Happiness: What Does It Mean To You?

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: Happiness: What Does It Mean To You?

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 29 Oct 2020, 10:15

SamBee, I agree that excitement and mania aren't happiness. That and people can become addicted to those things. Thanks for letting me know about Asperger’s Disorder. I've found some websites that mention the term is being replaced with Autism Spectrum Disorder. When things are finally ultimately under control with the COVID-19, I'm going to see if I can get tested at the local university in my town for ASD.

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Gerald
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Re: Happiness: What Does It Mean To You?

Post by Gerald » 31 Oct 2020, 17:00

I don't pretend to have a particularly profound answer to that question but I do remember that Victor Frankl (author of Man's Search for Meaning) didn't believe that our ultimate quest should be for happiness but rather that, through our choice, we impose or discover some meaning from our lives. I've always really appreciated the following quote from Man's Search for Meaning:
Once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. Now, how can I help him? What should I tell him? Well, I refrained from telling him anything but instead confronted him with the question, “What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?” “Oh,” he said, “for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!” Whereupon I replied, “You see, Doctor, such a suffering has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering — to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her.” He said no word but shook my hand and calmly left my office. In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: Happiness: What Does It Mean To You?

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 31 Oct 2020, 22:29

Gerald, wow! That's quite a perspective there about death and mourning. I think I might have to check that book out sometime. Thank you.

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SamBee
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Re: Happiness: What Does It Mean To You?

Post by SamBee » 01 Nov 2020, 16:49

Ilovechrist77 wrote:
29 Oct 2020, 10:15
SamBee, I agree that excitement and mania aren't happiness. That and people can become addicted to those things. Thanks for letting me know about Asperger’s Disorder. I've found some websites that mention the term is being replaced with Autism Spectrum Disorder. When things are finally ultimately under control with the COVID-19, I'm going to see if I can get tested at the local university in my town for ASD.
I think it is much more common than people realize. I think if you look in the 40+ age range, there are a lot of people who have it who were never diagnosed. The emphasis seems to be on diagnosing kids, and that's only really happened since the mid nineties. The diagnosis for adults seems to be complex, which is probably why they discourage it.

I know quite a few people who are on the spectrum. Some are diagnosed but I have strong suspicions about others. They're all very different characters. I know one guy in his fifties who has many distinct traits of it, but refuses to acknowledge it. He gets meltdowns and has obsessive interests to name but two.

Some folk have been misdiagnosed. I know other folk who got diagnosed with BPD, Bipolar, ADHD and even schizophrenia who got rediagnosed as ASD, which bizarrely is a relief to them.

Not really sorry to see the Aspergers label bite the dust for the reasons I say above. If folk want to identify with it, that's their choice, but it's disappearing.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Heber13
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Re: Happiness: What Does It Mean To You?

Post by Heber13 » 05 Nov 2020, 12:56

Gerald wrote:
31 Oct 2020, 17:00
I don't pretend to have a particularly profound answer to that question but I do remember that Victor Frankl (author of Man's Search for Meaning) didn't believe that our ultimate quest should be for happiness but rather that, through our choice, we impose or discover some meaning from our lives. I've always really appreciated the following quote from Man's Search for Meaning:
Once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. Now, how can I help him? What should I tell him? Well, I refrained from telling him anything but instead confronted him with the question, “What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?” “Oh,” he said, “for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!” Whereupon I replied, “You see, Doctor, such a suffering has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering — to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her.” He said no word but shook my hand and calmly left my office. In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
I agree, Gerald.

And the older I get, the more I see that WE CHOOSE the meaning, as you said. We absolutely can choose a story in our heads that takes observed events and places meaning to them that helps us or does not.

Happiness is fleeting because nothing stays unchanged. So we have to keep choosing each day what to make of our experience. We can choose happiness.

Unfortunately, some of us have past experience that give us trauma or give us fear or worries, or some have chemical inbalances, and the brain tends to want to protect us, and therefore can be influenced by past performance in a negative way. We can retrain our brains (or ego) or look at it as staying mentally fit (just like a physically fit exercise program takes effort), and find ways to choose the happiness more easily.

It is not simple. It is not as easy as just saying "just be happy...just choose that and all is well." For many of us, it is a long effort, sometimes needing professional help, to get us to a place where we find happiness regularly, and know how to let go of suffering or negative things, and be present so we can keep choosing the good in the world, and tell ourselves stories that help us feel good and be happy.

The other thing I have learned is that unhappiness is part of the journey also. We need to allow ourselves to be sad at times, to be unhappy or down, to be negative, to doubt things and be cynical for periods of time. All that is realistic in the balance of the "middle way" that both things can exist. We should not seek perfection, but embrace imperfection and the spectrum of emotions we can have.

It may be logically understood that we can choose. But the body and brain do not make that easy to live by and develop neurological patterns of interpreting our sensory inputs in familiar ways. It is an age old quest for each of us. It is certainly a personal journey.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Gerald
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Re: Happiness: What Does It Mean To You?

Post by Gerald » 07 Nov 2020, 15:00

The other thing I have learned is that unhappiness is part of the journey also. We need to allow ourselves to be sad at times, to be unhappy or down, to be negative, to doubt things and be cynical for periods of time. All that is realistic in the balance of the "middle way" that both things can exist. We should not seek perfection, but embrace imperfection and the spectrum of emotions we can have.
Nicely put, Heber13!
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Happiness: What Does It Mean To You?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Nov 2020, 11:43

Happiness for me right now centers on family and personal fulfillment.

I am doing what I love to do for people I choose to serve, and I am enjoying the lives of my children and grandchildren. I work in an environment that can be stressful, but I am at peace with it.

I guess, for me, happiness is tied to internal peace and acceptance.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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