“Happiness for a reason is just another form of misery because the reason can be taken away from us at any time”
~ Deepak Chopra
When our happiness, our sense of joy & peace are dependent on certain events happening, or not happening, on the behaviors and feelings of others (especially those closest to us), on getting the "perfect" job, outfit, car house etc…when our happiness is only considered as a result of that "thing" we believe we need, or desperately want...we are doomed to a life of frustration. We are bound to the myths of what is fair and what is unfair. We are vastly missing the point.
Happiness may be the occasional result of an exciting experience, an intimate exchange, a great day spent with loved ones, or moments with our favorite furry family members. Happiness may be experienced briefly through the human experiences of great music, sex, food, or a bottle of your favorite wine. But these experiences of happiness are fleeting at best, and when we are left bereft when they retreat we may know that the happiness we were feeling was at best momentary, and at worst a mere illusion.
But true, deep, profound happiness is a choice we make. It is a sacred commitment…to ourselves. It is a path we choose…over and over and over again. Happiness in the face of stress, of doubt and fear bears a strength of beauty difficult to describe. Its powers are magical and hard earned. Happiness for happiness sake holds the power to turn our lives upside down and brilliantly inside out. Choosing happiness, no matter what, sets us free, because even in the darkest of hours we know our path will move us beyond…eventually. Because choosing a path of happiness is never, ever, about feeling happy all the time. It’s about owning our priorities. It’s about becoming re-aligned as quickly as possible when life decides to toss us around a bit, or a ton. It’s about gratitude, and awe, and perspective.
Paradoxically, when our happiness is no longer dependent on the feelings or behaviors of those around us, on having, or not having, that “perfect thing”, on that experience, we are the most likely to spread that magical elation to others because energy is contagious. When others realize we are simply no longer willing to engage in their moments of perceived misery, not because we don’t care, but because we do care, we free them to feel what they need to feel and then move beyond…or not. But either way it’s all good because we know our path. Their path is theirs to discover. Our happiness can act as a beacon of light to others, shining on a different perspective, shining on gratitude, shining on the always present element of humor.
Recently I was at dinner with my sister, my niece, and her three children under the age of 5 (ages 4, 2 & 6 weeks). It had been a really long day in the sun, swimming for hours on end for their little bodies. They were exhausted, they were over stimulated, they had traveled for hours, and oh yeah, they were sick. About two minutes into dinner the 4 year old & the 2 year old simultaneously had two of most spectacular meltdowns I’ve seen in some time and they are typically two of the chillest kids ever. Meltdowns in public have the power to amp up the stress level for a five mile radius, and can turn seemingly bright adults into full blown idiots bent on placating said children at any cost (I took to full on bribery cuz mama ain’t no fool). At minute five the waitress came to the table to deliver the kid’s drinks in hopes of helping soothe this other worldly energy. She claimed she was a grandma & “really good with kids” & then she proceeded to place in front of each flailing toddler two of the biggest glasses I’ve ever seen containing (and I’m not exaggerating) a solid pint of milk/lemonade each. And in that precious moment of pure ridiculousness we three adults came certifiably un-done. Because regardless of what surrounds us, regardless of the energy swirling, regardless of how we think we should behave…we choose happiness. We choose joy. We choose laughter. Because choosing to join the misery serves no-one, and the misery always passes…
And because spilled milk? It’s just spilled milk…
May you choose happiness as your road to travel. May you surround yourself with others who walk in joy. May you never forget that a day is never complete without dancing. May you always notice the lunacy, silliness and absurdity that fills our daily lives with an open heart & may you shine just enough sunlight on it until it sparkles like glitter…
Peace & Love Always