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Reflecting on the book ‘Happier’

February 21, 2013

I am glad to have read this book recommended in one of the classes. Self-sacrifice has been one of the schemas I have been struggling with for many years. People around me described me as being highly responsible, sacrificial, serving, etc. And in too many occasions I thought I was being sacrificial to the point of unbelievable, trusting the mighty God will take care of everything even if I let people step all over me and didn’t defend myself and giving up what’s rightfully mine because others wanted it. I was still happy in a way, as honestly I didn’t require a lot to be happy and life is generally good for me and I thought I have been doing the right things. And most importantly I was told my reward is in heaven.

All was good until eventually when my health was going downhill and started to affect all aspects of my life, my career, my higher income, my time with others especially those in the church ministry, the trust and love from others to the point of we were having conflicts and I was asked to move out of my existing group as the leader thought I was unfit to remain in the group. I was hard hit and it really dawned on me what I was doing in the past was not right as once I stopped doing it there was repercussion. I had resentment towards people, feeling unjustified and regretted that my time and effort was considered all wasted.

It was refreshing to learn that self-love and loving others can be and should be aligned.

It is not selfish if we decide to serve in ways that make us happy or feel good. Why did we feel guilty when we feel good while serving is because we thought that morally it is wrong to enjoy while serving, and sacrificial is not happiness.

There is also the feeling of undeserving, which got a bit way out of balance. While it is good not be entitled and think that I have to be best, richest, happiest, prettiest, luckiest, for example, it isn’t wrong for me to be good, rich, happy, pretty, lucky too.

I should not feel bad as if there are a finite number of opportunities or happiness which I will rob off others if I obtain them. I should open up to accept goodness from friends or what life gives me.

I need to think that I can help and inspire others to join me in seeking happiness.


From → Reflection

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