A True Happiness
By Lisa A. McCrohan
You have panted for rest –
to discover a place where
you can finally feel whole.
You have gone out looking
for happiness in places that
have left you empty, anxious
only to return
to the inner landscape
of your heart
and discover that
the source of your happiness
Now the wine doesn’t seem so appealing,
the long work days for the big house and
vacations seem nuts,
and turning away again and again
from the ones who matter most
You put down your cell phone,
turn off the mind-numbing violent crime show,
put away the box of cookies you were about to finish off,
and you sit.
Your stuff is still here
but the regret, grief, and fear
that seemed so scary to face –
like they would surely overtake you –
now are waves
and you feel them
as tears of truth
finally being breathed
as they wet your cheeks.
You find that the waves settle,
and you are still here.
You feel your pulse, your breath.
That’s when you sense it – a deep peace within you.
Here all along, it has waited for you, been within you,
calling you rest.
Beyond names or words, you know it as You.
This is where you know that you are good,
you belong, you are enough,
and anything else is pure myth –
something you learned a long time ago
from others who were hurting, too.
Spaciousness now swims across your chest.
You soften. You rest.
The deep peace that dwells within
welcomes you Home.
Lisa A. McCrohan, © 2013
You can spend years, even decades, anxiously trying to feel ok, to get affirmation that you belong and you are enough – smart enough, pretty enough, liked enough, strong enough…a good enough son, daughter, wife, husband, parent, professional…you name it.
Happiness is tied to a sense of belonging and peace. A true sense of belonging that runs deeper than the ever changing moods and circumstances of people. A peace that runs deeper than the momentary experiences of achieving success, having your house and life in perfect order, or doing something “good.”
We all go searching for this belonging and peace, this affirmation that we are ok just as we are. When’s the last time you whispered to yourself, “You are good just as you are” instead of the harsh words you mutter as you look in the mirror or bang your fists on the steering wheel?
All along your heart calls to you, calls you back home, to discover and embody a happiness that remains even in the rough waves of sadness, grief, failure, and disappointment.
Yes, it’s possible. You know that space when you put your hand on your heart, feel your feet on the earth, and listen to your heart calling you, welcoming you home.
Far from “fluffy” or “touchy feely,” turning toward what you deeply love, as Rumi says, saves you. It is the bravest thing you’ll ever do – again and again – in the face of shame, fear, and grief.
Do you know what the greatest regret of the dying is? Tara Brach tells the story of talking with a hospice worker who shared that the greatest regret of men and women dying is that they did not live a life according to their own heart.
Visit your heart often. Discover what delights your heart. I mean REALLY delights it – in the mess, in the mounds of laundry to be folded, the worries you hold about your children, the work still left to be done late at night when you are tired. There are gems of delight right here. Glistening. Shining. Waiting for you to turn your attention to the quiet delight right here for you to savor.
How do you discover the gems of delight right in your everyday life?
As the poet David Whyte says, start close in. Abandon the lofty plans and complex “solutions.” Start close in.
Start with pausing,
feeling your feet on the earth,
feeling your hands fold open,
and feeling your breath breathing you.
Start with asking,
“What delights my heart?”
Stay and listen.
You’ll want to turn toward the woes and worry.
You’ll want to disregard the good, the holy, and the delight-filled.
That’s just old patterns of thinking creeping up.
Go back to opening your heart and listening to what it says to you.
Start with just noticing and savoring.
The right action to take will arise on its own.
A truth begins to guide your decisions.
A truth that honors the deep delights of your heart.
And this will open you to living with a profound sense of freedom.
Lisa A. McCrohan
PS I’ve been taking pictures of watercolor paintings that my three year old daughter and I do together and then using them as canvasses for writing my poetry on them! What do you think?! This is the second one.
** Friends, I’m glad you are a part of this community. Click “follow” to receive notices of new blog posts! I hope today you are inspired to live with more delight, compassion, and connection in your everyday life. Visit the Barefoot Barn for more information or contact me about mindful coaching, psychotherapy, workshops and retreats