Happiness is ours. It is not something to be achieved. It is something to be realized and enjoyed.
I don’t know about you, but I was always taught that my greatest joy was suspended until after death. If was happy, it was because I was happy that one day I would truly be happy. I now believe this was a way to keep me on track.
I conclude two things:
- Happiness is my right. All the greatest world teachers agree. I can be happy. This is my right. This is the greatest fulfillment of my life. The Old Testament is clear that happiness is a right worthy of enjoying in the present. The concept of the afterlife is almost non-existent in the Old Testament. Life is to be enjoyed now. Great philosophers, like Aristotle, believed that happiness in this life is the ultimate aim of human thought and action. Jesus also spoke a great deal about happiness.
- Happiness is my right now. Not later. There have been times I’ve remained steadfast during unhappy times because I knew the investment of my time of unhappiness was going to reap a greater happiness soon. This has happened in my marriage, where I have gone through periods of unhappiness confident that a deeper happiness was just around the corner. I’m glad Lisa has believed the same thing. And I refuse to wait until everything is perfect. Happiness is not based on happenings. I want to be happy regardless of what I’m going through. I will go through miserable times but there must be a way to have a fundamental joy beneath me, not somewhere out there waiting before me.
To be human means to claim my happiness now, and if I don’t feel it then I will invest everything I’ve got to realize it. I will also extend the same intentions and energies for others as well. This is my hope for TLS… that even though we may go through very difficult times, we know that we not only have a foundation of happiness but that its enjoyment is just within our reach. An ultimate aim!