Monday, April 16, 2012

Words: Wisdom

“I actually attack the concept of happiness. 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 3 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
found via here

I always try to tell people (and hopefully myself) that we should never apologize for our feelings, even when  it involves ugly crying in public. If we are having a bad day or things really aren’t ok, we shouldn't feel bad about saying so. If it makes some people uncomfortable, which it surely does, than that is really their problem. Lord knows, I have been taught the hard way, that sugar coating situations or burying feelings leads to nothing good and just prolongs the distress. If our feelings leads us to do regrettable actions, then maybe that is a different story, but feelings we are allowed to own. To allow the sadness and pain in life to change us, hopefully for the better, we first have to acknowledge them, and then work through them. I have also learned that working through them is the key, and not letting them swallow you up. And sometimes working through them means  baking everything you can think of-- you should of seen our kitchen this weekend (and maybe tonight . . .). 


  1. Amen to the amen and all of the above!

  2. Wholeness is hard concept, at least for me, to understand, because I don't know if I have ever felt it. But maybe because I work so hard at not feeling certain things, I have actually allowed myself to feel whole. Eating peanut M&Ms always brings up deep thoughts.