letting my happiness shine through everyday instead of letting it slip behind the duties and distractions of everyday life.

  • Tina Rieffer Doeller

    I know that I am not because I tend to put other people’s happiness ahead of my own. I need to be more conscious of this so I am not short changing myself.

  • Sally

    I am mostly happy – except when my husband gets to yelling or complaining about my love of Church, Spirituality and service. I feel persecuted. After 36 years, it’s painful to consider that this is an unhealthy marriage.
    We have happy times together – travel and so on but we do not share the faith as we did when we were young.

  • Jane Lenzer

    l’m happiest when l’m singing, especially praise songs, when l’m with my son and spending time with my disabled step-grandson. l’m also immensely happy when l can teach about God, but l don’t have a classroom any more.

  • Kathy Mesa

    White butterflies have always appeared in my backyard soon after the passing of a loved one! How amazing that there are so many of us that connect with this symbol! I too am embarking on a journey of caring for my parents. I feel so blessed that age 57,i to still have them in my life at age 57. As the oldest of 7 children I feel it is my duty and my honor to care for them as they cared for us, and their 20 grandchildren. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and stories. Today marks a new journey for me.

  • Marlene

    To define happy is to recognize your blessings. That includes you being a blessing to others as well.

  • Jeannie Belew

    I have said for a very long time that happiness is a choice and I choose to be happy…..but…..I can see myself letting my happiness take a back seat. I’m going to work on that!

  • Belen

    I am pretty consistent with fulfilling my needs Emotionally, Intellectually, and Spiritually. I tend to drift in and out of my Physical happiness however. I am a foodie- almost kind of healthy food fanatic but not yet tot he extreme but I have not had the time to go back to the gym since January 2017 and finding myself too focused on goals/tasks/challenges of the day that I end up going to bed rather late. As a catholic, thoeologically speaking- I know we have a duty to take care and treat our physical self as sacred. I will prioritize better and start to push myself back to the gym and go to bed earlier for enough sleep. As with ALL- I love the story of the white butterflies as angels! Thank you and Peace be with ALL. Your neighbor from outer universe

  • MariaElaina

    Amanda’s words, “I’m generally happy until I let worry, frustration and comparison drown out my happiness…” compleeetely resonated with me!!! Oftentimes, I am swallowed up by my thoughts. There are just SO many daily distractions of needing to be in a better place financially – to be able to afford and/ or enjoy more of life’s little luxuries. So, I’m always trying to “plan”. It’s this vicious cycle of waiting for “someday”, and then worrying that “someday” may never come! Ridiculous 😂 Especially when I couldn’t be more BLESSED w/ a loving husband and 3 beautiful children.

    More and more I am trying to turn my focus on Jesus – experiencing and appreciating the spiritual life. I know it’s not about how many vacations to paradise you can afford, but rather living the kind of life that can afford us eternal paradise… it’s just not always an easy road to walk in getting there. (Lots of detours 😘).

    But, I will continue to persevere… walking more in the moment, “resisting” the urge to sprint forward!!

  • Carol

    No I could be if I allowed it. My darker side always prevails in these last grey,dreary days of winter. So many time I put off what would make me happy. I am so relaxed at holy hour or at Mass. .if I choose to wake up early. Such a problem. I rather frown myself in sleep. This Lent was a starting point. Alas, what I wanted to do and what I chose to do were quite different. Each day I awake I say I am going to do better today.

  • Therese Pribil Sprinkle

    I am most happy when I am helping others. Where it is sharing a meal or talking about our faith. I spend a lot of time in God’s Classroom for slience seeking God’s wisdom so I be a better version of my self.

  • Sister Mary Ana Steele

    I have often had to remind myself that happiness is a choice. I also have to remind myself that happiness is very different from pleasure or good feelings. Happiness is knowing who I am and Whose I am. It is not dependent on circumstances or successes. It is in the absolute knowledge that God is in control, I get to be Catholic, and I am entrusted with a mission, as are all souls. He loves me. There is a Heaven and a resurrection coming. This life is but a journey home. Happiness and gratitude exist together. That being said, I am going to spend Lent fighting resistance!

  • Tim Jensen

    I am a lot more happy than I used to be, but I still feel a bit lacking. I get caught up comparing myself to other people and forget to be grateful for all my blessings.

  • Jane

    I am distracted from happiness when I devote my attention to the duty of living, to accommodating instead of participating in living.

  • Silvia Ramirez

    I am working hard to submit to the Lord and have him transform my soul into the best reflection of Jesus I could possibly attain. May God bless the world! 🙏❤️

  • Patricia Zeferjahn

    I have been through a lot in my lifetime. But hope and joy have always been a strength I could draw from. I feel lately I have allowed sickness and pain to slowly steal the fullness of happiness from my life. I have resisted this for so many years. But it seems to be getting harder. I know the reason for this difficulty is lately when I am extremely weary I sometime forget where my strength comes from. I take my eyes off of Christ and focus on trying to relieve the pain. Though we should care for our bodies as they are the temple of the Holy Spirit, we should first look to Christ, our rock and our salvation, our shelter in the storms of life, Please pray that that is where I continually put my focus. And that I will no longer resist doing what is best for me mind, body and spirit.

  • Sue Neumann

    I know I have let many things get in the way of being as happy as I could be. As Matthew said in this video, I put off even doing this because I let other distractions get in my way. This is the reason it’s Day 10 and I’m posting about Day 2! Yesterday I told my second graders they choose how they feel-how ironic that I don’t always listen to my own teaching. Starting today, I choose happiness! (I’ll let you know how it goes:))

  • Cathy Brousseau Vieira

    I have two reasons to be happy every day, and those reasons are my daughters. However, I tend to let little things get to me, and don’t always see them as playful, happy children. I am truly happy when my husband and I are being carefree alongside our daughters!

  • Pete OBrien

    I’m not a happy person. I have experienced moments of happiness but they are just moments. It has led me to an empty life. What I seek, what I yearn for is joy. The joy that comes only from and with a lasting deep relationship with God, my Creator and Father. Falling short of that, it is very hard for me to be happy.

  • tclark41890

    I find what prevents me from
    Doing the things I know make me
    Happy is fear. That seems ridiculous because if I know they make me happy then what is there to fear ? That’s just it I don’t know. Anxiety and panic have entered into my
    Life in the last year and it’s a struggle sometimes to get past that and get back into life. I will continue to pray that is will have more faith and less fear.

  • shurtle

    I let other people steal my happiness. Today is a new day though. Thank you Jesus.

  • Theresa Graczyk

    I like to think of myself as a happy person. But after watching this videoamber I’m not. I let the little things bother me. I try to fix things that are put of my control and that’s frustrating. So after watching this video i will make an effort to be happier by finding the good in the day. Stop trying to control things. And do fun things.

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