The never-ending search for absolute happiness we have embarked on since the dawn of man, has taught us almost nothing and it bears no fruit that can satisfy our tastes; plain and simple, this means that we have not yet realized that our picture book idea of happiness is founded on assumptions and wishful thinking – how do we know it exists? Have we ever seen it? Have we ever felt it? – We, the people seem to be daydreaming and we are overlooking a lot of precious gems caked in mud along our path in our hurry to strike gold in a place we know nothing of. Don’t dismiss me as morbid yet, there is method to my madness; and perhaps, in the end, you’ll be glad you heard what I have to say.
If we’re not happy with our salaries, we quit our jobs in search of a better position and a meatier salary; if we are not happy with the fat rolls we think we have (but we really don’t), we go under the knife and we max out our credit cards just to make it happen; if we don’t feel spiritually fulfilled and we can’t find that much wanted happiness, we change religions as easy as we change ties or purses – a different one to match our outfit and our moods; if our husband/wife gives us more grief than happiness, we trade them in for a newer, richer, better-looking model; if we’re not happy because we’re not ‘cool’, we go out of our way to become someone we are not – seeking a different identity in a group where one person cannot be distinguished from the other; If we don’t have enough money and we can’t do anything we want to do, we are miserable; if we have all the money in the world and we have done everything we might possibly want to do, we’re miserable - the list goes on and the problem is the same one: we are not happy.
You know, it’s perfectly okay to aspire to something more – it’s called self-fulfillment – but we have a problem when we can’t see the greatness and the potential in what we have – we overlook subtlety; sometimes, the greatest happiness can lie in the subtle things that make up our everyday lives. Not being able to recognize blessings in the subtleties of life is our biggest stumbling block on our path, that’s where our idea of happiness becomes fool’s gold and we squander valuable time off our lives looking for other ideals that are uncertain. That’s when happiness becomes picture-bookish and unreasonable. That is what scares me most about searching for happiness – the realization that we might be closing the doors of opportunity to ourselves, that we are denying ourselves chances that we might never find anywhere else in any other moment than the one we just wasted. And that should be enough to make us open our eyes and ears and backtrack a little and start giving those mud covered rocks a second look – we might just find something far more precious than gold.
Going back to my little story, I put into practice what I was preaching – evaluating what I had and looking at it from every possible perspective - and I was perplexed to find that my introduction was nothing short of a work of art that I should be immensely proud of. The beauty of it was in its simplicity and length; or the lack thereof. I realized that I didn’t have to make my message bombastic and a metaphorical bucket of cold water to get my point across. I also learned to look at the many other sides of things (blacks, whites, grays and colors) this early in life; ignoring my surroundings can become a bad habit and cause me myriad headaches in the future.
Personally, I am glad life has such subtleties (and that I was able to find them) – I get a mellow, uplifting happiness to watch children play around me and feel that jubilant energy grab hold of me and make my face twitch its way into a smile; to watch the fingers in my hands wiggle and flex and how my mind processes the commands to move the fingers; to look through the window and see the sunlight irradiate the grass and the trees outside, making the verdant vibrancy come to life and color the world; to revel in the way the sunlight feels warm on my skin as it filters through the sheer curtains of my room; to marvel at the way the human eye filters light through all angles and degrees to allows me to see the beauty of colors; to marvel at how my mind and ears process all the sounds – from the loudest rock song to the most faint ticking of a watch inside a drawer of my night table – those subtleties of life overwhelm me down to my very core and fill me with an unexplainable childlike wonder that gives me goose bumps and makes me shed tears of complete and utmost happiness – come what may, there is no place I rather be and no other emotion I rather feel. I found a goldmine within myself and therein lies my greatest fortune, one that will never run out and that I am more than happy to share with everyone around me.