The title for this blog is derived from a quote from my favorite author, Edith Wharton:
If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.
This quote reinforces an aspect of Buddhist doctrine that I am fond of. Specifically, the idea that we should take a “middle” approach to life, remaining in the realm of contentment, rather than striving for complete happiness. Staying content instead of actively reaching for what we think happiness might be prevents us from getting caught in emotional ups and downs. When we are centered in this way, we are less affected by negative emotions that might otherwise cause us extreme sorrow and anguish.
And so it goes; if we stopped trying to be happy, maybe we could be content with what we have and enjoy life even more. It’s taken me 25 years now to realize this, and I’m no zen master, but I’m working one day at a time to take Ms. Wharton’s advice.