web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Why Aren’t Americans Happy?

Friedman-030912

But let’s be more specific. There are times when are ashamed of our own behavior, we’re embarrassed by our own pettiness, by our own nastiness. That’s not the same as guilt. It’s not even the same as regret. It’s called shame.

Regret is primarily in the brain: “I’m wiser now and had I known then what I know now I would have done better. So I regret the decisions, the actions that I took when I took them.”

Shame is more of a gut feeling: “I’m embarrassed. I’m uncomfortable with myself because of my failings or my weaknesses.”

And then there’s guilt. Guilt means: “I have damaged myself in the eyes of others, I’ve made myself less acceptable or less desirable to someone.”

These are the three things that drain us and we need to find ways to remove them from our lives so that we can be happy again.

Humbly Joyful.

May I suggest the following solution to dealing with shame: Instead of being humiliated we can be humbled. Shame can mean: “I have been humbled“ or it can mean: “I have been embarrassed or humiliated.”

The healthy response is: everything that causes us shame simply reminds us that we are fallible, but that is the normal for human beings. So to be reminded that we are vulnerable is not a humiliation; it is humbling to remember that we are merely human, that we are capable of being hurt and doing some hurt, we are fallible not infallible. So if we switch the feeling of humiliation to that of humility, not only do we get rid of the negative and regain our joy, but in the process we are also humbly joyful.

God’s Vast Eternal Plan.

What is the cure for the unhappiness that comes from “I need it to be my way”, “Why can’t I get what I want?”, “Why am I not getting what I deserve?” This notion that I deserve and that things should be my way, is a misconception, it’s a wrong approach and attitude towards reality.

The commercials that tell you: “Are you 100% satisfied with your job? You deserve better!” “You deserve to have more” are sending a terrible message and one that makes us crazy.

The alternative is to reflect on how the world was at the beginning. In the beginning there was nothing and God created something, the world, out of that nothing. Which means, this is His entire plan, we are guests on His show, we have a role to play in His vast eternal plan.

So if I’m welcome, if I’m included and if I’m given a role, I have a lot to be grateful for. And if I’m upset when things don’t go the way I think they should – that’s understandable. However, it’s not my plan, so why should it go my way? So as long as I have a role to play and as long as I’m needed in Gods vast eternal plan, I have a lot to be thankful for.

Regret Who You Hurt.

Now, there’s the guilt – two kinds. There’s guilt where you feel regret or shame for what you did. “I can’t believe I did that.”

Then there’s the guilt for who you did it to. “I can’t believe I would hurt this person.”

The regret for what one does isn’t always healthy, it could be depressing, it could be confusing: “I regret that I did it and I did it again. I regret again,” cycling into misery.

But when you regret who you did it to then you are getting closer to that person, the relationship is getting healthier and that is more productive.

So feeling guilty about who we did it to will not drain our joy, it won’t ruin our happiness. On the contrary, it makes us a better person and gives us more reasons to be happy.

To meet Rabbi Friedman and to inquire about training visit Rabbimanisfriedman.org

About the Author: To meet Rabbi Friedman and to inquire about training visit Rabbimanisfriedman.org


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Why Aren’t Americans Happy?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
U.S. President Barack Obama at White House Press Briefing.
Obama Says ‘Give Iran Talks a Chance; Israel Safer Than Ever
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

Respler-022715

The husband needs to make some changes!

Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

More Articles from Rabbi Manis Friedman
Friedman-060812

If you ask someone coming out of church on a Sunday, “Do you believe in G-d?” the worshipper will be shocked.

“What type of question is that? Of course I do!”

Friedman-030912

The real question is “What is happiness?” We seem to be a very unhappy generation. Even when we say “This makes me happy”, “I am happy”, “I would be happy if you would do this”, “I will be happy to do that”, do we really mean happiness? Do we even know what happiness feels like?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/why-arent-americans-happy/2012/03/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: