"You have to bring happiness to life. You don't get happiness out of
life. What is there to be happy about? Nothing. When you can be happy
about nothing. Just be happy. You know 'I am happy' - those words are
sacred. It's like a declaration, it's like a place from which I come,
it's like a stand I take upon myself. It's not I am pretending to be
happy, it's not I am acting happy. No. I am happy!"
Bring Happiness To Life,
is the one thousand seven hundredth in this Conversations For
Transformation internet series. That doesn't mean anything. It's just
There's a lot going on out there to not be happy about. For clear,
incontrovertible evidence of this all too glaring fact, just turn on
(any network / any channel will do). And yes, the construct "out there"
is untenable in the context of transformation. Indeed, deployed here
it's colloquial, expedient, yet
good enough for
Now I'm not about to disparage not being happy about what's going on
out there. Not being happy about what's going on out there, is entirely
valid. In fact now it's arguably smart, woke, and timely to the point
of being de rigueur. Women and men of good will everywhere
aren't happy about what's going on out there.
Here's a question for you, however: given that there's so much going on
out there to not be happy about, does that preclude the possibility of
being happy altogether at worst, or at best move its goalposts so far
south that its
is curtailed? Posed another way, isn't it simply insensitive,
naïve, crass, callous, cavalier, crazy (if not an outright
non-starter) to entertain any possibility of being happy
in the face of
everything that's going on out there about which we're not happy?
To answer this question not merely
but to also open it up so that it produces something globally useful,
a closer look
at where the source of being happy actually lives. And no, in
this regard I'm not about to espouse the difference between the source
of being happy lives "in here", as opposed to the source of being happy
lives "out there". Rather I'm about to differentiate between the
happiness that's within our realm of power to bring to life, and that
At first glance, it seems like there are two happinesses
to differentiate between in this regard: the happiness which is within
our realm of power to bring to life, and the happiness which isn't (the
latter being the happiness which discontiguously "happens to us" yet
over which we have scant power ie when something circumstantial "makes"
us happy). But there's actually not two. There's only one
(as the Highlander may have said). Here's your clue: profound happiness
is never circumstantial.
There's a central tenet to bringing happiness to life (as opposed to
being happy only when something circumstantial makes us happy). It's
"You and I possess within
ourselves, at every moment of our lives, under all circumstances, the
power to transform the quality of our lives"
which is always available - no matter what's happening
circumstantially. When we take responsibility for transforming the
quality of our lives, all things are revealed to be just (and more than
drop-dead obviously) the way they are and the way they
aren't - end of story. You can put all your opinions about that, and
all your disagreements with it, and all your personal preferences for
it to be some other way, down. Bracket them off. They'll be there
waiting for you if you ever want to pick them up again later.
to bringing happiness to life. Prior to bringing happiness to life (as
opposed to something circumstantial out there making you happy), being
happy derives from accepting things the way they are, and the way they
aren't - which isn't the same distinction as agreeing with
(or disagreeing with) things being the way they are and the way they
aren't. Profound happiness isn't a function of agreeing with. It's a
function of accepting. And accepting (or not) occurs prior
to agreeing with (or disagreeing with) what's happening out there. It's
its prior occurrence that makes it possible to bring happiness to life,
regardless of any of the circumstances.
Here's one last point I'd like to make: accepting things the way they
are and the way they aren't, isn't apathy. This isn't "If everything's
OK, why bother?". It's "Bring happiness to life while you're
And there's lots going on out there to
make a difference
with - as women and men of good will everywhere know.