I’ve often wondered what happiness is. Sometimes we all experience happiness and the experiences we have may be genuine but are they?
Is the feeling you get when you see a long lost loved one return after years spent away in another country happiness?
You hear the question propose itself time and time again, ”What makes you happy?” and you may see it scientific articles ”10 things proven to make you a more happy person. ”
One of those top ten has to be ”Friends.” It’s not it’s a bad thing to have friends but to be told you NEED friends is what bugs me. That you need to feel accepted and approved is another trap of the world.
Another one may be exercise and that this will increase your happiness. Exercise does help motivate you and keep depression at bay but does it make you happy?
I don’t know, I think of the Catholic priest in prison celebrating Mass on the palm of his hand in the dark cell he was kept for many years with no exercise and lived very happily.
Therefore I’m not entirely convinced but would opine that happiness is not something someone does to you or gives you. Happiness is not something that comes and then goes rather true happiness is a state of being one can only achieve in Gods Grace.
There is what we’ve been told happiness is and what it actually is. For example when one boy is happy because someone applauded him for doing a good act, another boy who was taught that being applauded is a bad sign that you’re on the wrong path will not respond with a feeling of joy.
Therefore there’s a happiness we are taught by the culture around us a sort of set of rules for when to feel happy. We’ve been taught that ”having friends” makes us happy. So when we go out and make lots of friends we feel the need now to be happy. We have achieved the target for happiness that the culture around us has planted in the rule book.
But then after a while of gaining these friends we begin to feel unhappy again. The happy drug is beginning to wear off and the friends we now know have become like a fresh loaf of bread and become stale over time. It’s now time to change our friends or do something else to get happy.
Happiness is often equated with ”feelings”. Are you feeling in a good mood today? You’re happy! Are you feeling in a bad mood today? awww you’re depressed”.
I like to think of St.Oliver Plunkett at the stake being burned and how he showed no sign of sadness or the priest in his dark jail cell and the joy he had every day when he awoke into nothing but darkness.
In those harsh conditions we are taught that this is a time we should get sad but the Grace of God transcends this human brainwashing and so the priest lived in a state of constant happiness.
Ah yes that is it, happiness is a state of being not a fluctuation of feelings. Happiness is a continual state of being in which we are fully immersed in God and dead to ourselves and all the human brainwashing we received from birth.
Then there’s the problem of sadness in the Gospels. Our Lady wept and Our Lord wept. We are all talk about happiness yet Our Lord and Our Lady expressed sorrow in the Gospel.
There are two different kinds of sorrow. There is the earthly sorrow and there is the heavenly sorrow. The heavenly sorrow is mingled with joy and love for all it sees where the earthly sorrow is a real depression and often the result of the human conditioning we were spoon fed. The heavenly sorrow is still attached to the state of happiness.
There’s always Love and it’s earthly counterfeit. Happiness and it’s earthly counterfeit. Sorrow and it’s earthly counterfeit. Joy and it’s earthly counterfeit.
The devil likes to mimic what is heavenly to make a mockery of what real love, happiness, joy and sorrow is. He does this to blind us and keep us from the real thing. The problem is many of us claim we want the real thing but we are happy to live in our illusion of what happiness is.
Take a look at this scene from the Matrix. He quite openly even knows that the steak isn’t real and that the feeling he gets from eating it or the taste isn’t real. However he’s quite content to live in the bliss of ignorance.
Ignorance is bliss eh? We all complain and talk about wanting the real thing but when the real thing presents itself in the form of the Cross we aren’t long running back to our comfortable zone of man made illusions about love, sex and life itself huh? We are so pathetic me included.
However, when we make the first step of admitting we are on the wrong path, at least then we can progress to the next level. I like to make concessions that happiness can exist in different stages and that every now and again a hole in the cloud appears and we get a glimpse or experience moments of happiness.
However there is a true state of happiness and sadly whilst I can do my best to point you in the right direction, I can’t make get up and go looking for it. You know why? Because I’m busy looking myself.