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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chasing Happiness

I was asked by a beautiful and loyal reader to revisit this post.  Happy to honor this request.  I'm always humbled and energized that what I write helps some of you.

Rant warning: This post has been brewing for a bit and is likely to contain frustration, sarcasm, and a healthy dose of disgust.

I've become flat out disgusted with the term, "I'm not happy." What a self serving bunch of crap.  Now, if you happen to be in a situation where you are not able to find enough food for you and your family, or you are being abused, or your hair suddenly catches fire at random each week, I'm sorry.  You have every right not to be happy.  For the rest of you, what a bunch of crap.

Has our culture really become entirely about a quest for our own happiness? Are you naive enough to think that you not being happy in this relationship or situation is really about the other person or the situation? Do you think the next person you encounter will be "the one" that makes the sun shine brighter and the cream cheese on your bagel creamier? Maybe for a little while, until the shiny newness wears off that one and you become 'unhappy' again.

If you're not happy, please take a few steps to the nearest reflective surface and take a long stare at the person staring back at you and consider this to be the source of your unhappiness.  And by they way, who promised you a life of happiness anyway?

Have we all gotten so accustomed to our cushy lifestyles that we have forgotten that most of the privileges we enjoy today came from someone sacrificing and suffering for the greater good?  Let's call my high school classmate, Brad, who's on his way home from Iraq and ask him if he was 'happy' the entire time he was fighting for the freedom of our country.  Do you think your parents were 'happy' throughout your teenage years as they dealt with your shenanigans, eye rolling and body odor? I guarantee that the moment I pushed out both my little gifts from God, I wasn't thinking about how "happy" I was in that moment.

As I look back over my short 44 years, I know the biggest lessons didn't come from those happy moments on the beach with a "marg" in one hand and an US Weekly in the other. My life is being shaped by the moments I've spent in a fetal position on the floor of my closet sobbing in pain and frustration. Those are the moments I've learned to stand up, blow my nose, look in the mirror and face it. I get stronger, I get more understanding. Let's get to work learning how to listen, how to be patient, how to forgive, how to persevere.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go about figuring out how to pay my mortgage, keep my kids out of therapy, and improve my marriage.

If you're still on a single quest for happiness and self satisfaction, please un-follow, de-friend, and delete my email, you're bugging me.

"True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." - Helen Keller

P.S.- There are over 700 results in Amazon from my happiness link above.  Go and buy a book on how to get happy and I'll make some money from it and that will make me happy.