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Last week I saw a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for quite some time. She’d been off work due to illness. She’d been very ill. She’d had cancer, and undergone surgery and been convalescing. Although she’s still on medication and still needs more surgery, the cancer is gone and now she’s back at work and picking up on life where she left off. One helluva strong little lady.
But, no matter how positive you can be in situations like this, it must nonetheless force you to stop for a second or two and think about life, and what’s it all about. After she’d told me about her life and what had been going on, she asked me,
‘What about you? Are you happy?’
This threw me a little bit. I hadn’t been expecting it. Apart from that I was still a little shell-shocked from hearing her story, I hurriedly started scrabbling around in my mind to think about if I was indeed happy with my lot or not. So I mumbled out something like,
‘I’m getting by,’ and, ‘Life goes on…’
But the fact of the matter was, at that precise moment when she asked me, I wasn’t feeling particularly ‘happy’ with my lot; rushing between one appointment and another, multitasking multiple pressing issues and trying to keep abreast of what’s going on in life, and then trying to stay upbeat, positive and energetic and stay focused on getting stuff done. No, I wasn’t happy. How depressing. To suddenly realise, that all of a sudden, you’re not happy. How could this creep up on me so unexpectantly; in my full and bustling life, all of a sudden it all falls apart so easily.
In reality though, I think that our goal posts are in the wrong place. Happiness. Happiness? What the hell is happiness? Happiness is feeling ‘happy’. Laughing and living in the moment, and realising that, ‘This is it!’ Contentment! Being in the zone!
I know that over the years I have been aware that there are times where we should be being ‘happy’, when we’re not, because you’re thinking about other stuff, when you should be enjoying what you’re doing with the people you’re with and you can’t manage it. But it is possible to focus in, perhaps using different techniques, and live the moment.
But, happiness? No, I think that that is the wrong goal. Life isn’t about happiness. Our aim isn’t happiness; not if you’re sensible. Happiness is something which can, and hopefully does happen, sometimes and with any luck relatively regularly, but it should not be your goal in life. That is shallow and meaningless. A bit like daytime TV, candy floss or a smiling child. Nice, yes, but not the meaning of life.
Life is more than being ‘happy’, even if happiness may well be sometimes a by-product. Meaning in life is taking responsibility and doing something positive and making a difference for the good of yourself and the people and world around you. Moving in a direction and seeing where it takes you. Life is taking responsibility and taking action, in large or small steps, but that’s what it is, and what we should be striving for. Life can be shit; true, it is, but that’s not what it’s about!

Deep Relaxation

Deep Relaxation for the Body and Soul (Amazon)

Deep Relaxation for the Body and Soul (iTunes)

Affirmations for Healing ( Google)

Welcome to the Universe (Spotify)

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