My dear Lydia,

You will never have everything you want.

There will always be something you wish you could change: where you live, what your home looks like, where you’d rather be, what you’d rather be doing…

Part of this is a sign of vitality. You still want things, you dream of new possibilities. Those ideas and prospects make you excited for what is to come.

At the same time, those longings can bring you down and away from the present and the immense blessings offered to you right now.

I want to tell you something that most people in this world do not know.

Come close and listen intently. 

You will not be more happy after you receive that which you want.

This world strongly believes in an “if-then” type of thinking. Only if I receive that, then, I will be happy. This is a myth and it’s better for you to see this now than let it guide the rest of your life as a tireless chase.

The reason why your happiness level doesn’t change with your circumstances is because happiness is not dependent upon circumstances. True happiness, contentment, peace and joy comes from within and being present to the sacredness of this. very. moment.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience desire or work towards goals.

But their status in your life are different once you realize it was never truly about those things to begin with. They no longer become the precondition to your happiness.

You are already complete, whole and perfect as you are. Revel in the perfection and possibility of this moment. And that which you are working towards will also feel sweeter once it arrives. Your future happiness corresponds to today’s happiness.

Finally, aways be compassionate towards yourself when you feel discontentment. You don’t have to make it go away or be frustrated with yourself for being human. Notice it happening to you, notice how it occupies your mind and then notice it as it passes. Bid it farewell knowing it will return once again.

With love,



  • Lydia Sohn

    Minister | Writer | Speaker

    Lydia Sohn is a minister, writer and speaker and on staff at St. Mark's United Methodist Church in San Diego, California. While her role requires a vast array of tasks from preaching to cleaning old storage closets, her strongest ministerial interests include contemplative spirituality, progressive theology and building community. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College and a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, where she was a Marquand Scholar. Her favorite things in life include writing in cute coffee shops (always with a cup of coffee and a cheese danish), putzing around San Diego with her husband and son, dinner parties, small towns with rivers and a solid standup comedy show on Netflix.