This morning I showed the film ” The Pursuit of Happyness” to my class. I felt like they were in need of some motivation for the back end of their semester. I wanted to reiterate the importance of sticking through the stressors of life to attain their goals and to stay focused on the prize. I reminded them how doors will open and close for them, and how you don’t get anything you don’t ask for.
In the movie Will Smith continuously repeats ‘This chapter of my life is called _______” when referring to the different parts of his journey. The movie drives home the point that the pursuit of happiness is ongoing. Many times we are convinced we will eventually reach it…as if it is some finish line. “I’ll be happy when…I’ll be happy if…” and that’s just too absolute. You don’t find a happiness and it certainly isn’t residing in one thing.
You create it ,you encounter it, you embody it. You don’t find happiness standing still, and it certainly doesn’t come seek you out. Happiness doesn’t happen to you, it happens with you- when you’re residing in a place of peace within yourself. It doesn’t come in a shape or a size, in a dollar amount or a color. Sometimes what used to make you happy, doesn’t fit anymore. We try it on over and over to see what’s changed, but it isn’t always so apparent.
Happiness is ongoing and will change as you do- with the person you are, the places you’re at, the people that matter and with the chapters that make up your story. A chapter has many pages. Sometimes when we’re reading we want to skim because we are anxious to get to the “good part”, to pass by the boring stuff, or the parts we feel we’ve lost interest in. Isn’t this similar to life? Sometimes we may even become enthralled and refuse to turn a page- something is keeping us there whether or not we can explain it. We want it to make sense. Maybe the fear of what’s next is too great, maybe we wanted the page to turn out differently. In the greater context it will eventually make sense and this one small piece won’t matter, but until you’re ready to understand that-you won’t like that chapter very much.
Your story, your pursuit of happiness, your journey is very different than any other. It’s your own coming to and passing through, with chapters on growth and love and loss, of transformation, of the sweetest things and those that burned.
Either way don’t skip any pages, because regardless of the outcome- each one tells us something.