My sweetie asked me a question the other day. It was a seemingly simple question but one that I had difficulty answering.
Are you happy here in Arizona? he had asked. We have been flirting with the question of where the ideal place might be for us to live.
Huh, I responded. It was more of a grunt than a word. But it was a weighted grunt.
I don’t know, I finally said. I think that sometime in my early twenties I began to think that maybe I was just not the kind of person who could be truly happy.
It isn’t that I am unhappy. It is just that my body and mind seem to struggle with so much.
From the perspective of yoga, I would say that I have learned to tell many stories that keep me in a constant state of dukha: suffering. These stories may be ones I learned from a young age—the stories from my culture, friends, family. They are powerful once learned and not easy to unravel just enough to begin learning new ones.
A dear friend with whom I spent many hours moved to a far off land, and I have hardly heard from them. My heart feels heavy to think about it. Every now and then, I receive a beautiful reminder in my inbox or in the mail. In a recent message, my friend apologize for being out of touch and told me they were just so blissfully happy.
Blissfully happy, I mused. I wonder what that feels like? I have been in such a state of transition for so many years that I cannot say I have as yet entered into a blissful state.
I have experienced moments of bliss and contentment. They are generally connected with movement, nature, and music. These are precious moments, and it isn’t to say that the moments in between are pure suffering. Far from it.
I seem to have chemicals in my mind that stubbornly grasp onto the darker side of life’s emotions. I take anti-depressants to keep their activities and propensity to cause anxiety in balance, but I wish I did not have to.
When I talk about the things I struggle with and the questions I do not yet have answers to, my partner tells me things could perhaps be better, but they are good enough. And he is right. I think happiness lies in acceptance and what is. This does not mean giving up hope that they can be better. I think that life becomes better when we realize how good it already is.
I am surrounded and supported by so much love. I have found my voice and am singing out as much as I can. The sun shines almost every day in my corner of Arizona. And my heart is beating a steady rhythm in my chest.
The fortune I received from Chinese food takeout the other day (I treated myself after spending nearly three hours at the vet and narrowly escaping putting my dog down for a second time in a week’s time) was honest, gentle, and somehow comforting. Note: It was just as honest as the one I received years ago that read “you will be hungry soon; order takeout” but somehow struck a chord more close to my heart than the former one.
It can’t rain all the time. It could be better, but it’s good enough.