Thursday, April 08, 2010

Something about happiness

Hmmm. Over on Oprah's website there's a little slideshow type article by Gabrielle LeBlanc entitled 5 Things Happy People Do. Here's something the writer said about the last one of those five things:
5. They allow themselves to be happy. As much as we all think we want it, many of us are convinced, deep down, that it's wrong to be happy (or too happy). Whether the belief comes from religion, culture, or the family you were raised in, it usually leaves you feeling guilty if you're having fun.
I so get it! My own mother used to say to me very sternly, "I don't want you to be happy; I want you to be useful." She also was fond of quoting Mark Twain who said one time, "Happiness is for pigs."*


(Ha! Don't worry, folks. I've paid my dues in the therapy department!)

I'm really very serious here. If you find yourself uncomfortable with the idea of happiness, it might be a good plan to do some inner detective work and find out what that resistence is all about. It's also probably a good plan to get some help with the process of that detective work - especially if the discomfort persists. And remember: it's an act of true compassion to learn how to be happy and then to let it show. Being happy helps us to help other people to be happy. (On some level, it's catching!) And think about it: do you really like to be around unhappy people?
UPDATE: Here's something I just found:

Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin.

-- John Lubbock

I definitely agree.

* (That saying has also been attributed to both Einstein and Aristotle.)

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