Friday, March 20, 2015

Sometimes A Greater Notion

Sometimes A Greater Notion

Too often people confuse contentment with happiness.

The thing is that contentment seems to be more like a static form of satisfaction than anything else. "I'm happy with my life. I have everything I could ask for ... blah, blah, blah ..."

There's no edge to contentment, no sense of risk involved. Things are certain. People can be relied on. This happens this way, and that happens that way. World without end. Amen

Don't get me wrong. I am not down on contentment. It's a good gig for most people. In a world that is somewhat chaotic at best, finding contentment gives people a firm ground on which to stand. Expectations are met, and life proceeds in an orderly fashion.

It's just not happiness.

Contentment seems to be like a steady, reliable hum of experience, but happiness is hearing the music of life so totally unexpected that it catches you off-guard.

Happiness has a "wow" factor, sort of a "Wow, this is unbelievable."

That first kiss, the one that sets off the magic of wondering "What the heck is going on?" and spinning you out of control, that is a moment of happiness. Holding your newborn baby for the first time, while simultaneously grinning ear to ear and bawling your eyes out, that is a moment of happiness. Crossing the finish line of some incredible task that you have undertaken and pumping your fist in the air, that too is a moment of happiness.

For good or bad, however, happiness comes only in moments. It is there, and then it is not there. Yes, the memory remains, and you can hold on to that memory, but the experience has passed. The best one can do is wait for the next moment of that undefinable joy that only happiness can bring.

In the meantime, stay content, but never shut yourself off in that contentment by saying, "This is enough."

It's never enough.



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