Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wholeness Over Happiness

I had an amazing conversation last night with a person who I really love. We talked about how often we see people shy away from ‘negative’ emotions, and how it’s so much easier to let them go when we allow ourselves to experience them.

“They wash over you like a wave,” I said. “And if you fully embrace them and allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, it’s so powerful. If you’re sad, be sad. Allow it. It’s amazing what happens when you actually do that.”


He nodded, and we both smiled. “And then the fear or sadness or whatever passes,” he said.

“Yes,” I agreed.

“And it makes that moment when happiness returns so much better,” he said. “It’s such a relief and so beautiful when you feel good again.”

How powerful it is when we allow feelings to exist as they are. When we acknowledge what is. When we remember that we are never alone in our experiences, however painful they may be.

This quote I discovered on A Cup of Jo said it brilliantly, too:

I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don't mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It's a really odd thing that we're now seeing people saying "write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep" and "cheer up" and "happiness is our birthright" and so on. We're kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It's rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don't teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, "Quick! Move on! Cheer up!" I'd like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word "happiness" and to replace it with the word "wholeness." Ask yourself, "Is this contributing to my wholeness?" and if you're having a bad day, it is.

Hugh MacKay

PS You were made to be real, not perfect. I was, too. Bloggers are not always happy. Yoga teachers are not always happy. And this is OK :) Namaste.

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