This week I am exploring happiness. What it is, how to get it, and what can rob it from us.
I am remembering chatting and the wistful sound in those momma's voices. Like happiness is something of childhood alone.
Where did this notion begin? What in our society has brought us to the brink of woe and despair? The CDC reports that 1 in 10 of us admit to being depressed. ONE IN TEN! Those are the numbers that go to a doctor and are told they suffer from depression. What about the rest of us that suffer from this idea that we just aren't suppose to be happy? Its like the people that claim you can't hang onto to the butterfly, giddy feeling you have when newly in love. My retort has always been, WHY NOT? Why can't we view life with eyes toward love and joy? Why don't we? What is robbing this from our very souls?
Unhappiness leads us down paths that lead to one place. Destruction. Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States for individuals ages 15 to 44. WOW. Think about that. A time in a young persons life where they should be finding so much joy, love, companionship, children... and they are depressed and unhappy. What about growing up robs our happiness from us? What is STEALING our joy?
Our love of money perhaps? Or maybe more precise, our love of what money seems to be able to buy.
So we work, slave way at some job, for 8+ hours a day, 40+ hours a week, 52 weeks a year. Sometimes, IF WE ARE LUCKY, we take a vacation. But instead of resting on vacation, we do destinations, and when we return we need a break from the vacation. But, lets talk about those vacation hours.... Americans on average receive about 13 vacation days a year, that's an average mind you. Many receive none..... The United states does not require an employer to give his employees paid time off. Did you know in France, the average employee gets 38 paid vacation days a year? Many countries actually have citizens that take "Holidays" and here in America, we haven't a clue as to what a holiday is. Interesting I read somewhere that women are more likely to feel guilty about taking a vacation than men are, at a rate of 40% of women v. 29% of men. Shocking! But not really when you think about it. We women beat ourselves up and constantly compare ourselves to others...
We work, and we slave for the corporate system we have adopted (I am not saying its bad...). Corporations are not people, they can go non-stop for years without a hiccup, we can't. We need time to heal, time to lay with our backs in the soft fresh cut grass talking to our kids about polly-wogs and dandelions; but greed robs it from us. GREED ROBS US. SAY IT! "GREED IS STEALING FROM ME!"
Greed isn't alone... He has a cousin. Envy. Envy looks at other people and what they have or what they do and then looks at her own life and pouts. She gnashes her teeth and tears her clothes in frustration. She constantly compares herself to those around her. Does she look as old as Momma X, does she look fatter than Momma Y.... Does her husband have a better position in the company than Jane's spouse? Or, sadly, how high is that person in church and how can I be higher, or my husband be ranked higher? I knew a woman one time that honestly did push her husband to move higher and higher in his company, regardless of the fact that he didn't want to. He hated it. Their marriage was rocky and teetering after just a couple years together. Envy is a dangerous monster, that hides herself well within the recesses of our hearts, but she dwells within each of us.
Later I will explore what happiness is and how we can hang onto it.