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Hide and Seek

I love playing hide and seek with my grandchildren. It was one of the most fun games I would play with my daughter when she was very young. This photo from the Daily Mail was part of an article on the benefits of playing hide and seek . It reminds me of those times when my daughter's fingers would cover her open eyes as she watched me cover my eyes. I'd take a breath and shout, "PEEK A BOO, I SEE YOU!" then she would raise her hands and laugh and we would both laugh hysterically.

As adults we play Hide and Seek in other ways. When you have depression that is a result of trauma, grief, or abandonment (not a chemical imbalance) the happiness you seek can be elusive. When you're codependent, it's even worse because your happiness is dependent on another.

Often my clients will report that they just get stuck in their depression. They argue with their partners because, "They don't understand." And that is very true. If you've never had depression it is much worse than just feeling sad, run down, or unmotivated. It feels like a heavy blanket has been placed over you. Your vision gets as weak as your body. You mind consumes your thoughts and turns everything negative. You can't escape the feeling of falling into a hole and being consumed in darkness. Your mate truly doesn't know what to do to help and so they become frustrated and either accept that you are going to be miserable and they must learn to "deal with it" or they move on and live their life because they can, which makes you more miserable. It doesn't seem like there's a good option, does it? Well there's option #3, but it requires you to let go of needing someone else to make you happy. You must change your perspective and that starts by changing your attitude about change.

There is a saying that what you look for you will find. It's also what you focus on and in how you seek for validation or justification for the way you're feeling. Then you'll ruminate (repeatedly think) on the negative and this will keep you stuck. So change what you're looking for and what you focus on.

I tell my clients who profess a faith that when they pray, "Pray Expectantly." The Bible says we should pray as if we have already received the blessing:

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,

believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Mark 11:24

I believe that happiness can be "found" but we must have eyes that are seeking it in the right places. You will not find water at a dry well no matter how many times you return it, and you won't find your happiness in your spouse or your children. Look for the blessings God has given you in everyday experiences: a beautiful sunrise, the sound of rain outside your kitchen window, the laughter of your children, the smell of bacon frying, and the feel of freshly cleaned sheets against your skin. It's the simple everyday pleasures we are not looking for that holds the key to happiness. I give my clients homework assignments and this is my favorite:

"Start your day as if you've already been given blessings.

Then go through your day collecting them."

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