Monday, January 19, 2009

Happily Ever After

So we all know fairy tales. We've all seen movies with happy endings. The "happily ever after" concept. Some of the movies we see are based on real events. In fact, all mythology and fiction has it's basis in fact at some point.

But, it makes me curious... this "happily ever after" concept. The idea is that once it's achieved, there's nothing more to achieve. You're done! Happiness reigns supreme from here on out. When, exactly, does that happen?

Look, it's simple. Our reasons for blogging, speaking, eating, singing, breathing, drinking, performing, instant messaging, writing to one another, calling one another, hugging, kissing, nuzzling, whatever... these are all within the bounds of the pursuit of happiness. Would anyone actually WANT to do any of these things if they were happy? Happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want. Well, if that's the case, why do we continue to pursue it?

Hello... I think the answer is obvious. Not one of us on this Earth is truly happy. We have moments of elation and we know that if we could just sustain that moment, everything would be grand. But then, what if we got bored with it. Well, I don't know how anyone could get bored with true elation, though. :)

Therein lies the interesting twist. We're not happy, and so we pursue it. We chase after those moments of elation because we've labeled that emotion, that feeling, as happiness. But it's not true happiness. The twist? We get bored with the fake happiness and therefore continue our pursuit... until the pursuit itself becomes the source of our happiness. Well, that's a theory at least. I think at some point, the pursuit gets tiring and it becomes more of a way to keep from being bored, in pain, etc. What do you do with true happiness once you find it? Once you've achieved the goal, what else is there, eh? It's sorta like... what does the Coyote do once he catches the Roadrunner? Will it honestly satisfy him or is it just another chapter in the life?

So, we're human beings. We're going to live for a while, that's all there is to it. So how do we deal with this metaphysical desire effectively until true happiness comes along? By making the pursuit itself the source of our happiness. "At least I always have something to do." "I'm not happy unless I have something to bitch about."

This is all coming from my reflection on recent events. My brother passed away last week. He had stage 4 esophageal cancer. He was only 55 years old. I saw him in December and he was pretty tired and in a lot of pain. I knew his days were very short and that would be the last time I saw him alive. I tried to impress this upon my family and that they should spend as much time as possible with him. I don't know if I said the right words or not. I hope so.

Anyway, ever since then people have been offering me their condolences. I've been getting the "you should go and be with the family" types of responses. The "if there's anything I can do" offers are coming in too.

I want to set the record straight here. My brother has finally found true happiness. How can I be sad about that? How can I possibly show even the slightest remorse? I cried when my father died. That was a human reaction to the shock of losing the man I was patterned after. I will be honest here and say that I have not cried for my brother once. This is not because I don't miss him. Maybe I'm a little jealous. He has no more earthly cares. I am, understandably, worried about my sister-in-law and their youngest. But for my brother, I feel no loss. Everything I loved (and some things I didn't love) about my brother are part of me as a result of my association with him. He still lives in me and in the lives of everyone else he touched.

I will not meet death with fear or regret. My life has been, and will continue to be, unique to others and humdrum to me. Perhaps what we call the pursuit of happiness is actually the avoidance of it. If we continue to better ourselves, strengthen ourselves physically, extend our lifespans, etc., aren't we simply creating more distance between us and the final curtain where all our worries disappear?

Yeah... I know this piece sounds like I'm advocating suicide as the answer to true happiness. No, that's not it either. Because until we learn to TRULY accept, suicide is just another step in the path of avoidance. You see, even me writing this blog entry is part of my avoidance of true happiness. If I were ready to accept it myself, I wouldn't feel the need to tell anyone about it . :-P

So, to that end, I would say this one last bit about this subject. The pursuit will take you many places. It may throw you in the arms of many different people at different times in your life. None of this is by chance, you willed it that way. It's your journey. It's your pursuit. If you're going to keep up the pursuit, at least enjoy it while you're at it. :) Eventually we ALL will find True Happiness, it's unavoidable. Until then, don't worry about whether you're happy or not. Because you're not... not yet anyway. :)


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