How to Let the Sun Shine on You
Have you ever stood in the sun and felt the warmth upon your back? Have your eyes beheld the glow of light on the leaves of a tree?
Have you laid your head back upon the grass and gazed upon a sky as blue as tanzanite? When the warm breeze flows, when the sky is clear with no clouds passing by, there is a happiness within me that is as bright as when the sun shines.
There are countless self-help books and TED Talks that tell us how to find happiness and how to keep it. I imagine that some may suggest that happiness can be found in diving into a bowl of gelato on a hot summer’s day or tiptoeing into your savings to make an important purchase of brogues and tote bags.
Others might offer you bad advice to “get competitive” and wipe out your competitors wherever they may be.
It takes a lot to make me happy and I wonder what the good Lord thinks about it.
I have on many mornings woken up and asserted that if the birds would just stop chirping, if the clouds were a little less grey and if the queue in the supermarket was a bit faster, then I could finally get going on those thing that make me happy.
And I have many times beseeched the universe — the universe that so often conspires against me to steal my happiness—to let me make more money, lose more weight, and make me a bit taller, so that I will be happy.
It seems that the things I need to make me happy change frequently and increase in volume as my bank balance diminishes.
But what is happiness and where are all the happy people? Is it a day or week at school or work void of any frustrations? Is it when things go according to plan? One can definitely hope so.
Money can’t buy you happiness or health
I am not an expert on how to be happy, but I am well-experienced in the field of not being happy. Strangely enough, our happiness is not found in clinging on to things, beautiful though these may be. If it were so, then all that is necessary for human happiness is to abandon all relationships in the pursuit of material wealth. This, of course, isn’t so.
Annoying as it is for me, no amount of any currency could stop me from getting a serious illness that could lead to my death, as happened with Steve Jobs. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if money could buy you time? But even money can’t afford that.
The happiest people, I have found, are the ones bold enough to give a part of themselves away, whether in serving the poor or in marriage. Our human nature always desires a gift in return for what it gives.
Many of the great saints, like St Francis of Assisi 800 years ago or St Gianna Berretta Molla 60 years ago, understood this and used it as a path to find God. They understood that to have everlasting happiness, a sacrifice must be made.
During Lent we sacrificed many of our comforts in order to grow closer to God. We gave up gluttony for temperance, pride for humility, wrath for patience, envy for gratitude, lust for chastity, and sloth for diligence.
Jesus himself gives away life so that others may live!
The saints, once their lives of sacrifices had been made, found their way to a place where they could feel the warmth of the sun upon your back, where their eyes behold the glow of light on the leaves of a tree.
They gaze upon a sky as blue as tanzanite. There where the warm breeze flows, where the sky is clear with no clouds passing by, they have happiness that is as bright as when the sun shines.