Entitled to Happiness
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.”- Albert Camus
In my personal pondering, I have touched on the topic of what happiness is, and if I qualify to posses it. I hear people often say “I deserve to be happy.” Often times I have personally felt that I deserved happiness. When times were hard and choices were tough, I find myself asking why I wasn’t happy. It was as if someone owed me this one thing. I suffer, I have pains, afflictions, trials, anger–where is my happiness? As if I could own happiness, or posses ownership over such a thing.
The question then is raised, are we as people entitled to happiness? My simple answer is no. Of course it is great when we do have it, its even better when we share it with others, but is happiness something owed to us? Something we deserve? Have we entered into some sort of deal where by we live our lives and someone presents happiness to us? I think not.
As I have looked through the lenses that are my perceptions and experiences, I have come to the unsatisfying truth that I may not be intended to attain happiness. This is not to be interpreted that I am some sort of gloomy pessimist, or emo cuter. It means that while all my peers seek out my culture’s perception of happiness, I am forced to sit idle on the sidelines in a game I was unprepared for. With Same Gender Attraction, the goal of attaining happiness through the bonds of marriage and the gospel is nearly impossible to attain.
Because of the sexuality I have, coupled with the knowledge I posses, I am trapped between a rock and a rainbow flag.
Two options exist.
- I leave the church and everything I know and live the gay lifestyle, knowing what I know and acknowledging the choices I make have eternal consequences.
- I stay celibate in the church, as a member in full standing and forsake ever living thegay lifestyle, feeling certain desires but never being able to quench them.
Any way I spin it, I foresee a lack of happiness in my future. How can I be happy when I must deny a part of myself? To chose one life would be like cutting off an arm. The decision remains to specify which arm I plan to cut off.
My circumstance does not allow for a full sense of happiness. Dwelling on this notion has caused me to question the nature of happiness and its allocation.
I stand opposed to the idea that we are entitled to happiness for the sole reason that I can’t think of anything I have done to deserve unhappiness.
The silver lining to this dull cloud is my faith in eternities. While I am not guaranteed happiness in this short test of life, I HAVE been guaranteed happiness for the eternities as a child of heavenly origins.
Mosiah 2:41 reads (emphasis added):
“…and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”
If I can hold out faithful, endure to the end, I can be received into heaven and achieve a state of happiness. This is guaranteed. So while I know that happiness is not an entitlement that I receive in this life, I realize it IS something that can be achieved in the next life to come. An eternal perspective is the only perspective to have when dealing with Same Gender Attractions. If we can’t see our potential and eternal nature, we loose ourselves to rainbow flags and pride parades.