Last week, I returned from Brazil, 1/2 happy to be back in my space and 1/2 dreading the anticipated return to mundane lab work. Without a doubt, I do enjoy science on some fundamental level but certainly do not enjoy the tedious nature and repetitiveness of my current experiments. So… here I am.. back to the routine. The one benefit to routine is that you have plenty of blank spaces that enable subconscious and conscious reflection, which tend to be drowned out when over stimulated and excited by new ventures.
Within this week of return, I have gotten into disagreements with friends…been hurt…come to realize that people’s insecurities seep out in the strangest ways…been encouraged…stressed…blessed physically and spiritually (both of which made me happy)… angered… you name it. And in the midst of it all, I can’t help but to think on the common statement that people made while I was in Rio… “as long as your happy, that’s all that matter.” Really?!
Sounds so simple…and seemingly ideal. In this present world, where we hope to all just get along… we hope that everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe or what they look like (etc), they will be accepted… they will be loved… they will be secure… and on some level be significant… whether through the rights they can exercise… or just to that other person that truly sees them.
But what is the standard to decide that happiness? What is the standard for what we term “ideal? Every measurement requires a standard… whether it’s a distance (measured in meters), time (in seconds), etc… so what is the measure of happiness that we should supposedly strive for?
A friend of mine recently shared a news report with me about a radio host couple that committed suicide together (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/06/us/new-york-life-coaches-suicide)… as tragic as the situation is, it was pretty ironic considering they were life coaches and gave people advice on how to live. Yet an excerpt from one of the letters made it clear that the male companion could not “take it anymore” because his wife was in pain. But what really made this report stand out to me, were the comments on the bottom… people arguing back and forth about the couples right to choose to leave the world together… and others saying how they are hypocrites etc… so many opinions… so many ideas of morality, truth.
So whats the standard? And if truly, all that matters is that your happy… realistically.. should more of us contemplate death?
By no means do I support suicide… despite having contemplated (/planned) it in my past… but I ask people to really think about happiness and how fickle it is.. just as people are. Happiness waivers… it is never constant… it does not remain. tragedies happen.. people hurt people… inexplicable cruelty occurs for reasons deeper than we may even care to delve into…. and in all honesty, acceptance is usually based on what can be mutual benefited from one another… judgement occurs.
So I challenge people to really consider if happiness is enough.
Ironically, though I am a scientist by training…as a wonderful friend of mine pointed out this week… i am a believer in a God that I can not see, taste, touch, etc… but what people don’t realize is that the experience that marked my change in belief is one that I can never deny. What happened was beyond my natural mind… what happened was more real, intimate and deep to the core of my being.. than any relationship with a lover… than any sexual sensation.. any high… any fear…
This intimacy and knowledge of Him… has provided me with a standard… and that standard is not dependant on my emotions… nor my circumstances… nor anyone else around me… it is dependent on Him.
This reality for me, also provides me with the renewed concept of love (growing process) and hope. And as stated many times, an opportunity that my “joy may be full.”
(more thoughts to come)