“There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there’s only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a fairly good time.”

~Edith Wharton, The Last Asset

I read a quote like this and just want to shout “YES!” because it’s coming from someone who’s wiser, better known, with a whole lot of credentials, and who was writing almost a hundred years ago what I try to say today.

Life is not about happiness! It is about wholeness, centeredness, and peace. Happiness happens, and it’s wonderful when it does, but sadness and a dozen other emotional responses are always waiting just offstage to be in the limelight. too. They are not interlopers; they are not arrayed against a “natural” happiness, they are just part of our palette of human reactions. It is the consistency and calm with which we deal with all of them that makes for a peace that passes many people’s understanding, and which enables real, self-generated happiness to be discerned more often..

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