"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. “
This past week I learned that my landlord has reconsidered and is extending the lease on the house I’ve been renting…one more year ~ a reprieve! I feel happy but I doubt that in the moment that I got the news I was living life with “love, grace, and gratitude”. Although, be assured, that I am grateful that he and his wife have changed their minds. The pressure to move has been lifted and the need to pack up is gone. It frees my mind to ponder questions such as: what exactly is “living every minute with love, grace and gratitude”? Every minute - is that even possible? Sounds like a rather lofty goal - something one would put in a mission statement for a not-for- profit business.
“You are also caught with the fact that man is a creature who walks in two worlds and traces upon the wall of his cave the wonders and the nightmare experience of his spiritual pilgrimage”
~ Morris West
My blog forms the ‘walls of my cave’. It allows me a place to post the good, the lovely and thrilling as well as the bad, the ugly, painful and unpleasant that I see when working as a nurse and observe as just another human being on this road called life. My good hearted landlord would be happy about this Internet device as my having a blog undoubtedly prevents me writing out these stories on the walls of his rental or at least writing on sheets of paper and tacking them to the wall while I pondered what to do with the words.
Alright then, turning my attention back to that first quote - I am reminded of yet another quote (in fact one that I may have posted here before):
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”
~ Dalai Lama
I find that practicing compassion can be difficult, sometimes nearly impossible – no, make that sometimes it is impossible to be compassionate all the time, at least for me. Compassion makes more sense to me than aiming for happiness based on a life lived in “grace, love and gratitude”. Each is something to strive for but in combination, I wonder that it can be done. All creatures suffer and suffering for people creates human drama. "Drama" is a buzz word these days. Not all drama is manipulative. The old woman losing her cognition and repetitively asking if it is ‘time to eat’ is not trying to “bug” anyone. She suffering from a disease that is killing her brain and she is suffering a complete loss of the sense of time. The man down the hall who calls a young nurse a ‘stupid cow’ because he is in intractable pain from his colon cancer is suffering. So was the new nurse who was trying to help and was insulted. I wonder what Denis Waitley meant by “love” “grace” and “gratitude”. Mr. Waitley is a motivational speaker. He has motivated me to understand where his prospective is rooted. I wonder if he is a born-again Christian for instance…words like “grace” are suspect for me. Does that make me a cynic? In my opinion, however, Mr. Waitley did get the bit right about what happiness was not!
"The mind wants to live forever, or to learn a very good reason why not. The mind wants the world to return its love, or its awareness... The mind's sidekick, however, will settle for two eggs over easy. The dear, stupid body is easily satisfied as a spaniel. And, incredibly, the simple spaniel can lure the brawling mind to its dish. It is everlastingly funny that the proud, metaphysically ambitious mind will hush if you give it an egg."
Okay, I'm done for now, but oh, by the way…I’ll have mine scrambled please!