With a title about happiness, it is probably a bit of a leap to know that question came up while I was studying death. Death has become my most beautiful of teachers. Hard to believe – I used to cry uncontrollably at the end of movies when people had to say good bye to each other and there couldn’t be a way for them to stay together. Now, I settle in to the peace of death, and allow what I feel to simply be.
As I listened to satsang in the car today, my teacher was asking a woman who was struggling with her pain over her father’s upcoming death “How long will you resist your experience of suffering?” While I do not feel suffering right now, I asked myself what my struggle is with – because there is a struggle every day. My struggle is with being happy. I am resisting the experience of happiness.
I am not talking about what has been true in my past, which was the disappointment and disillusionment of others trying to make me happy. That does not surface anymore. I am talking about the fact that I am happy. Plainly. Simply. And I feel like that is not quite right, or shouldn’t be.
I am not happy the way society tells me to be. I am not happy because of my job, although I am grateful for the fulfillment that provides me. I am not happy because of a man, although there are many men who love me and contribute to my happiness. I do not have that soul mate-Thelma-and-Louise type of girlfriend, although I have girlfriends who love me and provide me with unwavering support. In fact, I do not have a soul mate relationship anymore, although I have many spiritual partners. I do not live for my daughter, although she is a constant source of joy.
What I do have is access to my love, and my truth as love. I believed I had to have a person or a role that sparked that feeling and awareness of love to be able to be in that place. Even as recently as two weeks ago, I believed it was attached to another. Today, as my teacher was talking to a dying man, he reminded us both that the spark of intensity of love may ebb and flow, but that does not mean that it is not there, fully accessible and ready to be experienced deeply.
I am happy. Undeniably, unexplicably happy. I am able to let go of this identity called Mommy or Gail or any other identify you want to put out there, and fall into the arms of that deeper thing that underlies everything. And isn’t this what my soul’s desire has been all along?