I was uploading videos to YouTube from The General Assembly of The Universal Anglican Church yesterday and was channel surfing while I waited. I stumbled across a reality show about interior designers called “Flipping Out” on Bravo. While it had its entertaining moments, all I kept thinking about was how much self-inflicted drama there was in the lives of the main characters. While the specifics of the lives of the designers certainly contributed to the drama – it’s never drama free to work with your partner – much of the drama clearly had its source in the personalities of the characters.
Even beyond those drama-inducing truths, however, is the clear impact of almost unrestricted income on the “star” of the program. The truth is that you really can’t buy happiness, though it may be possible to rent it on a temporary basis. Those of us who struggle to purchase the things we believe we need often fall into the trap of believing that if buying those things was effortless we would be happy. What “Flipping Out” clearly illustrates is that a life without challenges is boring and does not result in happiness – though it may result in all kinds of odd behavior!
In truth, the secret to happiness isn’t in the things we acquire, or the place we live, or any other external factors. The secret to happiness lies in accepting life as it is right now, at this moment. We may choose to work to change our present reality, but it is absolutely crucial we accept it first. We all know someone who moves from job to job, or partner to partner, or town to town – or some combination of the above – and never seems to be happy where they land. The reason is clear – rather than coping with their life they are running from it. It’s the stuff misery is made of, and under those circumstances anyone would “Flip Out!”