"The greatest happiness you can have
is knowing that you do not
necessarily require happiness."
This really struck me as profound. I actually read it a few times before I decided to blog about it today.
When I was in the midst of my compulsive overeating I was trying to obtain happiness using food. How silly is that? I wasn't happy so I'd search for happiness in the bottom of a pint of Ben and Jerry's. I may have found temporary pleasure, but it wasn't happiness and who says I need to be happy all the time anyway? There is a lot of pressure in trying to be happy all the time.
I think that misconception may have been one of the reasons I suffer so often from depression - my expectations do not meet with reality. For some reason I've been conditioned to believe that in order to have a good life I must always be happy.
Since I've started working on my depression and how to deal with all my emotions, I do have more periods of happiness; more importantly I know fully feel sadness and just neutrality: not feeling happy or sad, just being comfortable in my skin with myself and my Higher Power. It's incredibly freeing.
I've always believed that we need the happy and the sad - 2 sides to every coin and all that, but I never really accepted the sad - it was just a phase that helped me better feel the happy and the goal was always to get out of the sad to the happy. Now I don't necessarily have to feel either. I can just be.
I try to live in a state of gratitude, but these even lead me to that wonderful feeling of being in that neutral place between the peaks of happy or sad. It's a peaceful place to be - a place of the serenity talked about in the Serenity Prayer that I try to say everyday at least once.
"God(dess) grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and Wisdom to know the difference.
It's a powerful little prayer and reminds me that Serenity is my goal, courage and wisdom alongside it - not happiness.
Having rediscovered my spiritual relationship with my Higher Power is really the greatest gift that OA has given me. I feel blessed to have Her loving arms around me every day as I meditate and pray. That place in Her arms of peace and warmth and serenity are what I strive for - those moments are even better than happiness.
Blessings to you all.