Encouragement for the Journey 18 May 2014

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 18 May 2014

Encouragement for the Journey

Happiness Hands

Greetings Fellow Traveller,

Welcome to another Cafe Church, our theme today is:

HAPPINESS

I first thought when our Team chose this theme for today, that it would be quite easy to create a cafe service around happiness. However, I quickly discovered happiness is a complex mental and emotional state of well – being. In one sense it appears quite illusive yet in another, it is present within us, waiting to be experienced moment by moment.

Happiness is always a choice, it is not the result of something happening external to us. Nothing will make us happy, until we choose to be happy.   Also, no person can make us happy, until we decide personally to be happy. Happiness will never come to us; it can only come from within us.

In our world, we are experiencing rapid change, nothing lasts, everything changes, and we are living in a melting pot of changing values. A common mantra of modern Western culture is “success breeds happiness.” The research I have done this week turns this on its head, rather “happiness breeds success.”

Happiness is more than having the right kind of coffee so our day will start OK. We think we need something and if we get that something we will be happy, alas, the euphoria in the brain lasts a little while, and we are off once more searching for another achievement, possession, product or person, once found we will then be happy. Wrong. Alas, we are experiencing cultural brain washing of pandemic proportions.

 

There is another way of living, another way of being, when we learn to accept our very human feelings of loss, pain and along with acceptance of those things we cannot change. When we seek to live with a peaceful heart, practice acts of loving kindness, practice forgiveness instead of anger, practice being compassionate instead of being critical and judgmental, practice gratitude for what we have, rather than complaining what we don’t have. We will create within us a softer more porous open heart.

Michael Leunig the Australian Cartoonist who is speaking at the Auckland Writers Festival offers this response to the question: What, in your opinion, is the best of human emotions? Michael replied: “I value these qualities in people: kindness, forgiveness, warmth, humour, eagerness, generosity, humility patience, flexibility, openness, authenticity, magnanimity, equanimity and dexterity.”

These healthy spiritual qualities and practices along with love enable the well springs of happiness to freely bubble up from within our open porous heart. When they do, we will experience happiness with the most surprising people in the most unexpected places in the most astonishing ways. For happiness bubbles will rise to delight us ….….

Meanwhile peace and happiness to you

Alf