What is ever alluring can be correspondingly ever elusive. The capture of happiness is the grand scheme of life, but many, even most, don’t know how to go about it, where to look or, worse, they go in the wrong direction. By far a better method is captured in the following quote:
“A true man never frets about his place in the world,
but just slides into it by the gravitation of his nature,
and swings there as easily as a star.”
~Edwin H. Chapin (1814-1880)
The world is robbed hand over fist of its instinct for happiness. And this is because of the hedonistic desire that is sown into our lives through the media machine; we are told, subliminally, to ‘put on’ happiness via things that can be bought, attained or achieved.
Yet, not everything can be bought nor attained nor achieved. We are sold a lie for happiness. We tend to believe the lie, though, because it has infiltrated the entire world.
Happiness is not sourced from without; it’s sourced from within—yes, even from God who lives within. Particularly when we are faced with great challenges, our sense of ourselves aligning with the truth-in-reality is critical to future experiences of the happy-us. Many, not all, depressions come because of warped self-perceptions.
Accepting The World As It ‘Happens’ And Has ‘Happened’ To Us
Stuff happens, apparently. We all know it. Things occur within our lives we have no control over, but for our attitude in living out these moments and making the most of the ever-changing future.
Not only does stuff happen, stuff has happened. We are where we are. We are who we are. We are, also, why we are. All of the things that have enrolled us in ourselves, to this point in time, have been the making of us in conjunction with the circumstances presented. These are our lives.
No matter what has happened to us, even with the fact that these things have defined us, we are not defeated. Indeed, being ourselves is the very essence, and platform, for success in our lives. It’s just that our definition of success needs to be adjusted. Everyone’s does. We need to redefine success as happiness from where we are.
Going With The ‘Gravitation Of Our Nature’
This, for me, is the essence of the Chapin quote, besides the implicitness of peace we feel in reading the full quote.
We cannot help how our nature—otherwise known as our personality—interacts with the world; it gravitates certain ways. No amount of self-analysis will determine the reasons why, nor will it prove the springboard for shaping us into a different direction.
Achieving peace is, therefore, going with the gravitation of our nature; it truly is self-acceptance. If we can go with our personality, allowing it not to be judged by ourselves, we nourish the relationship we have with ourselves. In fact, we cannot go with the gravitation of our natures without constantly talking with ourselves and affirming ourselves in the presence of reality.
Knowing and accepting ourselves is the basis of true happiness. And I’m not sure how that can be achieved without some positive relationship with God.
The happiest happiness is the deliberate achievement of accepting the gravitation of our nature—our personalities. We accept the past and present, as it is, as well as determine we are okay, within ourselves, for the future. Happiness is an inside job and it begins now, today.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: Marina Montoya.