“Once I Have X, I’ll Be Happy” Is A Lie


One of the most frequent lies we tell ourselves is that once we obtain X thing, we will be happy. I have gone through this so many times myself.

First I believed that once I reached my 20’s I would be completely happy. As a teenager I thought it would be the prime of my life and I couldn’t wait for it to come

When my 20’s arrived, I had friends, a jam-packed social calendar, a great job, daily Mass at a wonderful FSSP parish, and lots of material comforts. But… I was single. I thought I was missing the one thing that would then push me over the edge to being totally happy. Once I found the right person and got married, then I’d be perfectly happy.

At 24 I was married, and then I couldn’t wait to have a baby.

When I was holding 6-week-old Philomena on our 1 year wedding anniversary, I thought that if I only had my skinny, pre-baby body back, then I’d be really happy.

I lost the weight (and now have had another baby and need to lose some weight again!)

Now the lie I always have in my head is that once we move back to the Pacific Northwest and buy a house, I’ll be happy.


Where Does My Heart Rest?

With Christmas and New Years coming up, it is especially easy to catch ourselves in a trap of all of the things we want (and want to change) that will finally make us happy. But what we really need to be working on is resting our hearts in God.

God, You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.” ~ St. Augustine

No spouse, child, house, car, job, smart phone, or number on a scale will make us totally happy and content.

God’s will for us will take us through peaks and valleys, joys and sorrows, triumphs and tribulations. The secret to happiness is to conform ourselves to His divine will for the moment we are in right now, accepting our crosses with resignation.


Chasing after arbitrary “once I haves” is like running after a mirage in the desert, or trying to reach the end of the rainbow. If we think we can somehow manage to have every last detail of our lives just as we wish, we will keep searching our whole lives, only to find happiness just out of reach.

It seems to me that the happiness of a soul consists entirely in conforming to the most adorable Will of God; for in so doing the heart finds peace, and the spirit joy and repose.” ~ St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Instead, every day we must choose to abandon ourselves to the joys and sorrows God has given us. When we choose to follow His will and accept our sufferings, we will not only find peace, but hopefully go to Heaven where true happiness with Him that lasts forever will be found.

4 thoughts on ““Once I Have X, I’ll Be Happy” Is A Lie

  1. I love this! I’ve realized over the years that as one cross is lifted from our shoulders, so to speak, another one is bound to feel heavier. So that’s why we need to truly seek contentment wherever we are in life…and eventually we learn that God’s will was best, even though it didn’t seem that way at the time!


  2. Just wanted to tell you that as a 39-year-old single Catholic woman, I find your posts very helpful and uplifting. You are so right– there will always be something more that we want, but the secret to happiness is to conform to the divine will in the present moment. Thank you for sharing your spiritual insights, as well as the story of how you married your husband, and may God bless you and your family!


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