"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy."
- Saint Francis of Assisi
I have often said, and I truly believe, that we are all meant to be happy. That is what each of us seeks, with every action, every single moment of every day. We are all after happiness.
Does that mean that we expect to be happy all the time? Of course not. If you really think about it, you wouldn’t even want that. Okay, I can hear you...”Don, what are you talking about? If we’re always pursuing happiness, why wouldn’t we want to be happy all the time?”
It’s simple. If you were always happy, how would you know? Constant happiness would mean nothing to you. How do you know something if you don’t know what it is like to have a lack of it? Happiness cannot be experienced without knowing sadness – just as light cannot be experienced without knowing dark; there is no love without hate, no hope without despair.
It’s healthy, every once in a while (and I mean once in a while) to experience a bit of sadness, to experience a bit of darkness. Not a lot, but a bit – just to remember what it’s like. That way you are reminded to appreciate the good times, the light, and the happiness.
That having been said, I think that we need to keep things in perspective. Life is not black and white; there are varying shades of gray throughout life. All of the dichotomies that I mentioned above are actually on a sliding scale. Each of them has varying degrees. There are the two extremes – light and dark, hope and despair, joy and sadness – and everything in between is a mixture.
There are varying degrees of everything in life. Although we are creating the best in our lives, we still need a little bit of the other side of the coin – even if just to keep us humble. Don’t be afraid to experience a little sadness, a little darkness. It will keep some excitement in your life. Pure happiness would be boring. A little diversity will keep the spice in the adventure.
Keep on experiencing life, and keep that adventure going. But don’t forget to experience it all and keep yourself in appreciation of that amazing, marvellous life.
To your health, prosperity, and happiness always.