Sunday, March 19, 2006

Happiness Comes

Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don't even remember leaving open.
Rose Lane, 1886-1968, American Author and Journalist

Everyone wants happiness. We seek it like hidden treasure. We hunt it as if we could bag it like wild game. We try to trap it by force and hold it hostage then spend its ransom like greedy children. We manipulate to achieve even a small measure. But true happiness never comes to us down any of those twisted avenues.
Desperation to find something can make the search so frantic that you end up missing it altogether. Happiness creeps up on us when we least expect it. And keeping it is much easier using gentle means than foul. What is forced and stolen, or trapped and bound never really belongs to the one so selfish in its ownership.
Real happiness grows inside of us and radiates outward, it is not so much a place as it is a state of mind. There are always more reasons to be happy than unhappy, but some hug the bad times so close to their faces that it blocks everything else from view. Their capacity to be happy is overwhelmed by their determination to let everyone know how badly they hurt and who is to blame. People looking for happiness should remember that it is impossible to embrace any joy while clinging to unresolved pain. There comes a time in every life when we have to take responsibility for what we do with our left over agony. If you were hanging from a cliff would you let go to catch a butterfly? Me either, but some people still insist on butterfly hunting while they are hanging, never realizing that even if they see one they cannot reach for it.
Pulling yourself up from the cliff is often brutal, but then so is just hanging there. I think it makes more sense to feel the agony that will free you from the need of aching
than clinging to the one that has no end. And freeing your hands will make butterfly hunting a doable endeavor.