Embrace Duality And Paradox

QUOTE: “Okay, whatever. All I’m saying is, your happiness project reveals more about you than you realize.”

Of course she was right. They say that people teach what they need to learn. By adopting the role of happiness teacher, if only for myself, I was trying to find the method to conquer my particular faults and limitations. It was time to expect more of myself. Yet as I thought about happiness, I kept running up against paradoxes. I wanted to change myself but accept myself. I wanted to take myself less seriously—and also more seriously. I wanted to use my time well, but I also wanted to wander, to play, to read at whim. I wanted to think about myself so I could forget myself. I was always on the edge of agitation; I wanted to let go of envy and anxiety about the future, yet keep my energy and ambition. Elizabeth’s observation made me wonder about my motivations.

Was I searching for spiritual growth and a life more dedicated to transcendent principles—or was my happiness project just an attempt to extend my driven, perfectionist ways to every aspect of my life? My happiness project was both. I wanted to perfect my character, but, given my nature, that would probably involve charts, deliverables, to-do lists, new vocabulary terms, and compulsive note taking.

NOTE

 

DISCERNMENT QUESTIONS

What gets your attention?

What human needs or problems relate to the quote?

What is it like to have that problem?

What other resources connect to this idea?

What is the solution suggested in the quote, if there is one?

What would a camera see if the solution was implemented in my life, in my family’s life, or in my church or community?

What are the steps that I would take on Monday to implement that solution?

 

CONTEXTUALIZING QUESTIONS 

What does this say to my context as a …

… person?

… follower of Jesus? 

… to a church? 

… to a community – my neighbors?

 

RESOURCES

The quote is from The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin,  located at page

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