“you’re prettiest when you’re happy”

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This image popped up on my news feed this week. It was posted by a clean eating page I follow and their post above it said, “get happy.”

Immediately, it bothered me.

The photo and the way in which it was posted. I get it, yes we all look marvellous when we smile, happiness can be infectious in that way too and everybody wins. But, we all love Eeyore in his sweet, grumpy melancholy, don’t we?! I saw the image and it left me thinking, “oh great, so you’re telling me when I am going through a really rubbish time, I also look like s@!t.” Are they telling me to get happy because it’s some sort of public service? You really ought to not go out and see other human beings with a face like that. All sad and stuff.

Get happy – that’s an order.

Prettiness is not and should not be a significant motivator for finding happiness. Perhaps if I google, “you’re most handsome when you’re happy”, will I find the torso of a man holding a lovely balloon? The photo doesn’t include the girl’s face, as if to say, that doesn’t matter – but isn’t that contradictory to the premise?

So, what should be our motivation? Well, this is what I think… Because it feels good for mind, body and soul and it is how we were made to be – to experience joy no matter what.

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” Phil 4:4

“Abide in my love… These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:10-11

I love that when I type ‘feast’ into the search on my bible app it comes up with so many verses because feasts were a part of Jewish law. As in, they HAD to partake in a big knee’s-up a few times a year.

“For seven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.” Deut 16:15

Seven days of eating and celebrating??? Don’t mind if I do… The verse seems to imply that God was going to provide all they needed and help them to be successful, so they could just enjoy life and celebrate future provision not just present.

Now everyone knows one of the most iconic beautiful ladies of the last century and she once said this…

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Brains and beauty, apparently. Show off.

At times in life it is appropriate to be sad and feel unhappy. Strangely, there can even be happiness in feeling the sadness because it’s so wholly appropriate, with regards to grief at least. It’s rather simplistic to say “get happy” when happiness may be blended up within a state of melancholy. Often, it’s the sad seasons that help you to realise what it is that truly makes you happy and how to find it in amongst the relentless pain of life that perpetually arrives, like trains at a station.

When you find it, it’s a more fulfilling, satisfying and deep happiness.

…And then you look even less like the rear-end of a baboon. High-fives all round.

I wrote this post yesterday but saved it for the start of NaBloPoMo… Mwah ha ha. 

Day one – crushed it. 

Seeing this photo made me think of all the ‘inspirational’ quotes I have seen that have annoyed or confused me or are just plain silly it’s funny. So a regular feature during NaBloPoMo will be some of these… Stay tuned. 

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1 comment

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  1. Ruth

    I love Eeyore.

    Jeni, the first thing that sprung to my mind when reading this… Jeni, you always look so beautiful. In my humble opinion beauty shines from within, no matter what trials people face, if they’re beautiful inside then it will always shine through. This doesn’t detract from the pain and suffering people face but you still look pretty & beautiful to me!x

    Liked by 1 person

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