SP Premium
100,000-149,999 SparkPoints 117,940

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

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great post! Yes! "Pursuit" of happiness is key. We can create and pursue it, but we should not just expect it to land in our lap.

    Don't even get me started about excess and stuff. People are so freaked out when you entertain and make it clear your presence is the only gift we want. They feel they must give you something that will end up in the landfill and some people are so upset and offended when you want to stop gift exchanges at holidays between adults.Our culture has it so ingrained in us that we must either give some item that is rarely ecofriendly or we must make some sugary calorie bomb to show people we care even when they make it clear the gift is company and we don't want material things.

    I do agree with you about the news too. It is so horrifying and upsetting. We need to take breaks from it, but hear it enough to take action. Part of happiness is doing things to help others and while we cannot abolish all misery we can do our part to improve things.

    149 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/26/2019 9:47:18 AM
    I love you for this! Taking our immense privilege for granted bugs the heck out of me. Love your expression of living the journey. Thank you, and joyful pursuit be yours. :)
    152 days ago
    emoticon I'm thankful to be able to pursue happiness.
    152 days ago
    It's funny you should mention the 'pursuit' of happiness... I had an interesting experience today. I walked a Labyrinth... it's a rather rustic site, and Spring clean-up hasn't been done yet... weeds had begun to obscure the markings. For some reason, I decided that I was being called to weed as I walked... so journeying into the centre of the Labyrinth was slow, laborious, my 'meditation' interrupted, and maybe a bit distracted as I anticipated how lovely it would be to reveal the crisp outlines and walk back out unimpeded. Instead the Labyrinth had an interesting lesson to reveal to me. What I discovered was that I enjoyed my journey into the centre much more than my journey out, even though the journey in was more laborious. The journey out seemed less satisfying, and even somewhat hollow. It was surprising to me how much 'happier' I felt and more fulfilling the journey when I had a sense of purpose, meaningful work to do, and was even a bit 'stressed' (I got rather hot, and my back hurt some while weeding... not to mention a couple of times I regretted ever starting)... and the weeds became very much about what weeds I needed to pull from my heart... weeds which are impeding my progress on a variety of emotional/spiritual fronts. Today I learned, for myself at least, that happiness truly is found within the pursuit of... whatever it is I'm pursuing... not so much in the getting there. So within my means and capabilities, as long as I'm striving for a worthy goal, I can expect to be happy!
    153 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/30/2019 11:53:42 PM
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.