Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Thoughts On Happiness

I have many happy moments and my life is generally good. Still, like many, I get down in the dumps over life's monotony, boredom, routine, demands, etc. I also unfortunately have a personality that is often cynical and I find much about the world and people disappointing. Less your think that I believe everyone else is the problem, I am also often disappointed in myself as well. However, I actually try to be upbeat, positive, and optimistic about life. Sometimes I think it is deep thinkers like me who have the hardest time being happy. Less you think I am arrogant, my status as a "deep" thinker is something that has been given me by others. I'm really not very intellectual or deep. I am introspective. Sometimes I hate being "deep" and always feeling the need to find meaning or purpose in everything. I wish I could simply relax more and just enjoy the life I have.

Most lives are not happy all the time. Happiness is most likely to be found in unexpected moments. Why can't most of us be happy all of the time? Buddha teaches that all life is suffering caused by bad karma or our our poor choices. I tend to disagree with this absolute and would change his basic thought to "much of life is suffering". Christians belief that our suffering in life is the result of the "original sin" when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. Whatever the reason or cause, it is a basic truth. Perhap's our experience of happiness is relative to our perception of the level of suffering in our lives. Then we must ask, "What is suffering"? One man's suffering is another man's good life. Materially, I live like a king compared to many in the world. Emotionally I often feel like there's a big void in my life and spiritually I often feel like I am in the desert. Hmmmm, it appears that 2/3th of my life is a wasteland. Some would say, "Get over yourself! You have a nice car, a big house, and a great family". I know all of this is true and that sometimes I do just need to just get over myself, my petty emotions, and my daydreams of the perfect life. I need to be more grateful for the material comfort I have and for the people in my life even if they don't meet all my needs or expectations. Someday I hope to actually achieve this level of gratitude. When I do I may be rewarded with a greater sense of the elusive feeling we call "happiness".

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