Perceiving Happiness: Wandering the Dark Meadow

Many eyes go through the Meadow, but few see the Flower in it. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

In what oftentimes seems a fool-hearted journey to find balance between work and play, responsibility and fun, family and personal interests, and the dynamic to find harmony within, we often seem to be pulled by two equally opposing, yet completely dependent forces that buy for our daily attention. These forces, equal in weight, yet opposing by nature, seem to balance inner needs, desires, ambitions, and the dreams we strive towards with their sibling rivals, responsibility, schedules, and the need to tend to those pesky life tasks that may be menial, but nevertheless must get done.

Procrastination? Maybe. Giving in? Definitely not! Advancing forward, “One day at a Time,” if not “One step at a time?” definitely. The art of trudging? Yes, but only at its best. However, this is the act of cultivating happiness, bringing forth those moments of clarity, balance, and the drive we have to see the wonders still present in the vast meadow of being we call life.

What is it about the two sides of consciousness that so eludes us as we strive to develop inner balance, and open our lives to the peace, joy, and happiness we can find within.

In the journey to actualize Self, as it relates to the ego based self we to create to handle day to day affairs, we are pulled between the two sides of consciousness. Desire, ambition, and the lofty dreams of Self call us towards moments of reverie, to a place where we can see some distant apparition of ourselves in the future, which somehow, has up to this point escaped the reality we have created. Yet these reveries are there, and feasible if we take the modern science of quantum physics at face value. While not reality in the hear and the now, they exist, and through perseverance, will find fruition in our lives at some distant point in the future. There is no greater example of this than in those rare, but sometimes enlightening moment’s of deja vu we may experience from time to time. However, what lies within the phenomenon, as self strives to become whole with the Self concept we yearn to become.

The self, a concept akin to Freud’s idea of the ego, is commonly linked to the masks we adopt to handle social expectations, social positions, and the need we have to be identified and labeled to fit within the hierarchical system we take part. What Self am I to become, and how does this relate to my current reality? Well it is within this question that we will oftentimes find those hard to find flowers within the meadow, those “Ghosts in the Machine,” or even the hot glowing cinders left over the heap of ash we have created in life.

Self Realization is an elusive and dynamic state. Much like happiness, it is cultivated through vision, and then nurtured to reality. As in life, we are called to find ourselves, and no sooner do we begin to ask the questions, than we are faced with equally opposing, yet equally dynamic forces that play upon our psyche to promote individual growth.

Example: As I awaken to get ready for the day, no sooner did an inner sense of rhythm of passion ignite the dance within my soul to find health, balance, and wealth during the New Year, than a second, equally opposing voice arose, telling me every reason 5 AM is way to early to get to wake up, find health, move towards retrieving balance in life, and strive towards my new goals.

Who was this Devil’s Advocate? What route should I take?

In creating happiness, we need to strive towards cultivating the meadow of life to nurture those flowers, ghosts, and cinders that will one day become the moments of happiness we stand in reverie of as the winter of life draws near. In Spring, we are faced with a time for rejuvenation, new life, new goals, and new dreams. It is a time of rebirth, allowing us to even rekindle old dreams, old friends, and old ambitions that may have been put away, but not lost forever.

While there is no one answer about ways to find happiness, it is a cultivation process. As you strive to find balance, you will be met with equally opposing and conflicting themes. These are the dynamics that drive your psychological growth. As you strive towards your goals for the New Year, you will be sidetracked. But this circumstance of life is how your journey moves forward. Life is not a straight line, it is dynamic, weaves upon itself, and grows through its inconsistencies. and remember, as long as one foot goes in front of the other, you are “Advancing Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams.”

Dr. Thomas Maples

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