I strive to be happy. Honest, I do. But sometimes I have to ask myself completely and without guile, Is it happiness itself I seek? Or is it the process of striving that captivates me – the push/pull between satisfaction and all that fails to match expectations of what humans and life, itself are capable? 

I know that expectations are like premeditated resentments. The devil is, however (as is so often the case), in the particulars: the nuances and fine tuning of my own inner frequencies. It’s a bit like orchestrating a symphony – getting all the discordant elements in harmony at all times is a tall order. Often I succeed, and other times I fail abysmally in pulling up even with my own standards. Is it simply that I observe all I see, both outside and in, with eyes wide open? And if, as so many believe, consciousness equates to bliss, I’m not so sure. Rather, I think being awake in that sense means accepting life on its own terms – meeting what is, which is forever shifting and changing and never static. Then somehow being at peace with it all.

Some are blessed to exist or coexist in virtual isolation, while others of us who admire the wisdom gleaned from those kinds of cloistered conditions are likewise graced with passionate encounters and the joys of creating everything from a wardrobe to offspring. The tradeoff for isolation is precisely that, but it’s no surprise – existence itself is rife with contradiction. For the rest of us, society’s constant tug and pull of distractions and drama create emotional highs and lows, as we struggle like oboes and strings to attune to one another’s harmonic as well as discordant qualities in the midst of creation’s chaos.


7 thoughts on “Ramble

  1. I like your quote, “expectations are like premeditated resentments.” After holidays fraught with expectations that contribute to “distractions and drama” I find this blog entry reminding me of Neil Young’s song, On the Beach, where he says, “I need a crowd of people… But I can’t face them day to day.” I try to regain my equilibrium after being immersed in the seasonal chaos. I do try to keep my expectations of self and others in check and strive for balance. I agree that happiness is definitely something to be sought but it’s more of a process and not an endpoint. I find myself happiest when I’m immersed in some creative process.

  2. Mary Lee, that quote is a famous AA saying, which I’ve written about before – isn’t it great?! Though day to day I don’t believe I’m setting myself up with expectations, I do find I harbor them in a general sense. Perhaps we all do, to whatever extent. And I agree, happiness is a process, an attitude, a choice to “keep on the sunny side of life,” as Mother Maybelle Carter belted out, all those years ago. Perhaps a stanza: “There’s a dark and a troubled side of life/ there’s a bright and a sunny side, too/ though we meet with the darkness and strife/ the sunny side we also may view.” I think at any time, seeing the positive is possible. It’s just not always the groove I slip into instantaneously in all circumstances, but eventually, I do redeem whatever I harbor, and usually pretty quickly.
    Blessings to you ML, and to all in the coming year! Creativity, absolutely! 😉

  3. As usual you are succinctly stating that which phases into my attentive mind perpetually. I naively hope your conundrum is stimulated by the following . When you are certain you deserve to be happy , make it so . Struggling with an enforced ego conscience rather than trying to beat them down one at a time ( the walls ) I am now trying standing in the center with a 360 degree horizon of ego with zero impedance to block perspective. Your just great . Tks Jim

  4. Jimmy, at first take I want to say I think it’s a bit more complex than that. But you know, you hit on something that is worth contemplating on a deeper level still. I appreciate your bringing this to the surface of my awareness, once again. Like the proverbial onion, I experience self awareness very much like a peeling of layers, over and over again, until a small tender core is discovered. Then on to another onion in the bag! Blessings to you for your caring response. Happy New Year!

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