For the first time – in a very public forum – I speak of a very private time. I want to thank you in advance for your tenderness, kindness of heart, and understanding as I share with you the start of my Happiness Journey.
In May of 2006, I found out that one of my closest friends began to see a man outside of her marriage. As someone who stands for truth, purity, honesty, and unconditional love, I saw the hurt of others before I saw the hurt within her that caused the actions. Another friend casually told me that she was unhappy in her own marriage. Actually, she didn’t tell me. She told another man as we sipped cocktails in the city. Again, I saw the hurt of others before I saw her hurt. Around this same time, I saw the hurt of yet another beautiful and strong young woman as she battled the inner turmoil of living in an abusive home, of which she had yet to find full escape. I saw her pain. I felt it in my very core. For a short while, I disconnected from God. All I could see was the sadness we inflict upon others when we are not happy, healthy, and whole.
In the days, weeks, and months that lie ahead, I began to see myself as someone who could easily inflict hurt too. For we are all unmistakably human. No matter the choices we make – even the most awe-inspiring of them all – we are no less human.
Crouched in the dirt, my knees cold, and my heart heavy, on one particular night, all I could see was the pain of our humanness. It was then that I boldly asked that I leave this world. The burden was too much to bear. To watch others hurt and be hurt… truly, what was the point of it all? When I asked God – the Universe – to leave, I can say in all honesty that I was at my personal moment of least faith. Yet, when I asked to leave, I still had one tiny shred of hope. I ended my brokenhearted request, sobbing, If I’m supposed to be here, tell me the reason. Otherwise, I’m done. I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. The reply to my words was soft and warm, as I felt light caress my crown, shoulders, the tops of my thighs, You are here to make other people happy. Something clicked. Thus, my path began.
It took me five more long years to realize that in order to make other people happy, we need to project kindness upon ourselves. We need to work at it every single day. Because until our wells are full with the inner joy of just being, we absolutely cannot share that joy with others. So today, I remind you to fill up the well. Nurture yourself first. Simply.
I wish you to know the happiness that I have found in the eight years since the day that this journey began. I wish you to know what I have found in food, breath, movement, and sound. In the most simple of these things, I have experienced the most profound joys. Warmth in a cup of ginger tea, and sweetness in the raw honey gifted by tiny creatures who perform miraculous feats without effort. Peace watching the fever of my sleeping child break, his body wrapped within my arms; his breath my own. Awe as my own feet replanted in the ground after months of physical disconnect. Bliss at the first cries of a completely healthy baby.
Shanti, shanti, shanti. Peace, peace, peace. Peace in your heart. Peace in your home. And peace for our world. May you be The Happiest Human in your own life – shining that light out to all those on your path. I hope that I see you along our joyous journey’s.