“Sometimes it is the very pursuit of happiness that stops us from achieving it.”
Whilst surely there is a time for positive thinking, there are many more times that call for realistic thinking; even, hazard to say, occasionally, negative thinking.
Could it be that a stoic realism is behind happiness? And maybe ‘living in the present’, as has come to be cliché now in positive-thinking circles, is the true secret behind happiness. If only we could be happy with what we have now. If only we could be content with our shaky pasts, humble situations and circumspect plans.
Increasing the Value of Truth
Realism, of course, honours the truth. It gets carried away with neither positive thinking nor negative thinking. It tries to remain balanced, even in the midst of a life that sets itself to unbalance us.
When we increase the value of truth in our lives, and we begin to go after it with intention, we have a surer path to happiness. Certainly, our lives are not perfect. Life will never be perfect. Our lives will never be free of some pain. There will always be frustrations.
When we get caught up in the unbalanced optimism/pessimism cycle, or when we prefer one or the other, we lose sight of the truth. Our vision becomes selective. Our hearing becomes transient. We perceive only that which fits our frame. Some of what we could perceive we miss out on.
Having the Courage to Live Truthfully
What is the blocker to living truthfully? We know it is the right way, so what prevents us from embarking on this more excellent way to live life?
It takes courage to be completely open to reality: to be honest regarding all our weaknesses; to receive the pains of life as readily as we receive the joys; to guard against protecting ourselves from receiving God’s truth; to be open to God’s will.
There are many reasons why we would subvert reality to make it fit our preferred frame. Much of this is borne from a broken childhood, and from genes we have no say in. All of us have the same problem. We all have a certain propensity toward, and manifestation of, emotional and spiritual blindness. Then we have many fractured relationships to deal with.
When we approach the truth, because we have pure intention, which is borne upon courage, we have the ability to discover or rediscover the power of realistic thinking.
Realistic thinking, though it doesn’t seem to promise much, enlightens us to the majesty in truth for living life. It gives us far more than a promise promises.
Faith is what we need.
Positive thinking has its place. But far more superior is realistic thinking. Real happiness comes from being content with reality as it is now. It is possible.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.