Life is really good right now. And so I feel guilty.
When I scan the faces in the Relief Society room or the neighborhood playgroup or the overcrowded grocery store, I see a lot of suffering. Too much heartache. An abundance of stress, anxiety, dissatisfaction.
One friend struggles with both infertility and an abusive marriage. Another is unemployed and down to her last pennies as she cares for family members with extreme health problems. Some wonder if they’ll ever get past the loneliness that can come with being unmarried. One mother lives with grief every day after the recent loss of her sweet baby.
Then there’s my too-good life: Almost five years in, my marriage is ideal. My toddler is wonderfully content and easy going — tantrums, somehow, are nonexistent in our house. The part-time hours I spend working are fulfilling and enjoyable. And my main gig, as a mostly stay-at-home mom, is full of fun — library outings and strawberry picking and even Costco trips are a blast with my kid. We live in an amazing city and are financially stable enough to live comfortably. My church calling stretches me immensely, and my faith is currently quite solid.
Sure, I have moments where I’m not smiling. I complain about my fair share of #firstworldproblems. I’ve experienced a miscarriage, the loss of a loved job, spoiled relationships. But, for the most part, I’m relishing this good life. It does manage to bring up a whole host of questions and concerns and guilt, though. For example:
– When we read that men are that they might have joy, what does the word “might” mean? Is it possible that joy will remain just just out of reach for some faithful saints?
– Why have I been dealt such an easy hand?
– Is it OK to feel this content when so many in my circles are lacking all the wonderful things I enjoy?
– Are my trials less severe than others’ because God knows I’m not strong enough to handle the hard stuff?
– Is it enough to spend a few hours a week serving the less fortunate, so I can then come home and get back to my perfect life?
– Since things are so good now, is some awful misfortune in my future?
So now, I’ll put it to you: Are these questions simply unanswerable? Have you ever felt the guilt of happiness? Or, if you’re on the other end of the spectrum and in the midst of suffering, how do you view those who are living so happily?