Willa Cather, one of my most favorite authors, having written painfully lovely books, such as O Pioneers, My Antonia, Death Comes to the Archbishop, in her memoir about her days in the Mediterranean, “Le Lavandou,” writes, “One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world’s end somewhere, and holds fast to the days, as to fortune or fame.”
After a summer of life-changing experiences, I came to the awareness that my happiness could no longer be postponed, dreaming of a day when . . . was not what this life is about. Barbara DeAngelis teaches, “Sometimes it does take courage to have a real moment, and to be open to whatever it reveals to you. But the alternative is avoidance, denial, and a life spent running from yourself” (Real Moments, 75). I could run no longer; I had to stop. Our divorce was final on Aug. 7, 2003. I wondered if I had displeased God, but I knew He loved me in spite of myself – and that He would not condemn me for my actions. As odd as this might sound, in this state of being I found happy. I was free – and in a good way – free to be true to myself and not held down by the angst of the world I had lived in. Chicken Soup author, Alan Cohen, suggests, “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure [even if it is miserable], to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful” (Real Moments, 97). This was my realization.
Fast forward to today. Over the years I have learned that my happiness was determined by my disposition, not my situation, and that God’s plan is a plan of happiness. He wants me to be happy. Happiness come from within and radiates out. Life isn't easy – I don’t know that it ever will be, but one thing I do know is that God hears and answers my pleadings, my prayers. My nightly mantra is this: "God is Love; Love is God." The universality of this phrase brings me happiness.
Although happiness is perhaps a perception – I do know that my happiness is not based on accumulating things, or on making sure I have a laugh a day, or a closet filled with J.Jill clothes, or a big house on the hill. It’s not based on how simply I can glide through life, avoiding obstacles. I am an explorer – always searching, always on the lookout – over the door leaving my home is the saying, “Go out for adventure, Come home for love.” I am home – with myself, finally. My happiness comes from being in love with living, in taking care of myself and giving to others. I am finding happiness in my day-to-day life – my happiness is in the journey, back-roads and freeways, dirt paths and rattling bridges; my circumstances have given me an opportunity to explore my outlook, and I choose happiness.
Anger Management on Friday -