We’re all on a journey toward finding our paradise. What makes us happy? What brings us joy? What fills our lives with purpose? That’s what I have been longing to find.
Most people would say that their paradise is a place….perhaps, a beach, their home, a cruise ship…but, to me, it’s more of a state of mind.
When I think of paradise, I think of a place of pure happiness. Bliss. Where I feel free. Relaxed. Joyful. Energetic. At Peace. It’s a feeling that warms my heart.
Living a life with GAD, and constantly being on an emotional roller coaster is anything but peaceful and easy. It’s chaotic, frustrating, and often, weary. I’ll admit, it really is difficult to find a place of clarity and joy, but, through all of the muck and gunk of GAD, I’m learning to slowly find my paradise & what that means to me.
My paradise happens when I’m not thinking about it, chasing after it, or obsessively searching for it. It happens in the most unexpected, unplanned, spontaneous moments.
I love a good vacation. I love to be cozy on my couch in my PJs with a cup of Andes Mint Coffee or tea when winter brings an icy, snowy blast.
I love my private time when I can blast the music and let my voice echo down my hallway, or in the microphone of my karaoke stand. How I absolutely adore singing!
I love going for quiet walks on a sunshine filled day – observing nature and all of its magnificent beauty.
I love those sweet, sweet moments driving around with my mom. Playing our favorite songs, windows rolled down, (or heat on high), talking, and singing. I love our girl’s weekends in Boston, and quoting “The Golden Girls” on a daily basis. (Yes, my mom and I are today’s Dorothy and Sophia. No, we’re not one bit ashamed!)
I love watching “Last Man Standing” and “Duck Dynasty” with my dad & laughing non-stop through it all. Or, laughing at my incredible ability to mispronounce the names of old 70s and 80s bands! 🙂
I love the sound of a cricket choir in the background on spring and summer nights. Gazing up at the stars in amazement. The glow of fireflies.
I love the feeling of holding a newborn baby. The unexplainable joy I get from simply coloring a picture with my four-year old Godson, or from spending time in imagination land with my seven-year old cousin.
The quiet times spent in meditation and prayer. Drawing nearer to Jesus. Following the path that He designed for me. Resting in the secure knowledge that He loves me unconditionally. Just the way I am, flaws and all.
The laughter and time spent overnight or at lunch with my grandmother. The memories, wisdom, love, and stories of the good old days shared by her.
Those precious times when I’m hugging someone I’ve missed incredibly. The moments of chatting with a friend.
Reading a book that is so powerful that it takes my breath away. (Thank you, Mandy Hale!)
The first few moments of a thunderstorm, followed by the beauty of a rainbow symbolically showing that no matter what happens, everything will be ok.
All of those are my happy places.
But, there’s one thing in particular that is my number one form of paradise. My paradise is found through surrounding myself with animals.
There is nothing in this world that I love more than cuddling with my precious dog. When he sits gently on my lap, sleeps soundly at the foot of my bed, and licks away the sadness and tears off of my face. THAT is unconditional love. That is my paradise.
Advocating for them, is what I’m meant to do.
When I volunteer at our local Humane Society and am surrounded by the hundreds of puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats; I feel at home.
When I blog, to spread awareness of adoption, fostering, spaying, and the tragedy of abuse and neglect – my heart and soul fills with a fiery burst of goodness.
When I read a story of a life that is saved, of a happily ever after for an animal who got a much deserved second chance, there is a joy that comes through me in a way that nothing else can.
That is my paradise.
Four-legged friends running, jumping, snuggling all around me – there isn’t anything much better than that…in my book, anyway.
When I look into the eyes of my pets, or of any animal, I see a soul. I see love. I see happiness, and gratitude. I see myself in them.
God has given me a very special gift, a love for these creatures in my heart. He has placed a dream that’s so big, and so powerful in my heart that I would reach for the moon to achieve it.
I consider myself very blessed to have this passion, this form of paradise in my life. And, while I’m still learning to fully appreciate the beauty of having this gift, I will never take it for granted.
How To Discover Your Paradise:
Think about it. Write it down. Then, LIVE it. Make time for your paradise!
Prayer: God, I thank you for blessing me with these fiery passions. Thank you for allowing me to experience the beauty in all of these things – even when I’m sometimes too blind or stubborn to see and appreciate it. I know all things work together for your greater good. Amen