A priest’s wisdom: misery and happiness

You must have felt it before too – those moments where the bits of self-doubt that have crept into your mind suddenly join forces and it turns into a chaotic mutiny. In other words, the dreadful feeling of failure.

Last night was one of those nights for me. I have reached that stage where taking on board too many divergent tasks have made my thoughts like a hummingbird, flitting from one place to another, never really able to concentrate on doing one thing. Never feeling a sense of achievement that only comes from concentrating and giving 100%.

It made me question what I am doing, in the grand scheme of things. How frustrating and often restrictive money becomes when in pursuit of creativity. How doing something else will easily make me so much more money. Which I can then spend on the things I wish to do.

If only I could make a living from drawing and painting and doing purely what I love, then I’ll be happy..

When in a state of anxiety, nothing ever seems reasonable – just like going up never seems an option when you are falling..

‘Misery is easy, Syracuse, it’s happiness you have to work at.’

This line of wisdom, from the character of the priest in Ondine (2009)* is something that really hit home for me. Perhaps it’s the traditional Hollywood narratives and happy ending fairy tales that have ingrained into our mind such a thing as ‘happily ever after’. I still yearn to believe in such a naive perspective, but we all know it’s not quite how reality works.

Happiness is not reaching the top of a figurative (or literal) mountain. It is climbing each step in anticipation of the beautiful view above; or turning around and acknowledging all the steps you have already worked hard to ascend. It is so easy to sit at the bottom of a mountain and complain of its enormity – everyone can do that. It takes bravery to set out on a mission, courage and endurance to see it through. 

To work at something, to do it well, there must be focus. So basic, but so important..
So my first step will be to prioritise. To make a list, adding any vital elements I may be missing, and disposing of all those unessential things burdening the climb.

The next part will be harder, but more on that later..

Jeremy Hush - Caged Sparrow (not sure of the title but please tell me if you know!)

* Ondine is a really beautiful film. It really basks in the blue-green beauty of the Irish landscape, and has infused a little-mermaid-esque story with a dose of reality. Of course, there is still happiness weaving through..


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