Monday, May 25, 2009

Living Truth: Happiness Is Love

Time and Space - Louise Atkinson

I am lost in time and space.

Do all people get displaced as they age? Is the confusion so often seen on the faces of the aged merely visible proof of their displacement? Does our reality flicker on and off like a failing light bulb? Or are we more like beautiful flowers gone to seed, scattered by the wind; still here and yet no longer with the full integrity of Self - the reality experienced at our peak maturity?

Yes, I think plants are better than any animal metaphor in expressing the weird state of being that is this human experience, and far closer to a Living Truth.

"Living Truth," now there's an interesting term. I intend it as juxtaposed to a failed or no-longer applicable truth; truth that may once have represented who we thought we were, but which did not stand the test of time. Living Truth is the core of us; that which remains after all else has fallen, been taken, or by the terrible fires of life, been burned away. Closely akin to the philosophical game of "Who are you?" Living Truth is not your name, your role as parent, wife, or engineer. Rather, it's who you are when all that is removed.

So I ask myself, "What is your Living Truth?" And I answer "I SEEK." Knowledge of self and the Cosmos, love and hate, life and death - I SEEK. And then I answer "I STRIVE." To be tolerant and compassionate with others and with myself, to accept my fellow humans as they are; without judgment - I STRIVE.

I'm tryin' REAL hard to be a good person, and it's not easy at all. No, not at all. It's especially difficult because I have so little love in my life right now. Oh, I don't mean there aren't people in other cities and states and countries who love me some, for there certainly are. I mean there's no person in my daily life whom I can touch and be touched by, who loves me in spite of living with me every day, with whom I can share my overflowing heartsong. I try not to dwell on the love-shaped hole that non-person holds within me, but I'm aware of it, an awareness much like the one of obstacles in the dark between the bed and the bathroom...sort of dim and groggy, but avoiding them has become second nature for fear of cracking a shin or falling down. And so I avoid the hole in my heart, too, for fear of falling irretrievably down, down. "I've fallen and can't get up!" Ha...wouldn't want you thinking I'd lost my sense of humor.

In my opinion, perhaps the most important Living Truth of the Human Race is that Love = Happiness. And so I leave you to ponder the layers of meaning resulting from an important piece of research being done (the Harvard Study of Adult Development) - a longitudinal study (72 years thus far) that asks the essential question, "Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? " Here is the video in which Dr. Vaillant discusses his findings (the Atlantic Monthly article from which this was taken can be read in full here):


jonio said...

Having someone significant in your life - like I have for almost 8 yrs. now but in separate houses still, I've learned that no matter how many loved ones are around, children, grandchildren, significant others, friends, there still can be a vast hole in your soul. As much as I know they love me - none really know me - none really have ever taken the time to look and know me. So another Living Truth for me is that I've learned to love and be content with myself - but there are times when I would give anything to share me with the ones I'm close to.

Els said...

Amen, sister, amen