Becoming happy when you dont feel happy

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

Now we are in the season of our rejoicing, the Succot holiday. Chag sameach to everyone! 
But what about people who find it hard to be happy? There are many people who have serious problems and find it very hard to rejoice. Some people live in places where they do not have much opportunity of rejoicing.
Being in Crown Heights and dancing every  night at simcha beit hashoeiva makes it easier to be bsimcha.
Being in Israel and seeing the succot everywhere and attending concerts and enjoying the chag makes it easier to be bsimcha.
But what about people with disabilities or illnesses , Hashem yirachem? How should they rejoice? What about people who cannot dance?
It is very easy to tell someone to be bsimcha. But it is a difficult thing to actually put into practice if you don’t happen to feel happy.
However, the choice to be happy remains ours no matter what the circumstances of life. That is not to say that it is not difficult. For some people it is a real task. And it is not easy. And whoever can attain happiness through challenges is praiseworthy and definitely gives nachat to Hashem.
The choice to be happy is there.
We can sit down and look at all the things we don’t have and feel sad.
Or we can choose to sit down and look at all the blessings we do have. We can thank Hashem for those blessings.
And we can be happy simply because we have the great privilege of being a host to the Almighty every day. What greater happiness is there than that? Is it all about perspective.
You want to go to Israel and rejoice but you cant…..so make Israel wherever you are.
Like the third Lubavitcher Rebbe told someone who wanted to move to Israel: mach dah eretz yisrael. Make here Israel. Bring the holiness and kedusha of Israel to wherever you live.
You want to be in a place full of jewish people singing and dancing but you don’t live in such a place? So get up and dance yourself and invite others. Or at least put music and watch dancing on line.
You wish to dance but you cant because of a disability? So find other ways to feel happy. Drink some wine, sit in the succah and learn some Torah.
There are always ways to achieve happiness. It is up to each one of us to find the right perspective in life. Happiness is internal. It helps to have external expressions of happiness but happiness is internal and is possible even if you are in a place where you dont feel happy. However, it requires putting your mind into a happy perspective: letting go of worries, fears, negative thoughts etc.
If we focus on negativity or what we feel we are lacking, we cannot find happiness.
If we focus on the positive in our lives (even if that does not seem to be much) then we can find happiness and joy even in small things.
And may we very soon merit the greatest happiness with the coming of Moshiach and to all sit together in the succah of Moshiach!