Charles Dickens knew how to write a great story – somehow catching the imagination of the general public. He championed the poor and his stories always seemed to conclude with a happy ending. Wonderful stuff that has stood the test of time. Unfortunately real life is usually so very different. We might all like to fantasise winning the lottery or making good someway or other but the normal lot in life is struggle, struggle and more struggle. Yet the fantasy is still as strong as ever, being renewed in different forms as situations change along with the fashion and times.
All too often such fantasy is along the lines of money, status or power, but coming down from that truly unrealistic level the next almost possible level is about the next holiday, the next night clubbing, the next party, the next relationship, the next fix – whatever that might be. But these things are almost exclusively outward in perception, things dependent upon outer circumstances that will bring happiness to the person and make everything right. And they almost always fail to meet the high standards of expectation.
Christmas time is no exception, in fact it often focuses the need for this kind of outward happiness. Over indulgence, over pricey presents and partying to excess will surely bring the desired result. But when reality kicks in then the glitter fails to shine and distract from the paucity of un-blinkered eyesight. Depression hits hard and the need for those happy pills is all too apparent. Unfortunately, although pills may be a temporary relief, for that is what they were designed for, happiness and a solution to Life’s problems cannot be found in a pill bottle. Enter the Counsellor or even Samaritans, and our books are always full at this time of year!
Contentment – or even happiness – is found within, not without. Strength of character doesn’t come in a pint or package. Money may help to mask the shallowness or denial that people so desperately cling to but it takes courage to look within and sort things out. Counsellors do not preach or proselytise and we certainly do not put forward a religious teaching, but for once putting it in a religious context it looks as if the bible got it right as we read in Matthew’s gospel:-
Matthew 6:19-21 King James Version
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Happy New Year