The Happiness Perspective

“The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach, is Joy.”

Fra Giovanni

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was recently accused of seeing the world through “Rose-Colored Glasses.”  Shocking, I know.

Interestingly enough, the comment was made while I was conveying my grief over the end of a relationship that meant very much to me. Although there was sadness in the loss, there was also quite a bit (about the relationship and what it brought into my life) to be grateful for.  I suspect it was my expression of gratitude for what I had gained from the experience that prompted the comment.

My initial response to the accusation of a tainted perspective was to laugh and shake my head slightly.  I reminded myself that the person with whom I was having the conversation is new to my life, and we are still in the process of getting to know one another.  She meant no harm; and, when I explained why I disagreed with her, she retracted the statement.  The exchange did, however, make me think.

The basic assumption, made by many people, is that those of us who tend to look on the bright side, focus on the positive, and find something to be grateful for in every experience have somehow missed a valuable memo explaining what the real world is all about.  By my estimation, nothing could be further from the truth. In my own case, I know all about the real world.  I know about violence, poverty, sickness, weakness, fear, hatred, despair, humiliation, and loss.  I know just as much, however, about kindness, compassion, abundance, strength, courage, love, joy, honor, and gain.

My point of view is well-rounded by a life that has been saturated with human experience.  My perspective on Life & Living is a perspective that I choose, not one bestowed upon me by the bliss of ignorance.  I suspect it is the same for all people who are authentically happy; and I doubt it could be any other way.

It is impossible to maintain a positive attitude and to enjoy authentic happiness without being well aware of the less desirable aspects of this experience we call Life.  If we were to pretend that heartache, disappointment, and loss do not exist . . . if we did not acknowledge that some amount of suffering is an unavoidable component of the human condition, we would be doing little more than creating a fragile delusion that could be easily shattered.  That kind of happiness would be neither authentic nor lasting.

The most beautiful flower in the world cannot withstand a storm, if it is held in place by shallow roots.

My conclusion is that there are no rose-colored glasses; and anyone who believes they exist is looking through tainted shades of their own.  There are, however, plenty of roses in the garden of Life; and what we choose to focus upon when we look at them is what makes all the difference.  If we focus upon the dangers those prickly thorns create or the pain that taught us to avoid them, we tend to miss out on the beauty of the bright petals and the lovely scent that emanates from the whole of the flower.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe difference between misery and happiness, between discontent and joy, is what we choose to focus on and how that makes us feel.  The Happiness Perspective is a perspective we gain when we focus most of our attention on all the good and beauty there is in this “real world” of ours.

Choosing the Happiness Perspective seems to me to be the wise choice; and it becomes an easy choice to make, once we come to understand and value it.

That is what the processes of healing, happiness, and self-realization are really all about — learning how to choose wisely the thoughts we dwell upon and to define our perspective (our outlook on Life), not by what we wish to avoid, but by what we want most to embrace.

Today, I would like to encourage you to turn your attention to the roses in your life and focus, as much as possible, on everything that is good and beautiful and enjoyable about them.  When you do, savor the pleasant and peaceful feelings that come over you.  Bask in the bright light of gratitude for all you have to be thankful for.  What you will be experiencing is the Happiness Perspective . . . and no rose-colored glasses are required.

Live Free! Be Happy!

© 03/25/2013

Photos by Jay Simmons

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  1. Once when I shared my spiritual outlook with my brother, he said, “Yeah, well, I’m a realist.” I was actually shocked, because I’ve always considered myself a logical, realistic person. I took the comment as if to say that I wasn’t those things. In the past, I had always been a more pessimistic person, like my family, so I think the change in me was unknown to him. He didn’t understand it.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have called my mother-in-law an ostrich for years now. I used to think that she was an optimist, but then I saw how she swept things under the rug that needed to be addressed.

    For me, any harsh reality must be acknowledged first, and then we can figure out the good from there, and perhaps even a good opportunity that can out of that harsh reality.

    Thanks for sharing about the rose colored glasses. It’s wonderful that you took it light-heartedly. I may have tended to get offended at first, something I need to yet work on.

    • Thank you, Lori, for sharing your valuable insights. We are all where we need to be, until we are ready to be somewhere else. We live, we learn, we grow, and we change in our own ways, in our own time. It is an ongoing process for us all. Have a Beautifully Blessed Week! Love & Light, S

  2. I love your comment about there being no rose-coloured glasses only real life roses. Life really is how you look at it and that is a choice we have to make. We all have challenges, it’s how we deal them that matters. Great post Sloan. Thank you!

  3. Hard to adequately express how much I love this! Here’s to living life from the Happiness Perspective. Thanks you for your cherished wisdom, Sloan!!

  4. Love the quote by Fra Giovanni “The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach, is Joy.” And your inspiring thoughts justify its essence. Thanks Sloan.


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