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Unity, not Happiness

Deciding to love requires work and effort. In making the decision to love, it is important that we seek unity and not happiness. Those who set out upon a journey of love must strive for openness and honesty - that sharing in a communal life that is the heart of love.

Sometimes we will try to keep a check on how well we feel and how happy we are and we use this as a measure of our success in relationships, but this sense of well-being and happiness can come into human life only as a by-product. Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to truly working at love, it comes softly to sit on your shoulder.

To be truly happy in love, we must aim for unity and oneness with others and we must work at openness. Sometimes this involves many challenges that are difficult and painful: honesty, when we would rather not tell the truth; speaking out when we would rather stay quiet; admitting to embarrassing feelings or behaviour when we would rather blame someone else; standing our ground when we would rather run; admitting we were wrong rather than falsely making out that we were right and confronting others when we would rather settle for ‘peace at any price’. However, taking these easier options will not bring true peace or happiness, whereas if we step out of our comfort zone to pursue a truthful and honest relationship with others, difficult though it may be at times, we will find love works when we work at it and happiness will follow in its wake.

Our objective in working at our relationships with others is to achieve total honesty and transparency. This is a very difficult challenge, but those who chase after the butterfly of happiness in relationships will be empty-handed and empty-hearted in the end. Unity, not happiness, is the aim we should strive for in working to love.

L Jacobs







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