Happiness, and the quest for it, is not all it’s cracked up to be. What I mean is that I think we’re making a mistake in reaching only for happiness, lightness, good days, and good moods.
I think that we’re restricting ourselves.
We’re fishing in an ocean of emotions, looking to only reel in one or two kinds, throwing back the ones we don’t want without even noticing how shockingly beautiful they can be in their strange, confusing way, much like the fascinatingly mysterious fish of the deep sea.
There was a long time in my life when I wanted happiness, so I avoided pain. I wanted to call myself brave, so I didn’t admit I was afraid.
In my search for joy, I pushed away the other emotions I didn’t like, thinking I’d be left with only happiness.
Happiness is fleeting. It flits in and out of our days like a bird, singing a beautiful song that we want to revel in all our life, for one moment while the sky is blue, not to be found on the days with dark clouds on the horizon, heavy winds, and gray skies.
But fullness—that is deep in our soul. When we have that, it never leaves. Fullness encompasses everything. It’s what allows us to be fully human in all the raw, real ways.
We need the contrasts that fullness, not just happiness, provides us. How else can we know true joy if we have never known sorrow? How can we feel and trust the deepest kind of love if we have never felt heartbreak?
In art, this is called chiaroscuro. It’s the play of light and dark within a picture, the idea that you need dark shading on one side in order to notice where the light is supposed to hit on the other.
I believe that art reflects life. It’s your shading, your shadows, making up the complete, beautifully exquisite image of your soul and your life.
Peace and Love Jim