The Muse

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Makes You Happy?

The Ice Tree over our back fence.
Look-it here, every branch is totally encased in ice.
Even  Kermit the Frog who rides on our car aerial, found himself in an ice bubble--still has a smile on his face though. From California to Oregon, the poor fellow must have had quite a shock.
What Makes Me Happy?
by Theda

What makes me happy?  


Why do most of us have such difficulty answering this question?  My guess is it's because our happiness changes as we change.  What brings joy seems to be very much dependent upon our perception at the moment.  That must be why we often see people thriving in conditions we might find deplorable - children playing ball among the rubble of a war zone and giggling joyously, a poverty-stricken family ecstatic over their first snowman, destitute lovers delighting in the simple gift of embrace.   


What is happiness really?  Pleasure, contentment, cheerfulness, ecstasy?  Surely my happiness today wouldn't hold the same ingredients or arise from the same circumstances as those that made me happy as a child, or when I was twenty, or even fifty.  Could the formula for happiness be as simple as dark chocolate?  For some of us that might just be the answer! 


So what is it honestly, right now this very moment, that makes me happy?  The amazing and brilliant gift of being alive in a body on this planet at this time and place.  However incredible it might seem, my present exuberant state of appreciation was born out of great suffering and loss.  


Losing my husband was like losing music - all harmony ceased - notes became noise, warping tones into a dizzying buzz around my head.  Suddenly everything beautiful safe and familiar, disappeared.  There was nothing left to grab ahold of.  My world had shattered into tiny pieces, color and sound sucked away, leaving a world of grays, devoid of meaning color or fragrance.  In one instance my entire reality melted into a confusing fog of despair so great I lost all will to go on living.  I truly felt as if I would never be happy again. 


Then the miracle . . . little by little, seemingly out of nowhere, the magic began to return, my sight restored.  The sunbeam glistening through the open window became a personal message from the divine, the breeze rustling through the tree became the whisper of my beloved, the bird perched on my windowsill signaled the perfection of my individual existence.  


One by one the signs materialized, each demonstrating and corroborating my own sacred connection.  The more I trusted, the more enchanting my world became.  Music returned.  The sky was never bluer, colors never brighter, melodies never sweeter than in this hallowed "now" moment.  I was a puppy romping on the beach, a child watching snow for the first time.  The world around me was transformed into a wise benevolent friend.  


True happiness reappeared as I recognized the hidden gift in every circumstance, the good in every experience.  Joy came with the awareness that everything is perfect as it is - all is exactly as it should be.  Just imagine, no matter what the universe chooses to place in our pathway, we have the opportunity to perceive it in any way we choose.  We can focus on the negative aspects or the positive.  We can turn each circumstance into a tragedy or a godsend.  It's all up to us.  


So what makes me happy?  Life!

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