Friday, January 22, 2010

Contemplating Goodness and Happiness

A dear friend of mine said something today that really made me think about what it means to be "good", to be compassionate, to be happy.
Words are concepts. Concepts are open to cultural and personal application, at least in terms of application.
One person may think they are being "good" while to an onlooker their behaviour may seem devious or inappropriate.
I want to, for the purposes of this post, define "good" as acting towards others with kind...or with zero intent to harm or control.

When a monk says to you, "I am a good boy"...and the look on his face reflects an openness and, for lack of a better term, naivety rarely seen in westerners except in early really have to think about your own behaviour.
Silliness is one thing. But when ulterior motives and attempts to control begin to creep in...
I have said some things, lately, seeking to illicit a particular response. I thought it was all in good fun. Now I realize it may not have been perceived as intended, and may in fact have caused someone else emotional conflict.
This was not my INTENT....but does that make it okay? 

Mainly, the question is, how can I do BETTER next time? Is it simply a question of stopping to think a moment longer before opening my mouth?

Which brings me to "happiness"...and what may seem like a conflicting perspective. 
If life is all about happiness...whose happiness is the most important? And what KIND of happiness?
Are we talking about superficial "ok I'm gonna smile now no matter what" happiness or deep internally bursting at the seems with joy happiness?
If I do something that makes me happy in the short term but harms someone else in the process, intentionally or not, is that justifiable? 

I had a day of true happiness yesterday. I do not know exactly how it developed, but I truly was RADIANT all day. I was so in love with everything about my life even the parts which haven't been working. I felt a deep gratitude for all the people around me and for all the lessons I'm learning and growth I am experiencing.  
I felt prepared to ALLOW and ACCEPT everything and not attempt to control outcomes.

Perhaps that last bit is the most important thing I've said. Possibly ever.

To ALLOW and ACCEPT everything and not attempt to control outcomes.
 If things aren't perfect, just let it be! Whatever it is, it is happening for a reason. I need to remember to look for the lesson inside the "pain".
Everything IS exactly as it should be, even if it is not as you WANT it to be.
I have struggled against that concept with all my might for as long as I can remember...
I know I will forget. I know I will flounder and fail and have to dig my way back out of emotional pits.
That's ok.

Ultimately this post may not have defined anything nor taught you anything you hadn't already thought for yourself.
It was a way for me to state something it has taken me a very long time to even begin to grasp.
For ME, important lessons lie in the above words.
Hopefully my experiences and failures and progresses can be useful to someone else reading this.

In closing, it is now late afternoon. The sun is sinking into thickening clouds over the Himalayan foothills.
This day did not evolve as I had hoped...and yet, I am content, because other unexpected blessings and lessons presented themselves. 
And that is exactly the point.

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