“When I was 5 years old my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ~ John Lennon
I absolutely love talking about happiness! Happiness has been a foundational commitment in my life for the past 10 years. I am 70 years young, and having gratefully survived a stroke this past November, I can’t seem to dispel a mild obsession with my mortality and really wanting to pay attention to what matters most for the duration of my tenure here. For me, at least for now, what matters is being unfettered by too many belongings or too much of my attention on achievement. Since divesting my life of 95% of all of the ‘stuff’ and relocating to South Africa for a season, I am leaning into what seems to be endless hours of solitude and reflection, a daily struggle with the uncomfortable unfamiliarity of living in South Africa and the softening into a completely unknown future. I suppose I will ultimately seek out the known and comfortable again, for it is true that there IS great comfort in routine and familiarity. But we shall see.
“In the end, only three things matter: How deeply you loved, how gently you lived and how you let go of things not meant for you.” ~ Buddha
I think when all is said and done, my deepest and most soulful commitment is to feel happy inside. Happy with who I am, what I am doing and the certainty that I am being as authentic, real and genuine as I can in every moment. I am a great lover of the theology of joy offered to us by Abraham-Hicks. They unequivocally say that “The objective of your life is joy.”
It is so contrary to what most human beings believe the objective of their lives to be. Very few of our early influencers - parents, teachers, preachers, or the media - speak this purpose for our lives. Covertly or overtly the message is the opposite. Make something of your life. Care for those less fortunate than yourself. Don’t be selfish. Put the needs of others first. Please your mother and father. Don’t rock the boat, upset the apple cart or act like you are better than anyone else - just to name a few. We all spend so much time competing. So much time accumulating. So much time holding onto regrets, resentments, and disappointment. So much time trying to live up to some ideal of the perfect human being –
when in truth there is no such thing.
Krishnamurti the Indian sage wisely advises, “It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Thus, I am once again moved to speak of happiness as the ultimate goal of living. In the spirit of the philosophy, faith and way of life that I adopted through New Thought teachings 20 years ago, I strive to practice and teach that there is no room for the idea that God could or would test us through suffering, that sacrifice is somehow holy or that the greater the burdens you endure results in the greater admiration and respect from God or the greater your reward upon your death. Nope. In my world, the purpose of your life is to be happy, satisfied, fulfilled, loved, and joyful. If the achievement of your happiness does not harm another person or animal, or the earth - then I say you have the right to have, do and be whatever will gets you there.
I do understand that the idea of happiness as the goal of life is radical and perhaps for some of us easier said than done. I think it may just begin with an awareness that happiness is not only a reasonable feeling to attain but also possible. Perhaps I can give you permission to explore and pursue happiness which can be the beginning of you giving yourself permission. Once you do that, the past will begin to reveal its value in your life, the future will begin to reveal new conditions and circumstances and the present moment will reveal to you a peace that transcends all human understanding.
Moving into the weekend, I have been enthralled this week with the life and death of Steve Jobs. My enthrallment isn’t new as I have been captivated by his life for many years. A Little known fact is that I was born and raised in California and lived in Silicon Valley for many years. It was 1978 when I entered into that wildly creative and life changing time when both the Apple Computer and the Dos-based Computer were introduced to our world. STEVE Jobs was 23 and I was 27. Steve died a billionaire on October 5th, 2011, at 56 from pancreatic cancer. His death moved me deeply as did the words of wisdom he left behind which I will share more of on Saturday as the focus of my Live Stream at 9am EST on Facebook and YouTube. The crux of his final words was to not miss what is truly important. I think happiness is one of those things we don’t want to miss.
PS Remember that as with all other positive, practical, and prosperous ways of living, you can’t be unhappy enough to make an unhappy person happy just as you can’t be poor enough to make a poor person wealthy. Your only job as a unique and individualized expression of the Infinite is to allow every good thing to be expressed through you!
Join me tomorrow morning 9am on Facebook and YouTube Live
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/A-Life-of-Spiritual-Power-106836340982992
Zoom ID: https://zoom.us/j/4792839409