My school has started an interesting dialogue on the topic of “happiness” and how we can be happier in our lives. When I first heard that we would be doing this, and that the teacher leading it would be given an extra spare for it, I was more than a little skeptical. For the most part I am a happy person, if I’m not, I find it’s because I have become so busy in my life that I have neglected the spirituality side of things (why is spirituality always the first to go when life gets hectic?). I just figured that the answer was simple, and we didn’t need a staff dialogue or google+ group to discuss it. God, is happiness. Being Catholic is happiness. Simple. I really felt like standing up and saying umm this answer is easy and we can skip this “belly breathing” technique, suggested.
Then, like everything it seems, (I’m guilty of always making judgments before I really think about things or know the whole story) I realized that a belief in God wasn’t just the simple answer. I don’t mean that God isn’t the answer, because I think He is, just that people are different and we all have our unique ways of finding God and finding happiness. For instance, did you know how many different ways Catholics pray to God? All the different methods of meditation and spirituality? It’s really quite amazing all the different ways and I always seem to be hearing about new ones on a weekly basis.
This really made me understand that God does bring happiness, but “finding” God isn’t always easy for everyone. People find Him in ways that may be different to the ways I found Him. I may find God by praying the Rosary on a daily basis, where someone else might find God practising the Lectio Divina (which I just discovered, for the first time, at a religious education retreat!) daily or meditating on the beatitudes . We Catholics just need to do a better job of educating people about all the different ways of praying. By doing this more people can have the opportunity to find one that suits them, that really helps them connect with God.
I am participating in this “happiness” dialogue with my colleagues and I am enjoying it so far. I think that it offers a great opportunity for growth in our staff, and for that growth to spread to our students. Hearing about what others do, helps me to learn new ways, ones that I have never even considered before. Through this I hope that I can offer more suggestions to my students on how to connect with God and how to find true happiness, the everlasting kind.