The Last Key

Posted: September 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

    While writing yesterday, a few strong rays of sunshine shining through my storm door had kept my bare feet warm for a good while, even though gusts of crisp fall breezes intermittently did their best to interrupt my sock wearing rebellion. Billy Boy’s persistence of taking a nap on my lap as I wrote, while being covered with a quilt, finally got me to admit that only a few more remnants of this year’s summer will be around to enjoy.
    This year’s summer has begun it’s slippage into memories. For a while longer though I’ll vehemently cling to my denial that fall is fast approaching with my rebellion of admitting that it’s time to start wearing socks again. Soon Keith will commence with his hounding his gals, Ladybug, My Angel, Precious and myself, to put our socks on. Seems none of us gals like wearing them.
    Needless to say, this summer was a full one for me. It was filled with a vast array of emotions and experiences — feisty hope, supported trials, private and shared laughter, humbling tears, liberating losses, fragile truths revealed, and, a multitude of invaluable chocolate mousse moments.
    Looking back though, it has struck me that my summer, overall, has been about one specific life lesson — that of happiness — How to recognize it, be open enough to embrace it and how to maintain it.
    The happiness lesson often reminded me of how it’s felt while meandering through a corn field maze around Halloween time. This summer’s happiness maze though was riddled with numerous gates that needed to be unlocked within myself before I could move on to the next set of twists and turns.
   I’ve had to figure out how to find the keys within my heart and mind in order to unlock each new gate. The last of the happiness lessons was how to hang onto those keys, — so I can keep the gates unlocked, in order to perpetuate a free flowing state of happiness throughout the rest of my life.
    After I first found out that I had breast cancer, got done with all my phone calls to loved ones telling them the cancer news, I found myself alone, laying on my bed, surrounded in the deafening silence of one’s mortality. Upon spotting a prime warm nappy-pooh spot — mom laying on the bed — Billy Boy climbed up onto my chest, curled up and started to purr. He was happy.
    That’s when it first struck me, when all was said and done in my life, would I be able to say that I had lived a happy life? What was happiness to me? Would I be able to hang onto it while I waged war with the scariest thing to ever invade my life?
    Right away I knew my “claim a blessing a day” coping tool would indeed continue to serve me well … but, exactly what did my inner-self require for me to be able to say to myself that I am consciously a happy person that lived a happy life?
    Long ago I had learned to let go of the pitfalls of the consumer minded state of happiness that we have crammed down out throats on a daily basis — via ads on TV or in magazines. Granted fanciful objects, places or splashy events feel good, but they don’t bring about long-term happiness. This consumer minded path will always have some new “must have” in order to get that rush of happiness again.
    I believe that there is no one magical object, nor one zenith moment, that will ever be powerful enough to blast our minds, hearts and souls into a perpetual state of happiness. If we keep consuming — material things, people, food, physical and/or emotional highs — thinking they’ll bring us happiness, we’ll forever walk around in a state of hunger.
    So, over this summer, in the name of living in a state of happiness, I faced down some old deeply seated fears. I faced truths that gave cause for several personal relationships to forever change. I learned some more on how to balance keeping control of one’s cancer journey in a sea of medical professionals while still going with the flow.
    I’ve also embraced even more deeply the magic of living with a thankful heart. And, freely basking in personal triumph whenever I got to sprinkle silliness into any given chunk of my day, wherever that may have been at any given moment in time.
    The last gate to unlock in this twisting maze of happiness in my summer’s life lesson, was how to maintain a state of happiness within my consciousness throughout the rest of my life. The answer was articulated just a few days ago in one simple sentence in a book series I’d been reading during this summer.
    The books are about a lady detective that lives in Botswana, Africa, the mysteries that she solves, the people in her life and about what their daily lives are like. Their daily lives are lived with far less creature comforts than you or I would even begin to imagine living in. The lady detective is a wise old African woman.  She has an assistant detective/secretary that has a thing for fancy shoes. This assistant bought herself a pair of fancy shoes that had no comfort or practicality to them, even in our Americanized lives.
    The assistant hobbled around on the super pointy toed, way too tiny heeled shoes for two days. A week or so passed by, she hadn’t worn them again. The wise old detective lady asked the assistant about the shoes, the assistant replied, “They were very pretty. They brought me happiness when I saw them and bought them, but not when I wore them.”

    The wise old detective lady replied something to the effect of, “Many things can bring us happiness. Remembering and recalling the happiness is what makes for a happy life though.”
    There was the last key to unlock the last gate in my happiness maze. It’s not jut about embracing happiness when it occurs, or, about how many moments of happiness we have in our lives — it’s about being wise enough to remember the ones we have had. To recall them, relive them within our minds — again and again throughout our entire lives.

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