Where is my happiness?
there is an empty spot deep inside
This post has struck me deeply. I don't know if I can answer clearly, but I will try.
I must try, because I am writing this from that spot deep inside me.
I have entered this spot voluntarily because in my search for my happiness I have realized that it is not missing, and this spot is not empty.
It is filled with things, both wonders and horrors that have been walled off from the rest of me. They are here but they are, or were, disconnected.
Recovery for me has been all about reconnecting to everything in this spot. It is painful and difficult because what gets connected to first is all the negatives; Pain, anger, fear.
No, those words are not strong enough. I should say Agony, Rage, and Terror. All in this spot, all tangled up with things like joy and happiness and a sense of self worth; with love and passion and compassion and faith.
My happiness is here. I know this. But I also know that I do not recognize it.
I am beginning to wonder if it can be recognized. I am starting to think that it is something which is mostly experienced in contrast. By this I mean that it takes reflection, in the absence of its opposites to be appreciated.
I am feeling that as I have connected to the agony and rage and terror, they have weakened. But something else has occurred.
New pathways, new channels into this spot have been created. I find myself in tears almost every day, sometimes more than once. But they are not often tears of pain or grief. Usually, they are tears of relief or of joy or simply an overwhelming sense of the rightness of my own existence.
You ask, "Where is my happiness?"
I ask, "What is my happiness?". "What is happiness itself?" It took me a long time to realize that "Not being happy is not the same thing as being unhappy".
For decades, I have believed that my happiness would be this:
At home my baby looked up at me with his clear eyes, smiled and laughed as I made some silly face, and that chilly night, my wife rolled close and put her arm over me.
Now, this may never come to be for me, but it brings me great joy and happiness, and tears too, that another Survivor has these things and appreciates them.
Am I destined to spend my life as an actor, playing my part in this Greek play that always ends with the hero's death?
Yes, you are. We all are, but I don't believe that this is a tragedy. The end, our death is inevitable, that is a given.
But when it comes to life, I think the only tragedy is when we let events, or someone else, or their actions, become our Director.
It is you who must be the Director, and whenever possible, the writer also.
We have extra burdens to learn this. With luck, most people assume these roles by the time they are physically mature, others take longer - some never learn.
Our tragedies are behind us. Having survived them makes us better and stronger than the general population, and in a sad, almost perverse way gives us a better understanding of what matters and what truly has value.
The heart may freeze or it can burn
The pain will ease if I can learn
There is no future
There is no past
I live this moment as my last
There's only us
There's only this
Or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today
--From the musical "Rent", by Jonathon Larson
And all this to say, Your Happiness is Within You. It is in that spot that seems
empty. Go there and find it.
It may not be what you expect. And even if it remains invisible, you will feel it.
Only you can do this. Only you will recognize it.