Monday, July 2, 2007

Overcoming Life's Disappointments

Many confuse happiness with feelings, if we were to wait until we felt happiness some of us would be waiting a long time. Many more would be waiting even longer if they are seeking that one person who will be able to fulfill their every need, for these people live in unreality who wait upon their prince charmings to sweep them off their feet and away from their trials and tribulations.

Some rely on gaining well paying jobs that carry an elitist label. While others chase fame and money as if that could compensate what every soul truly seeks, and that is to be loved for themselves alone and to give love without fear of rejection. The one Being who Loves us as we are, where we are is God. He does not seek perfection in us, instead He fills us with His Spirit so He can perfect us with our consent thereby transforming us into little reflections of the Triune Spirit.

The confusion happens when we chase after the dross in life while throwing away the Gold without ever recognising the difference. When we neglect prayer, reading the Bible or attending Mass on a regular basis we are depriving ourselves of our own happiness by living a life of unknowing. A soul that has rejected the Love of the Divine instead embraces the love of self and is left to rely upon itself hence it becomes most unhappy and embittered.

When we look at the lives of the rich and famous can we truly say that only money, beauty and position guarantee's happiness? Princess Diana had all of the above traits yet her short life was spent in tears more than cheer. In her we see that she had everything that is supposed to help us achieve ultimate happiness, yet happiness eluded her how can this be? Though Princess Diana flirted with different spiritualities, including spiritism in her desperate search for authenticity she failed to recognise the Author of Life and instead she danced on the treadmill of memories and found them malignant. This led her down the path of shadows rather than into the Light of Christ for it is only through Christ can anyone find that elusive element called contentment which brings forth peace. The same can be said of many who have reached the height of fame only to find themselves alone with themselves, a fate that many find intolerable.

Does this mean that those who are born into ordinary families and who never gain 'fame' are guaranteed happiness? Of course not! The pharmaceutical companies give lie to that theory as many more people rush out to buy anti-depressants and live lives of emotional oblivion rather than face the reality that at times life is meant to be painful.

Why do we think that life must be painless? That our paths must be full of rose petals and NO thorns? If you have not hurt at love then you have not loved at all. Or if you face a long term illness go through your own agony in full knowledge that Christ is there IN your pain. Rather than run away from our hurts and pains let us live through them and past them as we learn the price of love is worth every anguished cry every heartbreak for that is the essence of life itself, both agony and the ecstasy. When a mother goes through the agony of child birth does she refuse to endure it again and so deny herself the children that will complete the couples happiness? No! The pain is for love alone as new life is created within the same womb as the mother prepares to face the same pain as a new life enters the world.

There is no guarantee for happiness, for in order to be truly happy we must be truly loving in the spilling out of the love that lay within each of us. To love is to risk everything, but to deprive ourselves of giving that love would be to lose all. As St Bernard of Clairvaux wrote, "When God loves me, He desires nothing else than to be loved by me. He loves me in order that I may love Him because He knows well that all who love Him, find in this very love their Joy and happiness."

In the end the real meaning of love is to give it without requiring a receipt, unless we have loved till it costs we have not loved at all.