I have heard psychologists claim that the pursuit of happiness is the number one cause of mental illness in our country. Can this be true? I guess it depends on how you define the word happiness-
Synonyms for the word happiness:
Well no wonder!!
Each of these words elicits a particular feeling for me-
Delight is close to wonder. I am delighted when I am walking down my neighborhood street in this media-described “hellhole” that is San Francisco and I see flowers blooming in the pavement cracks. These hardy little flowers thriving always make me pause and breathe. In fact San Francisco itself, gives me daily delight- her artistry, her beauty and even her broken parts.
Pleasure is being lost in a book. Lately I read Demon Copperhead-not an easy read and certainly much of the story is not pleasurable. But the experience of witnessing Barbara Kingsolver’s genius at creating another reality, another world that I get to live in, in my head, for over 900 pages is rare and pleasurable. Pleasure is knowing and loving Demon.
Bliss- how often do we get to feel bliss in our lives? I equate bliss with pure white light. I equate bliss with absence of fear…total absence of fear…..For me bliss is rare. At times when I meditate I may feel something close to bliss.
Oh but joy…I think that I know Joy well. Joy is Christmas ( the good parts) Joy is being with my grown children, Joy is walking Charlie at Crissy Field and watching the pelicans fish under the Golden Gate Bridge. Joy is dinner at Robbie’s, with our other equally long time friends, people who have known every part of me and love me. Joy is eating an exquisite dinner. Joy is Spain.
Satisfaction as in I can’t get no……. When I was in 8th grade an older sister of my best friend told us that the Stones song meant when a boy has an orgasm. I can never think of that song in an unsexual way again. That is what satisfaction is- an orgasm!!
And glee….well just forget glee. Glee has a mean ring to it. I am reading about the five men trapped in that sardine can submarine. They each paid $250,000 for a chance to glimpse the Titanic shipwreck. 99% of me is horrified; imagining their terror, the sheer panic of what they must be going through, hoping for a rescue. Glee is that ugly little sprite whispering in my ear… “Billionaires! They asked for it!” No, I don’t need or like Glee.
So let’s forget the word “happy.” let’s fill our lives with whatever brings us pleasure, wonder, joy and yes…lol…satisfaction. And let’s continue to seek bliss.