This post is a collection of questions and thoughts I had while meditating/praying on the topic of happiness. I will keep this post in the same format and will ask a question, then supply an answer based on my thoughts. This post is not necessarily truth, nor is it necessarily untruth. It’s simply my thoughts on a subject. After reading the post, please post in the comments below and let me know your thoughts as well! #EnjoyTheMoment
The Pursuit of Happiness?
One of the first thoughts I have when thinking about happiness is whether our usage or understanding of this word is correct. Happiness, as defined by most dictionaries, is simply,
This definition tells me that like any state it can change from moment to moment, which makes happiness a present moment feeling that can be at any time. Wait what? What am I trying to say here? I’m saying that if we believe “being happy” is just a “current state” then that means at any moment you could operate in that state if you so choose. This is why I question whether we use the word properly. I don’t think most people are searching for happiness. I think most people are searching for peace. Happiness is simply a feeling, Peace is a state of being.
The Pursuit of Peace?
Again, I think it’s important to define exactly what this word means and as with happiness, as defined by most dictionaries, is simply,
I also believe the state of peace is the gateway to allow happiness to flow through our lives. What I mean by this is that if we want to experience MORE happiness, notice I didn’t say if we want to be happy 24/7, in our lives we must live more in a state of peace.
How do we Obtain Peace Then?
I don’t think peace is something that we can obtain, instead I like to think of peace as a tool we can operate in at any moment. Let me explain what I mean by this with a little story.
Mark is a guy at peace! No, seriously he is!
Sure, Mark has had his share of mistakes in his past, not everything Mark has chosen helped move his life towards his goals or expectations, nor has everything gone as planned, however, Mark seems to just be happy all the fucking time! Like…WTF Mark! How you so damn happy all the time?!?
Wait wait wait, was Mark always like this? Nope, Mark read this article (There’s no Mark btw), had a realization of some truth, and his life changed forever. It wasn’t anything new he learned. In fact, after he had the realization, he realized he had been hearing it his entire life!
A lot times people tell us that you can choose to be happy, however, we know this isn’t truth so we dismiss it. I mean can I really choose to be happy when I just hit 30 years old, still haven’t found the “one” and will be lonely for the rest of my life because I’m too old to find someone [email protected]#[email protected]@! Fuck no!
However, I can choose to operate in a state of peace! So what we really need to tell people is that you can choose to be at peace!
How do we Operate in Peace?
In order to operate in peace, we must first fall in love with ourselves. In order to use the tool of peace you must be operating in love.
Wait…what? Okay, now you are just becoming one of those hippie freaks I see running around hugging people all naked and shit.
Haha, I assure you, I’m not a hippie, however, I’ll also be the first to admit they probably have a better understanding of peace then most of us!
How do we Fall in Love With Ourselves?
I believe this is actually one of the easiest steps. There’s a quote I love and it’s quite familiar to most of you I’m sure! It’s by Reinhold Niebuhr and it says,
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I think this quote explains very well how we are to love ourselves. There are three steps to this quote and I’d like to break down each point and discuss it.
- Accept what can’t be changed. – There are two main things we can’t change. The past and what happens TO us. Whatever has happened in the past is over. It’s important to look back on the past and use it to learn from, however, if you allow it to shape your future it then becomes a tool of destruction. Secondly, we can’t control outside forces. This means we can’t change how someone treats us, if lightening strikes us, or whatever else any type of outside force may throw at us. We can only REACT to those forces.
- Change the things I can. – There are things we can change, for example, just because our past can’t be changed, we can use our past as a learning tool for the present. This allows us to change our own feelings, thoughts or actions as we move forward in the present. For example, maybe you just went through a breakup. You are sad, however, instead of sulking and eating the biggest container of cookie dough ice cream you can find, don’t judge me you bastards, you start looking back through your past to see what mistakes you’ve made in your relationships. Things you can change to ensure the next relationship you enter is better than your last! It’s a shift in your mindset. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU DID ANYTHING WRONG! It simply means you can’t change what happened, but you can look through the past to see if maybe there are patterns in the way you try to pick a date. Maybe, you decide picking up prostitute isn’t working when it comes to finding a wife. Doesn’t mean you were necessarily wrong for trying, just means you realize maybe it’s not the “best” way to approach the task!
- Wisdom to know the difference. – This is kinda the hard part. This is the area most people struggle with… Why? Because the only way to gain wisdom is for you to decide to change your mind. Wait what? Well, let’s think of it this way. Let’s assume you really were under the assumption that the best way to meet your future spouse was to go out in the streets and pick up prostitutes! Yes, go with me on this! How could you gain wisdom to find a better way of searching for a spouse? Well, maybe all your friends and family keep telling you that there’s a better way! Well, you the must make a choice. You must decide to either accept what they say as truth, which means you were wrong and you must change your mind about what you “think” is the best way to meet a spouse, OR you can decide they are wrong and keep doing what you are doing. This information may come through a book, through family, friends or even God himself, it doesn’t matter! If you aren’t at least willing to have your mind changed, you can’t gain wisdom. This doesn’t mean you accept everything you’re told, read or hear. Here’s what it really means.
If you DON’T have the tools, skills, knowledge or means to change a current situation, then you must accept that that particular situation CAN NOT be changed.
If you DO have the tools, skills, knowledge or means to change a current situation, then you must accept that the particular situation CAN be changed.
If you can accept those two facts, you can find peace in your life. It’s a realization that you don’t know everything and sometimes you’ll mess up in life or something bad will happen to you and you won’t be able to change it. But instead of dwelling on it things that can’t be changed, you learn from them. You then use that wisdom you gain to make a change if you are now able to do so with your new-found wisdom.
Wanna add something? Leave me a comment below telling me what you think about the topic of Happiness! Have another topic you’d like to see me discuss? Throw that down in your comment too! The only way we learn is by discussing with others! #EnjoyTheMoment