Luke 14:26 ‘Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.
Happiness cannot be found by seeking it – unhappiness is caused by our false beliefs about what makes us happy, and these are so ingrained by society that we are not even aware that we have them – like a dreamer in a dream. Once we realise that attempting to please others will never bring us happiness we can start to understand this.
Not trying to please others is difficult. I write this as someone who got a career because that is what you are expected to do after university. It was all very pleasant, passed the time nicely, paid the mortgage, but wasn’t what I was called to do. As I changed my life, discovered my vocation, left the career, stopped worrying about what the world might think (at least sometimes) I found a deeper happiness. But – it was a scary process!
I was asked over 30 years ago if I might have a vocation to the priesthood, but at that time I was too scared to give up the nascent career that I had, too worried about what “they” might say. Two questions which Lesley helpfully (really) asks me from time to time are:
- Who are they – name them?
- What is the worst that could happen?
They do help 🙂