I don’t believe the only reason we’re here on earth is so that our souls can learn a new lesson. I believe in inner growth. I just don’t believe that’s all there is to it.
If that were so, then I have to wonder why the body and mind want so much to feel good; to be happy. We don’t require happiness to learn. To say we are here, as spiritual beings trapped inside human bodies, solely to learn and advance is like ignoring the use of color when viewing a painting. If it were as simple as that, why do we have taste buds? Heaven knows, we surely don’t need taste buds. And sex, for that matter, doesn’t need to be pleasurable, so let’s just get rid of all those nerve endings that can send the body and mind into those wonderful surreal places. We can surely proliferate the species without enjoying the process.
I have learned so much, and made so many spiritual strides in my four and a half decades, one would think I’d be the spiritual equivalent to Hercules. Whether in developing my true faith, or learning how to truly love, I keep advancing and becoming the full, whole being I know I need to be. But what about the emotions and sensory receptors that have no other purpose but for pleasure. Like color, they aren’t necessary, so why are they present? Our world doesn’t need color to exist. Yet, when viewing a multi-hued sunset, the mind’s introspection softens, while the eyes absorb such beauty. For what gain other than happiness.
Maybe our souls are here to learn that we are deserving beings that are meant to feel joy. Whether through the food we eat, or the glorious feeling of intimacy shared with another, or the euphoria of uncontrollable laughter. Not to mention the divine fullness felt within when we selflessly help another. Either way, we are given a vast palette of sensory receptors, by which to discover our own happiness. Happiness is the close-seated cousin to Love. They are never truly far from the other. And when we deny ourselves this happiness, we deny ourselves love. Like dropping out of school, resignation from the pursuit of happiness, always results in a downward spiral. Our children, friends and family are just as disappointed with us when we drop out of life, as we are with them when they drop out of school. But no one feels more disappointment than we do within ourselves.
As I move forward, becoming a better person, a better friend and a better companion – I want to do so walking along the path of happiness. I’ve walked down the road of misery, and it was a lonely, lonely road. If misery and self deprivation were part of our intended purpose, then they wouldn’t feel so terrible. Instead nothing about those two things feels right, regardless of how hard we impose them upon ourselves – there’s a reason for that. Those feelings, both the good and the bad tell us a good deal of what we need to know. And I know this – I don’t want to deny myself the chance to feel good. Feeling good just plain feels good. Nothing on the human body is without purpose, and nothing within our heart is there to not be fulfilled. If something or someone captures your heart and fills your body with life – there’s a reason. And if your body craves a certain flavor – take a bite.