Today’s message asks us to examine what we really need for happiness, the goal being, I presume, to get us to shift perceptions from seeing our glasses half full instead of half empty.
So what do we really need for happiness?
When I first asked myself this question, my answer was the pretty simple: Aside from health, which is not something entirely in my control, a roof over my head in a safe environment with space to write, food and clothing (nothing fancy), basic modern conveniences (electricity, plumbing, my laptop with internet connection, a way to communicate quickly with my loved ones, a reliable car to get around) and money to pay the bills. Friendships. And books.
Then I remembered times when my sister took my sons to the store when they were really young. No matter how often I’d caution her to not fall for their pleas for one toy or another, she usually caved. She’d come in the house after a shopping excursion, kid in hand, laughing as he proudly showed me whatever she’d parted with good money for. “I couldn’t help it, Leah,” she’d say, still laughing. “He looked at me with those big blue eyes and said, ‘Aunt Dee, I neeeeeed that Power Ranger action figure!’ I couldn’t deny him!”
Of course they didn’t need another toy, but she blessed my kids with many such toys and trinkets, and I’m sure they brought at least momentary joy, to them and to her. But what they remember and treasure most is their time together. We still joke about that line – I neeeeeeed it, Aunt Dee!
The final message from Breathnach today is to “make peace with the knowledge that you can’t have everything you want” (as opposed to “need”). But also to reach for what you conclude you really need.
Do you know what your needs are?
In late 2015 I started reading “Simple Abundance” a daily devotional by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It’s more than a devotional; it’s a guide to recognizing, and seeking, the joy in each moment. I haven’t quite reached that state, but I’m hopeful. I’ve decided to share my daily thoughts on this blog. I’d love to hear yours as well.