I was walking home from the beach when I realized I was smiling for no reason. Nothing funny had happened, I wasn’t thinking about anything or anyone specifically. I stood still and realized that I was happy and then boom! It happened, the worst thing I could do. I got all nervous about preserving this wispy, mythic thing, which, if I dare to label it, might be called happiness.
I didn’t want to make any sudden movements and startle it away because I had stumbled upon it unwittingly, like a deer in a clearing. So I stood there, on the sidewalk, like an idiot, with what was now a pained smile on my face. It occurred to me later that, in fact, it had snuck up on me, not the other way around.
I have a few things happening in my life that I can categorize as stressful; relationships that are not unfolding in the way I had hoped, professional issues, obstacles, delays, dealing with others’ egos, dealing with my own ego, some financial constraints, having a very high insurance deductible, single momdom, that being as peaceful as I was at that moment comes as a surprise. Maybe, you know, I am not as miserable as I thought. Maybe misery or a dull ache, is such a natural state for most of us because that is what we assume is natural, that when peace of mind or happiness actually shows up, we are startled by it. The scary thing is that I think most of the time, many of us do not even recognize it when it does show up.
At any rate, I might have jarred it a bit, but it still appears to be hanging around, this happiness thing. I will do my best not to scare it away. I think the only way is to know and understand that peace is my natural state. It is yours as well. Own it.