Happiness, that’s what we all chase after, isn’t ist? Or maybe you’ve already found it. Well, today’s lesson is about the Myth of Happiness. That’s right, you’ve been chasing a myth. But there is some good news, in fact really good news.
You see, the trouble with Happiness is that it usually is driven from our insatiable human nature. That means that your ego views each Happiness as temporary and then wants more. It also means that you may experience voids. But worry not because help is at hand, our Life-Long ‘friend’, Contentment. So how do they differ?
I’m reminded of the Buddhist teaching which goes something like: ‘Contentment is the goal behind all goals because once achieved there is nothing to seek until it is lost”. For me ‘lost’ means a loss of balance which provides a useful link to our discussion yesterday on Emotional Homeostasis – the need to maintain balance emotionally in the face of adversity. The point is that Contentment is a positive, joyous steady or persistent state. However, that does not mean you exclude Happiness altogether it simply means that you always have the comfort or peace or safety of knowing Contentment.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the eleventh-century Spanish poet-philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol, who taught,
‘Who seeks more than he needs, hinders himself from enjoying what he has. Seek what you need and give up what you need not. For in giving up what you don’t need, you’ll learn what you really do need’
Have you found Contentment?