April 11
Happiness is not a
state to arrive at,
but a manner
of traveling.

Margaret Lee Runbeck


Today's Meditation:

The happiest people I've ever known really haven't ever needed a reason to be happy--they just saw being happy as a much better way to go through life than not being happy.  I've learned a lot from them about not depending on situations or circumstances for my happiness; they've taught me that my happiness is my choice from moment to moment, and the analogy of traveling is a very apt one, indeed.

I've traveled a lot in my life, and one of the things that I know for sure is that the trip becomes unpleasant if we start thinking only about the destination rather than our current surroundings.  If we keep our minds only on where we're going to be rather than where we are, then we tend to miss much of the beauty that's all about us.  Then we could even say that we're not even travelers, for we're not even paying attention to our journey.

Likewise, if we wait for happiness to "arrive," or if we wait until we arrive at a state of happiness, what's that saying about right here and right now?  When we're not happy now, then we're saying that there's something about our current circumstances that's keeping us from being happy, even though we know instinctively that that isn't the case--happiness comes from within ourselves, and is not a result of outside conditions.  If we want to travel in happiness, so to speak, then we have to make up our minds to travel as happy people, and not travel as sour voyagers who can't wait until they get to their destinations.

It sounds much easier than it actually is, of course--most true things in life do.  But if we focus on the way that we travel through life, one of the most marvelous results is that the destination eventually ceases to matter--we'll be happy and content and satisfied no matter what we end up doing.  And while goals and dreams are great guides, it's the ability to give up a goal when we realize that another path leads to fulfillment that can lead us to much more extraordinary destinations.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people go through life feeling and acting down and dour?

How can we change the face we wear through life by changing our attitudes towards life?  How might we go through life happier?

Where and how do we learn that reaching destinations is a way to make ourselves happy?

For further thought:

Goals give direction to our lives.  We need to know who we are
and where we want to go.  But the trip itself, the steps we
travel, offer us daily satisfaction moment by moment--
fulfillment, if we'd but realize it.  Too often we keep our
sights on the goal's completion, rather than the process--the
day-to-day living that makes the completion possible.




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