June 30
To be without some
of the things you want
is an indispensable
part of happiness.

Bertrand Russell


Today's Meditation:

I can think of a nice long list of things that I'd be happy to have.  But to me there's a significant difference between being "happy to have" something and needing those things to be happy.  And when I think about it, I believe that one of the reasons I feel pretty happy without those things is that since I don't have them, I have something to look forward to, something that I can work towards, something that I can aspire to.  And with most things, it's the process of getting them that's much more rewarding than actually having them.

I've been one of those people who yearns and yearns and yearns for something, working hard to get it, almost not being able to wait until I finally attained it.  And then when I had it, I would play with it for a day or two, then almost completely forget it.  (And yes, even as an adult I have to use the term "play"--I have to be realistic!)

Nowadays, though, I'm more likely to just enjoy the ride.  If I decide I want something, I start working towards it and do my best to enjoy the work.  The funny thing is, very often I enjoy the work so much that my desire for the thing I wanted goes away, as I find that I'm pretty happy without it.

And of course, there's also the side to this story that says that sometimes the things that we want are things that will end up being bad for us. . . and it's a very good thing that we don't get them.  The problem is that we usually recognize the positive side of this in hindsight.

We all know that happiness isn't about having.  Happiness comes from our own thoughts and our own perceptions of our lives and all that contributes to those lives.  Doing without some of the things we want can help us to appreciate the things we do have even more, and it can help us to make some changes in our lives that can be very, very positive as long as we're careful about what those changes are!

Questions to consider:

What would happen if we automatically received everything that we want?

How can being without something we want contribute to our happiness?

What are some of the things that you want, but that you don't have?  How can your lack of those things help to make you happy?

For further thought:
May we never let the things we canít have, or donít have, or shouldnít have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have.  As we value our happiness, let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.

Richard L. Evans


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