The Pursuit Of Happiness Requires The Acceptance Of Reality

In my previous post, we discussed the use of meditation as a tool to find clarity of mind and purpose; as well as the path to an open heart. We examined the ways in which clear thinking, spontaneity of action, caring for others, and clarity of thought can lead to an ongoing sense of joy in daily living. However, in this sense, meditation is a mere tool. We must also focus on our place in life if we wish to be able to pursue happiness.

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Happiness and accepting reality

Beyond the tool of meditation, clarity of mind and purpose are derived from a full acceptance of reality. After all, it is impossible to be happy, or to pursue happiness, if you are constantly in conflict with your situation; whatever that might be.

In this sense of “reality,” I am talking about objective reality. Not the sense that your reality is different from others, in that your experiences and emotional well-being are dependent on the experiences you’ve had and beliefs you hold so dear, but on the fact that some things exist without regard to our perception of them – or how we feel about them.

Objective reality is indifferent to human perception. Mountains and streams exist without regard to our ability to climb or cross them. Trees and flowers exist without regard to our ability to appreciate their beauty or their scent. Human beings live and die with no concern for our joy for their existence or suffering at their loss. Reality simply happens around us and there is little we can do about it, except to accept it.

The world exists, and does not require that we perceive to do so. This is called the Law of Identity; the concept that A is A, that two and two are four, no matter how much you may wish that they were three or five instead.

Objective Reality and the Law of Acceptance

In the past, I have frequently mentioned the Law of Acceptance, the notion that only by accepting things the way are can we reduce stress and feel happy. Of course, this presupposes that we can recognize these things, that we can perceive them accurately and accept them as such. In other words, we must appreciate the reality of our situation prior to being able to accept it.

When we come upon a brick wall that is blocking our path for example, the reality is that we have three choices; we can go over it, around it, or we can sit in front of it and give up. What we cannot do is deny its existence. It is in the way, and must be overcome if we wish to reach our destination.

If we try to deny the objective reality of the brick wall, we will never be happy, for we will never be able to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. The anger or frustration we may feel toward the existence of this obstacle can never change the fact that it is in our way. We must instead accept its existence and discover ways to overcome the fact that it is an impediment along the path we have chosen.

Similarly, acceptance of our personal reality can help us to overcome the obstacles we have created for ourselves. Negative thoughts and feelings, as well as inaccurate perceptions, can become huge obstacles to the pursuit of happiness; in essence, self-generated brick walls that impede our progress along the road to personal satisfaction.

As we head into a New Year, I would ask you to resolve to accept reality, both your own reality and the reality which exists outside yourself, as the first step toward your pursuit of happiness.

If you are struggling with your own journey of happiness, and would like help finding or staying on the road you would like to follow, get in touch with me today.

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