Saturday, May 08, 2010

Would You Really Want ONLY Happiness?

OK, even though I said I wasn't going to blog any more about The Power of Now, today I came across THE H WORD:There Is Nothing Better Than Happiness For Mother's Day in the Huffington Post. This article is very Power-of-Now-ish, encouraging us to live in the present and beware of thinking and ego.

The article reminds us that it's not intelligence or "thinking" that brings us happiness with this story of a developmentally challenged child:

"Let's go back for a moment to people who are severely challenged due to mental developmental issues. A friend was recently sharing with me about his daughter who is sixteen. At the time of her birth, doctors told him that she would not live very long. A severe medical complication would not allow her to develop any mental capacity beyond that of a three or four month old baby.

My friend is always telling me about how incredibly happy his daughter is ~ always smiling, laughing, just in the moment. She never projects off into the future or gets stuck in a past event, unable to experience the present moment freely. She never has an attachment to any outcome. She does not experience life through the "should have," "could have," "would have" or "better have" filter. "

Yet, would any of us choose to have the mental capacity of a baby, even knowing we would always be genuinely happy? Would we choose that for our children?

Life is full of ups and downs, bad and good, happy and sad. That's what makes it life! Could we really have happy without ever having sad? Well, there are times when, hopefully, we do have pure in-the-moment happiness that we get just from our present sensations. I'm not knocking that. But what about the happiness that we get from overcoming hardship? What about all the pride we feel from achieving life-long dreams? What about the beauty of love shared with another person? What about the gratefulness we feel for the miracles of life?

I want more than only "in the moment" happiness. The other type... the type that involves the past, the future, or our egos, usually means we experience other emotions, too... grief, sadness, fear, loneliness, anger. And as heart-breaking as it is to grieve, experiencing grief is not possible without having experienced love. My goal is to maximize happiness in my life. But I believe that going through painful emotions are part of what help us discover happiness.

The article says, "Happiness. It is the No. 1 thing we all want." I don't agree.

The No. 1 think I want is Love. I can't define it (yet) but it's more than happiness. It's all our confusing emotions bundled together coming out in the end with a feeling of awe and joy and wonder at this miraculous thing we have: life! It's God. It's indescribable. It's... Love!

1 comment:

Rebecca S. Mullen said...

I couldn't agree more that what we really want is Love. It's what we're all searching for.