Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy-ness Reloaded

In the pursuit of happiness a
funny thing can happen. We may 
discover that the object of our 
attention was not the thing that 
brought us the most happiness. But 
rather it was the pursuit itself. 
Or perhaps not at all. Neither 
objects nor chase fill that happiness 
void. It is the stillness of 
no chase at all, that brings 
immeasurable glee. Whichever the case we 
determine what our happiness means today.

~Happy Six Word Friday! Since it is the last Friday in June this is also the last day for the HAPPY prompt.~

I often think of happiness. Of what it is and what it is not. 

And I've read of detaching oneself from trivial pursuits and the constant attainment of things. But honestly I know I shall "pursue" til I retire to a beach house in Okinawa. 

The "pursuit" is firmly intertwined within my DNA. The history of my family and the history of our people will always propel me forward.

And more than likely I shall always want nice things. 

As a little girl I recall looking at my grandfather and his wife as my ideal. The real life version of The Cosby Show. African American. Educated. Successful. That is what I would be when I grew up.

Not poor. Not mediocre. I would be a testament to my family name. I would leave a legacy for my children.

But I realize that because of this, my biggest challenge remains in detaching anxiety and pressure from my pursuits.  And in appropriating honest valuations to the things I wish to attain. 

Learning to accurately determine whether this "thing" is truly what I want or a stand in for elusive childhood wishes.

When you grow up largely without, it is easy to confuse "things" with happiness. A good job with success. Status with fulfillment.

The obvious source of my anxiety lies in my need to get it "right". To fit in with my idea of The Cosby Show. And the logical part of my brain knows that no two educated, successful African American families are exactly alike. Yet the socio-emotional side just wants to ensure that I will one day fit into that Cosby category of affluence.

But my baby step to today's happiness is taking that anxiety/pressure/fear as a cue to meditate. To take a moment to detach and breath.

To release myself of my expectations.  To bask in today's unfettered happiness. That is my step today.