“To me, it’s getting to the bottom of what you thought was a bottomless pit… and that’s where you surrender yourself to whatever is next. That’s what billions of other people are doing right now. Hitting the bottom only to lift their gaze up and figure out how to get off of the ground again. Yeah, knowing that definitely helps.”—Hayley Williams
“To the drunks, the addicts, the perverts, the victims, the porn stars, the prostitutes, the adulterers, theives, the obese gluttons who think a waste is a terrible thing to mind, the Twilight fans, the murderers, the mommy’s boys, the losers, the freaks, the geeks, people who think wrestling is real, red necks, guys who own action figures, chain smokers, everyone who does not use a turn signal while texting and talking on the phone in their car, men who live with their mothers, women who get paid in dollar bills, dudes in dresses (seen it at Mars Hill), democrats, republicans, the guys at the gym who walk around the locker room naked singing Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer, mormons and anyone else who wears sacred under breeches, whoever is responsible for the creation and ongoing sale of men’s Lycra biking shorts… yoga instructors, witches, pot heads, meat heads, crack heads, dead heads and meth heads… people who don’t recycle, the rainbow-loving tree-hugging … lefters, and religious people who do not know what I am talking about because these subjects were not on The Little House on the Prairie or covered in their Home School co-op — I have good news for you: Jesus loves you. You’ll fit right in. And because He died for your sins, you get to repent.”—Mark Driscoll, Jesus Loves Sinners (via chelsatonic)
“The question is not “How am I to find God?” but ” How am I to let myself be found by him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” but “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And, finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” but “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” … God is the father who watches and waits for his children, runs out to meet them, embraces them, pleads with them, begs and urges them to come home… pays no heed to apologies and promises of change, and brings them to the table richly prepared for them.”—Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son)
So I’ve started reading this book called the The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. I’m not so sure what to think about it yet because I’ve only read through the introduction and chapter one, but so far I think that it will be worth the money and time.
He writes about how we are sometimes stuck in this trap trying to be happy all of the time. Some people already have this figured out, but I’m just getting used to the fact that life isn’t about the happy things.
So I’m going to start posting my notes that I take from the book on here. I’m not going to worry about letting you know when something is a quote from the book or me talking. (you’ll normally be able to tell) I’ll just tell you that most of what I put in the notes is either a direct quote from the book or something paraphrased. So here are my first notes from the book:
What is Happiness?
It is not some fleeting feeling. It is a profound sense of a life well lived. And although such a life will undoubtedly give us many pleasurable feelings, it will also give us uncomfortable ones, such as sadness, fear, and anger. This is only to be expected. If we live a full life, we will feel the full range of human emotions.
Chapter 1: Fairy Tales
Four major myths that make up the basic blueprint for the Happiness Trap:
Happiness is the natural state for all human beings.
If you’re not happy, you’re defective. (a play off of myth #1)
To create a better life, we must get rid of negative thoughts.
You should be able to control what you think and feel.
The basic claim is: if you challenge your negative thoughts or images and, instead, repeatedly fill your head with positive thoughts and images, you will find happiness.
Myth 4 is so widely believed that we tend to feel inadequate when our attempts to control our thoughts and feelings fail.
How we learn about control
While growing up we hear things like:
Don’t be so gloomy.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
There’s nothing to be afraid of.
So we get the message that we should be able to control our feelings. It also makes it appear as though the people telling us these things have control over their own feelings and thoughts. (This makes us compare ourselves to them)
So those are my notes from tonight. So far, the biggest things for me are myth #1 and #2. Realizing those myths, I see that most all emotions are going to make themselves known to a person, and it is how that person reacts to those emotions that will either set them in the “happiness trap” or keep them safe from it.
I want my life to be a fulfilled life. The alternative being: an empty life. The main problem is that I’m not really sure how to live a fulfilled life- or if it’s even possible to do so. It may be more of a scale (like from one to ten) as opposed to just two points (like only one and ten). Another, smaller, problem is that I do know how to life an empty life. Living under the rule of the lie that people can be happy all the time is one of those ways. I live under that lie a lot.
I’m hoping that this book will help guide me in my journey to living a fulfilled life. Who knows? It could just be another self help book that doesn’t help at all. We’ll see.