I was sick for several days last week and recovering has left me delighted with life. Colors are crisper and brighter, bird songs are sweeter, flavors more intense. I know the “real world” hasn’t changed since last weekend, only my perception, but exquisite perception!
The opportunity to change our view and absorb more joy from life around us is always present. What is it that prevents us from making that shift? Dennis would have immediately gone to his Buddhist thinking and said it was attachment, and he wouldn’t have been wrong. I don’t think it’s only that, however. Certainly we cling to the familiar, and to the desirable; but we also yearn for the new and potentially even more desirable. Lately, I’ve begun seeing the state of yearning as the thing to which we seem addicted. Once a goal, a dream, a thing, is obtained, it loses its luster, and becomes the known — and more important — the owned. We then turn our eyes to the next thing, in an endless quest for more. It’s not, for most of us, the acquisition, but getting that is juicy and addictive.
So what do we do? Get sick periodically to refresh our delight in the now and the accessible? Maybe. Maybe we try to recognize how fleeting the moments of contented bliss are, and turn our striving towards that state of being, of nonstriving. Turn our yearning to happiness and joy. They are always there, just ahead, just out of reach, just a stretch of a hand away.
Look! I’ve got it…. ahhhh.