Thursday, December 31, 2009

heres hoping...

as 2009 is coming to a close our thoughts are drawn to resolutions. I ask what are your resolutions for the new year or even the new decade.

As i look back on this year, wow, was it ever a roller coaster that still seems to be out of control. As i entered into the summer i was at a pretty low point, feeling drained in all shapes and sizes. when i rolled out of bed each morning i wanted to go right back in and curl up then sleep the day away. but God met me where i was, and i believe with my whole heart that he will continue to meet me where i am. whether all i can offer is one step, oh look theres God helping me make the next step and the next one.

at the end of this summer i was baptized at camp. and let me tell you i don't think i could get any more full then i was then. but as the days, weeks and months go on and now we are at the end of december. i've been learning a great deal of the importance of as it is said in romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Renew your mind. be continuously full in God. it's not a one time deal.

with these experiences throughout the year i was thinking what resolution to make, do i opt for the good ol' loose X amount of weight, or say no sugar in 2010, or even the eat all organic, start running frequently. but my attention is drawn away from those oh so noble things to stillness. To be still each morning/day and take away the time consuming distractions of well everything around. So that is my resolve to be still in 2010, and to rid myself of all garbage. my time is important. I am reminded of two verses today. brought to you my the prophet Isaiah and the writer of romans.
"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who
have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Heres looking at you 2010

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


this has been on my mind lately. the thought of why are people in the pursuit of happiness? this is my philosophy paper that i wrote on happiness. don't worry i will not be offended if you choose not to read it, it is pretty dang long...

When a person’s basic relational needs, the need to be loved, the need to feel like their choices matter, and the need to feel like they belong (Penner, 2002) are met this person will experience happiness. This experience of happiness results because of interpersonal relationships as opposed to the meeting of basic physical needs of shelter, food and water and getting what you want. Relational basic needs require interaction with other people and deep connected relationships. In differentiating between needs and desires it is stated that “need is something that is necessary for humans to live a healthy life (Wikipedia).” To which Webster’s dictionary describes desire as “conscious impulse toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment.” While not trying to define love, since it takes on many forms (Hazan and Shaver), the suggestion of how necessary love in one’s life and how it relates to happiness does surface, which we will further discuss in this paper. The need to feel like the choices they make matter is a convoluted issue, since people need validation from other people just so that they will feel happy with themselves. The sense of belonging comes in many forms, although it is centered on interpersonal relationships and the concept of living in community with each other. People need other people to be happy. For example, look to the many thousands going without food each day some even starving to death. Although they do not have the basic needs of food and clean water a study done in 2003 from UK’s New Scientist magazine found “Nigeria has the highest percentage of happy people followed by Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador and Puerto Rico, while Russia,the average salaried worker in Nigeria cannot earn enough to support a family because of inflation and rises in food prices and transportation costs.” Why is this so? Some religious leaders feel confident that it is their faith which brings many of those people happiness. Arguably happiness may steam from many sources including relationships, the love from others and feeling that they belong.
On the topic of love, C.S Lewis writes “the typical example of Gift- love would be that love which moves a man to work and plan and save for the future well-being of his family which he will die without sharing or seeing; of the second, Need-love, that which sends a lonely or frightened child to its mother’s arms.” Focusing on Need-love that offers support, emotional stability, and someone to share your pain with can be so significant in a person’s life. What is love and what is the sense of love is not in question but that which is the matter of need, why does a person need love? This wild, untameable concept drives people to do many unheard of things all for the sake of love, which brings happiness. Happiness from love comes in various ways, whether it is the first gentle snuggle with a mother, infants find contentment in that physical touch, or whether it is the rush of unexpected emotion. John Bowly, who “attributes importance not only to food and thirst satisfaction, but also to “primary object – clinging,” a need for intimate physical contact, which is initially associated with the mother” this statement signifies how necessary it is to have other people in our lives as well as the love they show. He states that not only do we need food and water but love and affection as well.
Within the feelings of love comes belonging. When you are loved there is someone near, someone who cares for you and makes you feel like you matter in their life. Licensed professional counsellor Deb Elkin states that belonging is regarding “the need to feel like we have a place where we belong, where we are important, where people care about us. We are not meant to be alone and we are not meant to be totally self-sufficient.” Taking on a religious view from the beginning the Bible says “then the Lord God said ‘it is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper who is just right for him.” It is not good to be alone. According to the belongingness hypothesis it states that there is a “pervasive drive to form and maintain at least a minimum quantity of lasting, positive, and significant interpersonal relationships (Baumeister, Leary).” Relationships are so important for well-being in people’s lives. Deb Elkin also speaks of the necessity of support systems in people’s lives as “when you have solid support networks in your lives, you feel like you have a place where you belong.It is a place where you feel safe telling your troubles and woes. It’s a place where you can get help working through a problem. It’s a place where your joys and successes get celebrated. You know the people in your support network really care about you and really want to hear what you have to say. You feel safe to be honest and vulnerable with them. And you know they will honour you, not shame you, when you share yourself with them.” Support systems, relationships and the feeling of belonging bring happiness and well being to people’s lives. Also it is said that from the place of security that belonging brings it helps us to live more self-confident, caring and overall happier lives (Elkin).
The concept of choice and the affirmation that the decisions you do make matter are another topic of need. Choice validates the person, making them feel important and that other people care about what that person has to say. Choice puts value into a person, when saying “that was a good idea”. Or “I would like to hear your opinion” has the person feeling cherished. You see this need in every social setting, yet it is portrayed in each person in a different way. Some need the attention to fall on them; maybe they are loud or become sad when the attention is not on them. Yet others might shy away from it all having this knowledge of not being good enough. This need if not met makes the most amount of people unhappy.
However as portrayed in the media as well as in much literature relational needs of humans come second in contrast to basic physical needs or food, water, shelter and getting what you want. We see in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that at the bottom level which he concludes to be most important is classified as physiological needs included food and drink. He states that “once our basic physiological needs are satisfied we focus our needs for safety and security of the next level of the hierarchy” (Passer, 2005). It is not until the third and fourth level that relational needs are mentioned. Of the third level he suggests that belongingness and love needs are to be met and the fourth level esteem needs which include approval and recognition. I refute this claim with an example. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and many surrounding areas; this devastated the people living in the area leaving people without homes, food, clean water, clothing and many other basic physical needs. Although the hurt was felt across the nation only three weeks after the hurricane people reported to be happy. In a study done by Miles Kimball he researched the concept of hedonic adaptation after great disaster. In an interview with Kimball Bob Hirshon (2006) asks how the data is measured and replied “Kimball's team actually uses a mathematical scale called the “happiness index.” The index is based on responses to a simple phone interview, in which the subjects were asked if any of the following statements were true for them for much of the past week: 1. I felt happy. 2. I felt sad. 3. I enjoyed life. 4. I felt depressed.” Surprisingly many of the Katrina survivors replied that three weeks after the hurricane happiness resumed to pre-Katrina levels. The people who survived the hurricane came together, supported one another and looked after each other attending to their relational need. Another opposition stands with the desire satisfaction theory which states whatever makes a person’s life go well is just that a person’s desires, whatever they are, are satisfied. This does not hold true for various reasons. Primarily we never know what we truly want, or as Hobbes states as the three problems of self destructive desire, foolish desires and strange desires (Cahn & Vitriano, 2008). Secondly as many North Americans can attest money and getting what you want does not bring happiness. It is the relationships and the feelings of belonging that bring about happiness. Furthermore thinking back to hedonic adaptation as humans in the role of consumers we consume, food, clothes, and objects in order to find pleasure, satisfaction and happiness. As we consume adaptation takes over us, we get use to our clothing, objects we were once happy with and the stuff loses its appeal to us (Schwartz, 2004). Throughout all these points it rings true that having our basic physical needs met does not bring firstly happiness.
In conclusion I have stated that when a person has their basic relational needs met they will be happy. I argued that in order to have these basic needs met that you need to feel loved, to feel like you belong and to feel like your choices matter. As Mother Tersea said “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” The need for love is great in everyone’s lives.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I can see freedom, it is so close. Technically around 4 hours away from it. The only thing blocking my freeness. One last final exam Nursing Families. Oh joy, but i'm sitting here not focused at all typing away rambling my thoughts. I want to be free. Soon.

I know you're all awaiting my next deep stimulating thoughts, all i can say is Soon. When my brain starts to work again i'll eventually have some words until then...

Grace and Peace.