Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy how?......exactly?

I was talking to a co-worker today. We have talked about this before. What is "happiness"? "You mean, like define it?" one of us predictably asks the other, and then the conversation unfolds, often into exceptionally different places every time. Each time feeling a little bit more clear, a tinge more crisp, the way you can see refreshingly well after putting in a new pair of contacts, or perfectly prescript set of glasses. The grain in the cement seems apparent. The veins in the leaves contrast the color and shape of things. So does the sight of understanding happiness in one's own mind and heart.

I was driving in the cold, muggy weird weather of autumn ending and the half-way place before Thanksgiving arrives. The stores are putting up lights, but not lighting them. Christmas trees are embarrassed to be in the windows because the leaves are still beaming yellow due to the mild temperatures ( due to the melting glaciers). I look around and feel mildly melancholic. There is an air of holiday cheer peaking its turtle head and then being sucked back in by the immediate realization of the future scurrying and stress of people, planning, presents, food, the expectation of gratitude and general euphoria. So, the question buoyantly pops back up.

Almost as if on cue, Sheryl Crows: "Soak up the Sun" streams into the car radio as I am using my index finger to flip through channels. I hear the lines: "Its not getting what you want/It's wanting what you've got.". At first, I'm annoyed with my commercialism and emotional neediness to find meaning in a pop song. But it is a profound lyric. Obviously, the type of lyric that I have probably sang, and let go unnoticed for years. I firmly believe moments, songs, books choose you. Not because there is some cosmic force, but because we are open to receiving them.

This idea works on many levels. The same way you notice a word for the first time and you use it, test it, realize no one calls your bluff on knowing its definition and then all of a sudden that word is everywhere. Every one is using it. Mine for this quarter is "fruition". I hear it every where, commercials, work meetings. How did I possibly not notice it before? Then I think, are people collaboratively sitting in a room waiting to launch words back into the general population like a verbal phonic-version of email "FW"'s?

I think maybe, happiness is a work-in-progress evolution. A project that will constantly shift and reshape as our lives do. The fruition of it is not really a place, or a projection of successes as we define them. It cant possibly be finding the right love. That love will change. It cant be growing a huge family of children. If done correctly, they(well-adjusted children) will want to be independent of you. It has to be a true and accepting state of being in one's self. I think happiness isn't a grand or exact moment. I think it is a fluttering fluid emotional state that is EXACTLY that. A state of emotion, open to change at any given moment. The signs of it's fruition is a gradient of self-love, acceptance and transparent barrier to the external factors that can deplete it. Instead of being some idea we chase, or some concept we seek. What if it is with us, all the time hiding under all the tarps of self-loathing, judgement and negativity we throw at ourselves. After all, the bad stuff is easier to believe. Which is unbelievable....really.

Today I think happiness is building a centered, honest place inside yourself that accepts who you are and holds it with sheer commitment to evolving with you, learning to deal with what you have and make it work FOR you. It is changing moment to moment, with you, it is you. If you are willing to receive it.

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