16.9.09

to find life

Recently I was having a conversation about a mutual acquaintance who has just achieved a wonderful milestone, one they worked hard for.

This person has also been more unhappy than happy for quite some time and the person I was talking to wondered if this achievement would finally do it, would finally give this person some sense of peace or accomplishment that would change their life for the better.

I don't think it will. I'm not sure that meeting goals and finding success will ever be able to meet the truly deep needs that we all have, to feel loved, accepted, and worthwhile.

Some people believe pushing and working for what they want, often at great cost, is being grown up, mature, and the right thing to do. Find yourself, follow your happiness, these are catch phrases for the attempts our society makes to find happiness. Often the work and the things they obtain are good things.

I believe that the method is flawed.

The sign of a true grown up, a truly successful person, is someone who can put aside their own desires for the sake of someone or something more important than themselves. It requires sacrifice of a different kind, the willingness to be selfless, to embrace humility, to lay our lives down.

Happiness is not a thing to be grasped and wrestled into submission, it slips through the fingers of a selfishly closed fist, but often surprises by resting at length in an outstretched hand.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder. I was feeling very isolated and worthless today but this made me realize that being a good mother and keeping the house running smoothly really does count for an awful lot.

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  2. Wayland7:39 PM

    I have to agree with the claim that meeting goals can't bring lasting peace. Form my own experience, success brings joy and that joy will last for a while if you know how to be thankful, but lasting peace comes from something, and/or somewhere else. Happiness is a serious problems that we all have the responsibility to solve or find power outside ourselves to salve. Failing to do so results in decay of the soul and the erosion of the human person.

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  3. Well, yes and no. =) We struggled for years to have a baby, and I was unhappy during those years with the ache of it. Now I have two beautiful children, and I am wonderfully not unhappy anymore. Now, all the underlying issues that I've always had are still there, but I don't hurt and ache and struggle anymore with something that huge. It's a relief.

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