We think happiness is something inclusive. If I’m not happy then my situation must be bad. This way of thinking needs to change.
Happiness is not something that is solely dependent on external circumstances. In fact, according to the Gemara, an ancient Jewish text, it might be better if mankind had not been created at all. This may seem harsh, but it serves to remind us that life is not always easy and that we need to change our thinking in order to make the journey more enjoyable.
Happiness is similar to the human body. At any given moment our body may be dealing with an array of discomfort or illness. But the fact that my back hurts does not mean that my entire body is not functioning. The body functions well, and constantly works to bring balance to the entire system but no matter how healthy we are there will always be aspects of our body slightly out of balance, working to repair itself. Similarly in life, not being happy one hundred percent of the time does not destroy our entire life.
Aligning our expectations regarding our lives will help us properly prepare for our time alone. We need to work on realigning our thinking with regard to being alone and all the difficult feelings that come with it. Learning to enjoy this alone time and find ways to utilize it can help to ease the fear.
Until now we have discussed the importance of a person accepting and learning to embrace alone times.
One way to do this is by aligning our expectations about our lives. This includes learning to embrace and find ways to utilize alone time, instead of fearing it. Our nature may draw us to be with others – after all, it is not good for man to be alone – but it is important to recognize that being alone does not have to be a negative experience. In fact, it can be a valuable opportunity for personal growth and self-reflection.
We won’t take the time here to define God, but we’ll try to explore some ways in which we can connect with something that is beyond the individual self, something that is greater than us.
Jewish tradition teaches us that there are different ways to connect with the world outside of ourselves, including the possibility of connecting with God. One way to do this is through spiritual practice, such as “seclusion,” which was developed by Rabbi Nachman from Breslav in the 18th century. Seclusion involves talking directly to God anytime, anywhere. By connecting with a higher power, we can find a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives. For more information on seclusion, click this link.
In conclusion, happiness is not something that is dependent on external circumstances or achieved through external validation. It is something that we can cultivate within ourselves by changing our thinking, embracing alone time, and connecting with something greater than ourselves. By doing these things, we can find a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives and experience true happiness.
photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio