Do you ever come out with something in conversation with others that surprises you in its wisdom? It’s not necessarily thought through, or even thought of before, but sometimes it can stop you in your tracks – I did this the other day and it got me thinking.
We were talking about happiness. I said that happiness was something that is elusive because it comes and goes – the more we pursue it, the more it eludes us. I was recounting that it wasn’t until I had reached a point in life where I was contented that I was able to stop pursuing my dreams of happiness. Only then did I realise that joy and happiness is something that needs to be experienced in the here and now and then set free so that it can come back again – a bit like the tides of the sea I suppose.
The mistake that a lot of folks make (including myself) is to try and capture that moment and hang on to it like grim death so that it doesn’t escape – or constantly relive it over and over again. I’m not saying that having loving memories is a wrong thing, but if there is fear attached through trying to revive the experience then I feel that we are missing out on the spontaneous expression of the wonder of life.
It’s a bit like chasing a butterfly – you can net it, capture it and put it in a jar or clutch at it and crush it – it generally won’t survive such treatment. However, if a butterfly does decide to alight on you, which has often happened to me whilst sitting quietly in gardens…admire it in it’s wonderous beauty and leave it free to fly away. Generally speaking butterflies don’t live very long – just long enough to reproduce another generation.
So, maybe we’d all be a lot better off if we can rather aim for contentment which is a steadier more comfortable feeling and let happiness come and go as it will, rather than imprison it through fear and anxiety.