Embracing Uncertainty - Day 4
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
As we are approaching Memorial Day followed by Independence Day here, Victoria Day for our northern siblings, and Cinco de Mayo to the south, I have been thinking about independence and the premises of the US Constitution which includes the protection of 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness'.
Life - not the quality or quantity of that existence
Liberty - within ones means, capacities and capabilities
Pursuit of Happiness - not the guarantee of happiness
While Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness may mean different things to different people I think most individuals have an idea of what an optimal or satisfactory life would be for themselves. That might be lofty and vague: a sense of general contentment and serenity, or it might be more granular and gritty and include specific details like net worth, BMI, Olympic Gold medals, writing a best-seller, creating a masterpiece, or finishing a marathon.
It is easy to lose sight of the abundance and luxury we enjoy in our 'developed' country. Even the 'poorest' is rich in comparison to much of the world. Why do we choose to focus on what we lack, woe is me? Why is it so hard to feel genuine gratitude for what we have? Many of us have too much, and we know it. Sometimes that excess causes us grief and unhappiness in and of itself (excess #s anyone?).
How do we 'pursue' happiness when it is a state of mind rather than something connected to anything tangible? If one is chasing 'something' in order to be happy then one might want to think again. Most of those 'destinations' are fleeting and uncertain at best. Once achieved, there is invariably a new challenge: a new peak to climb, weight maintenance to manage, or a competitor to face; hardly anyone gets to rest on their laurels.
Without those road signs and milestones how will one know then if they are happy? As a 'state of mind' I think it is more like the concepts of meditation: gently bring your mind back to feelings of contentment, serenity, all is right with the world, everything is just as it should be in this moment'. Ahhhh. Happy.
Then the evening news will knock you off kilter and awareness of other bad things will intrude, which is why 'pursuit' is such a key word in the phrase. We need to be able to respond to the negative and do what we can to make things better in the world, but those actions and efforts are the essence of 'pursuing' happiness. If you feel 'stuck' in a life-long plateau here at SP think how your efforts are part of your Pursuit! Happiness is in the journey. Results not guaranteed. It's all part of the Uncertainty.
Join me in the Pursuit, SparkPeeps, wherever you hail from!
Peace and Care