Meditation on Happiness

Recently I had to drive from Canada to the U.S. for over nine hours to meet with some Cincinnati women who were going to Tuscany with us in July. I determined to myself that this would be an adventure, and I would be happy, and do some good while I drive. This may seem like an impossible task but it isn’t!

Let’s compare two apples:

The first apple is worn and a little bruised. It has been sitting too long out on the counter, and bugs are starting to get to it. Everything “bugs” it and it begins to slowly deteriorate. No one wants to eat this apple. Once delicious, it is now fairly useless, but can still be composted.

apple

The second apple is delicious. It has been refrigerated, and lovingly protected. It has been washed and handled carefully. The person who is handling it sees the apple as an extension of the universe and expresses gratitude for it, before taking a nice big bite out of it right to the core. It is fully used up and even the apple is happy to be used!

The first apple is like most people who drive on the highway for long distances or go to work in the morning, or do anything that is perceived to be tedious or difficult. They spend their time eying other drivers or complaining about delays. They may even get into accidents when they become careless or distressed, and swerve the wrong way. Or they may forget to feed themselves or stop for a break, and fall asleep at the wheel. Disaster can strike. This is not a happy scene.

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So instead of starting off on a trek with gloom and doom, with the agony of how long it is going to take, or what is awaiting us on the other side, why don’t we begin our journey like the first apple? Eager to be of service, and delicately and lovingly prepared. With a heart of service, and a feeling of delight to be used. With this kind of care the apple stays in good shape so that it can be eaten at just the right time. And we are always at the right place at the right time, and available for miracles, for happiness, and for joy.

When I am driving I look to the left and the right. I say prayers for everyone, including myself. Let me be of service. And if there is a delay or an issue, or even an accident, I send angels, I surround it with love, including all the people regardless whose mistake it is – even if it is my own!

At the border I got delayed, because of what I do. The man seemed friendly and full of curiosity about me, and so one question led to another until I found myself sitting in a little office off to the side with some other people, wondering what I could say or do differently. Then I remembered something more powerful that cleared the way: God is sending me where I need to be. He has prepared me, taken care of everything, and now I am sitting here resting, and all these people are not in my way – they are here with me. We are all in the same boat. Might as well enjoy it.

Furthermore, the security officer who was making me do all of this was actually caring for me too. As I opened my mind to this possibility, I could hear that very man, who sounded much more authoritative to me in the beginning of my stay there, say to his associate, “All of these people are being helped.” I thought about that: “helped”. He was doing a service too. This softened my heart toward him and I breathed a sigh of relief. He was just doing his job. Before I could pause too long, the man at the counter announced:

“Krista, you are good to go!”

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Me enjoying a road trip in California in 2011

This is what it means to be happy, even when circumstances are not. We can transform ourselves, and even perceive others differently, affecting circumstances that we will never know, beyond our wildest dreams. We never know who or what our kindness and good thoughts will touch – even if unspoken. Even if we look like we are just sitting there resting, minding our own business. We can have thoughts of love.

Love saves the universe, and it saves time too. And it makes us happy, even when circumstances tell us not to be. We can be careful, we can be safe, but most of all, we can be happy.

Amen.

 

P.S. By the end of that day, I arrived at my destination well spent, and marvelled at the beauty of the landscape and the palatial house that awaited me. My host greeted me by the door, helped me upstairs, and fed me a beautiful nighttime meal with fresh greens and soothing tea. We laughed and shared stories, and planned for the next wonderful adventures ahead! 🙂

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