April 30

The Unhappiness we Settle For

April 30, 2007

Personal Growth

When people become acquainted with the principles of Real Love, and as they persist in living them, they invariably find a level of happiness they had never known. Many of them then ask me this question: “Why doesn’t everyone embrace Real Love? The happiness associated with Real Love is so fantastic, I don’t understand why everyone isn’t running to get more of it.”

One prominent answer to that question is that most people haven’t the slightest idea what genuine happiness is. And why would they?

  • They’re as happy as most of the people around them.
  • They’ve seen no reason to suppose there is some higher level of joy out there.
  • No matter how hard they’ve worked, their level of happiness stays right about where it is, with minor fluctuations here and there.

Permit me a metaphor. Imagine that you’ve lived in the interior of Antarctica your entire life, so all you’ve ever known is temperatures between minus 20 and minus 100 degrees F. One day, however, the temperature rises from minus 40 to zero degrees. Compared to what you’ve known all your life, you’d think zero degrees was “warm.” Living in Antarctica, how would you possibly know what genuine warm was? How could you know what it could be like to bask on a beach in Grand Cayman, where the temperatures might vary between 90 and 98 degrees in the afternoon?

Most people find themselves in a similar position emotionally. In the absence of sufficient Real Love, they haven’t the slightest idea what genuine happiness is. They live in a constant state of minus 40 degrees emotionally, and when they can get enough Imitation Love — in the form of praise, sex, money, power, conditional acceptance, and so on — that feels so good that they honestly believe they’re happy, even though they’ve only moved from a condition of minus 40 degrees emotionally to perhaps zero degrees.

Once we have tasted Real Love sufficiently, however — both in quantity and consistency — we can’t be fooled by what we once thought happiness was. Once we have tasted the real thing, Imitation Love loses its appeal and therefore its ability to seduce us. Most of us have settled for garbage — Imitation Love — all our lives. Once we’ve tasted chocolate cake, we won’t be fooled by garbage again.

And that is precisely why we need frequent contact with wise men and women, to get enough of a taste of Real Love that we really know what genuine happiness is, so we can’t be fooled by Imitation Love anymore.

Never, never settle for Imitation Love in your life, or for the pseudo-happiness that accompanies it. Instead make a commitment that you’ll do whatever it takes to find the Real Love that produces the genuine happiness we all want. No effort we make to find Real Love could ever be too great.

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Do whatever it takes to find Real Love.

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