the molecular structure of happiness

“Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow but a vision.  But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every yesterday a vision of hope.  Look well, therefore, to this day.”  Indian Proverb

That was the quote I wanted to have next to my senior picture in my high school yearbook back in 1969.  They screwed it up and only put the first line in, they forgot the happiness part, which was the most important  part of it to me.  I have tried to live that quote since I first read it.  Although I have become more interested in the happiness available in this moment rather than yesterday’s  dream of happiness or tomorrows vision of hope.  Yeah, I hope tomorrow will be a good one, but more, my hope is to meet whatever comes with as much presence and compassion as I can.

As I wrote that quote and my aspirations as a young adult carried so far into my older adult life the inner voice I hear is.  “What an f-ing goodie, goodie. Show off.  Friggin’ Pollyanna.”  When actually it comes from a very selfish place.  I wanted happiness, I still want happiness.  I wanted to find true happiness.  I wanted to inhabit the molecular structure of happiness.  I saw early on that more, bigger, better didn’t really do it, and if it did,  it was not lasting.  I decided to travel deeper into the woods of simpler, less, more subtle.  Not less in the quantitative sense, but less in  the sense of beyond the quantitative. Happy with, happy without, happy regardless.

A caterpillar  could try to be a butterfly.  She could strap on wings.  Bigger wings, ever more beautiful wings, a closet full of wings.  Or she could enter that cocoon that ultimately dissolves her identity as a caterpillar.   She could surrender to a process that  rearranges ones’ molecular structure completely.

Caterpillars don’t have a choice about going through this process, we as human beings do.


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