Living for the Mirage

The finish line on the bumpy road we have traveled since the flood is finally within view; it is no longer a mirage beckoning me before disappearing as soon as I get near. I can see where we are going and we are slowly making it there sometimes with a few steps back but always moving forward. This has been a difficult process and those difficulties culminated at the end into tensions and realizations from the last two months. They were held at bay before releasing last week because even as things are getting ironed out, my limits on patience were wearing thin.  But I am breaking free and see now that this was all one big opportunity.

Through it all, there were moments of joy, peace and happiness; moments when I could not look forward, and just had to be content with where I was because events were out of my control. I have thought about life, why things happen as they do and how it catches us by surprise and realized that there is not a finish line to happiness. The finish line is always a mirage if we cannot find happiness in the moment.

Eudaimonia (Greekευδαιμονία [eu̯dai̯monía]), is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, “human flourishing” has been proposed as a more accurate translation.[1] often translated as “practical or ethical wisdom”.[2] In Aristotle’s works, eudaimonia was (based on older Greek tradition) used as the term for the highest human good, and so it is the aim of practical philosophy, including ethics and political philosophy, to consider (and also experience) what it really is, and how it can be achieved.

“To consider what really is and how it can be achieved”…this concept has been studied for thousands of years by yogis and psychologists alike. We all seek happiness and freedom. I am finally starting to emerge and stand tall where I am rather than in a vision of where I want to be. No longer will I live for the mirage no matter how difficult the situation presents.

When we live for something always out of grasp it will only cause more suffering because if we seek it, then we assume we don’t have it. I have it, I have always had it and while I have experienced some of the more difficult times in life recently, I realize I have it more now than ever because of that event. I feel I am in a state of being where I am passionately breaking free of old ways, vehemently seeking to develop into a more alive human being, in a state of emergence and it is the beginning of freedom and happiness.

Yogis call this state samvega – a complex state involving a kind of disillusionment with mundane life, a wholehearted longing for a deeper investigation into the inner workings of the mind and the self. Samvega, as described by the contemporary Buddhist monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu, involves, “at least three clusters of feelings at once”: – – the oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that come with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it’s normally lived; a chastening sense of our own complacency and foolishness in having let ourselves live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle. Read more here.

Happiness is always within our possession, it resides below all of the mental chatter. Yet, our experience of it seems to be on a continuum and we glide along feeling great at times and then not so great at others. It is how we can handle those not so great times that really exemplifies our happiness. Can we disconnect from our struggles, our stale ways of thinking, and find “what really is”? Happiness is within, always waiting to be realized and sometimes the grasping at the mirage teaches us this truth.

 

13 thoughts on “Living for the Mirage

  1. Love the imagery you painted with your words. The hazy mirage in the distance, playing tricks on you, and now the clarity of horizon — moving towards your peace with purpose. Lovely. Peace and love you to and your family, Kerry.

  2. Such wonderful thoughts, and so beautifully expressed. This sentence really struck me: “The finish line is always a mirage if we cannot find happiness in the moment.” I’m glad to hear things are getting better. You have certainly had a rough year!

    • Thanks…funny thing, it’s only been just under 3 months and they have flown by! But yeah, it’s been rough and really great at the same time. Bizarre, right? Thank you for your words, means a lot

      • But such a crazy three months. For as fast as it has flown by, it also seems like forever ago I was reading about what had happened to your house. I guess a busy life makes for time flying, but with the feeling you’ve lived three times as much as you should have 🙂

  3. This is so true. I love that point – if you feel you are searching for it then you are telling yourself you don’t have it. Realising this is so powerful. I had a bit of a stressful situation this week (nothing like your flood mind you…NOTHING…but I will share the example anyway as it was stressful in my world). My charger on my laptop died right before my two at home work days when I have monkey at daycare. I was super stressed as I’m using my computer a lot at the moment doing proofs for the website and signing off on stuff for the business set up. It’s a crazy time. And as I was almost wigging out completely I just thought…out of your hands. Do what you can to fix it and see the extra free time as an enforced holiday. I instead focused on my running and did what I cou, d for work with the tablet and let it at that. I have had the happiest stress free week. It has been incredible. All because of soemthing that could have been that start of a super stressy week. Like you say…happiness is there within us. We just need to choose it. Nice post xx

    • Don’t you love that?! It’s kind of nice when we have no choice in the matter, right? Don’t compare stressors to a flood…your life is important and those are stressful situations! I kind of understand (I think) your new business and I think it is awesome and I’m sure very hectic. Glad some of this rang true for you….it felt very jumbled when I posted 😉

  4. Great post, Kerry. I love following you as you navigate the flood and really admire your determination to see trouble as a bridge to a new and better place. John

  5. I needed to read this today. I have been struggling to let go of some attachments, and finally feel I am making some progress. It is just what you say, a long winding road.

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