The crowds and parking lot wars. The overspending and diet-busting parties. The troubling headlines. It’s easy to understand why this most wonderful time of the year isn't always so wonderful. The conflicting messages of the season are magnified.
We must take our happiness more seriously. We must be intentional about entering into the New Year healthy and whole with
spiritual houses in order. That means making sure joy has a place to stay.
This is the holy-season, which begs the question: What is true happiness anyway? The legendary psychiatrist C.G. Jung in 1960 offered a list of five basic elements that he considered essential for creating happiness in the human mind (C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters). His list has been widely adapted and is worth a brief review:
Jung's Five Keys to Happiness
Good physical and mental health.
Good personal and intimate relationships, such as those of marriage, the family, and friendships.
The faculty for perceiving beauty in art and nature.
Reasonable standards of living and satisfactory work.
A philosophic or religious perspective capable of coping successfully with the twists of life.
Signs you're on the path to unhappiness:
You feel pulled in different directions by external demands
Other people push your buttons
Your family puts you in a box and expects you to stay there
There is no sense of holiness or sacredness All the activity seems pointless
You need alcohol or food to numb yourself
You feel overwhelmed and helpless
The path to true happiness:
A sense of the sacred, of grace and blessedness
Moments of peace and joy
Appreciation for existence, nature, art and beauty
Feeling a sense of belonging
Lightness of being