Wholeness over Happiness

“I actually attack the concept of happiness. I don’t mind people being happy – but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying ‘write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep’, and ‘cheer up’ and ‘happiness is our birthright’ and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position – it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say ‘Quick! Move on! Cheer up!’ I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word ‘happiness’ and to replace it with the word ‘wholeness’. Ask yourself ‘is this contributing to my wholeness?’ and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”
– Hugh Mackay, psychologist and social researcher

I am inviting my whole self to linger. I am inviting the mistakes, the hesitancies, the addictions, the hypocrisies. Sometimes I am not, actually. But that too, I am learning to accept. All for the sake of wholeness.



PS Thank you Meg for always posting the most delicious quotes.


4 thoughts on “Wholeness over Happiness

  1. Noushin says:

    Excellent reminder !! Thanks !!! I think that the whole concept of the law of attraction has got people feeling scared of negative emotions. This is a great reminder of being a normal healthy human. xoxo

  2. Dave Hitchcock says:

    Nicely put Natanya. Where does our growth come from? From our challenges and being uncomfortable. Seeking wholeness, a new mantra. Thanks for sharing.

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