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What I've Learned

One of the biggest lessons of my life is that my happiness is my responsibility.  I know at the outset that this seems rather elementary, but having been the victim of abuse, it seems at times like the abusers are the ones solely responsible for what I sometimes go through.   Still that is in the past, and assigning blame will not remove the pain or fear or insecurities.  
     Happiness I have concluded is not truly based on what happens to me.  It is not a feeling, or any stimuli which may produce a certain feeling.  Happiness is a choice, that is made and then clung to with an unmatched tenacity.  I see a happy life in a way very similar to a poker game.  A true poker player knows that any particular hand is only a fraction of the game.  It is the ratio of winning hands that is more likely to determine the winner but that can also not hold true.  Poker is less about the cards you are dealt than it is about how you play or fold those cards. 
      Poker like happiness is a contact sport.  What?  That's right!  Poker is a game of mind to mind, intention to intention, person to person contact! So is happiness.  Of course I can be happy when by myself, but I must share sometimes.  And that sharing can and indeed does amplify whether or not mine is a happy life.  
     What about your fears and insecurities you ask? A very good question!  Remember we said poker was less about the cards you are dealt and more about how you play them.  Same holds true with the happiness of my life.  Like the song said, "every gambler knows the secret to surviving, is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.  Every hands a winner, and every hands a loser."
      Happiness can be found in virtually every set of circumstances, I believe.  Why I sometimes can't find it, is a matter of perspective.  When searching for anything it is imperative that one have the perspective to be able to recognize that which is sought.   So often in the past I launched into a search for happiness without the slightest clue of how to identify it.  Can you imagine looking at a forest with the hope of finding a particular type of tree and not knowing anything at all about trees?  Even knowing something about trees you have to move into the forest to find the type of tree you seek.  So it is with life, if I hope to have a happy life it is imperative that I learn to identify true happiness, and then be a part of life while I search.  Having chosen to live a happy life, grateful for my opportunities and willing to look at every hand I am dealt with new eyes, knowing that happiness is probably nearby hunting me.
familiarjackal familiarjackal 56-60, M 2 Responses May 22, 2012

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WOW... it really is just as simple as that..

thanks! The more I live and look the more it rings true.

I find happiness is rarely far below the surface, if I know how to reach for it. The simplest of things, like the pleasure of deeply breathing in the fresh air and exhaling the warm, sipping a cup of hot tea, feeling sunlight tingling on skin, hearing the birds in symphony and cacophony in the pre-dawn carols... but underneath is a joy of awareness and simply being, peaceful, content. Even problems need not be sources of angst, but fun to meet the challenges and opportunities.

I love your post. Gives me the urge to learn poker!

Thanks! I enjoyed your description of happiness. Hope you enjoy poker!