“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
Are you happier than you were yesterday?
The phrase, “happier than yesterday,” speaks to the core of my own philosophy.
This is what I strive for every day, in life, in art and in writing. And what I’ve found is, it’s like chasing a dragon. Yet we all walk with the dragon, much closer than we’re aware. We dare to follow it, to steal the treasure it guards—happiness.
But the dragon never sleeps.
He’s like a toddler, the dragon. His energy cannot be matched. He terrorizes everything in his path, leaving a scorched landscape behind him, and behind him are we, trailing with our heads down, looking for what is left, for a piece of his treasure; no closer to capturing happiness than we were before.
Enter the intangible sphere.
People say happiness is elusive, that it’s only found where we won’t look. And many are right. Because we rarely look within. Perhaps if we were nurtured in the ways of the wise, we would. But the truth is, we rarely look within because we don’t like what we see.
Within the mirror, is the dragon.
In this mirror we see more than just the dragon. We see the truth we shudder to accept. We see our lives in the mirror, coiled up, kinked, chipped and frayed like a broken toy.
We are the cause of our own misfortune, of our own shortcomings and of our own petty misery, but we’re all far from miserable. We only cry misery because we reject love.
Not romantic love. We welcome this.
What I’m speaking of is unconditional, self-love; to love ourselves no matter our past, no matter our wretched thoughts that drive us mad and no matter our worst faults which split us internally, as though we’re two different people living in one body. We reject love because we believe we’re not worthy to hold the treasure, yet we still seek it like a wild foraging stag in the rut, bent on finding a mate.
We are the dragon we forever chase. We guard the treasure, the happy gold we cannot hold, admire or spend.
We are our own limiting force, a veil slamming down like a portcullis, wedging sentry before the most sought after riches, our birthright, promised of life.
We prevent our own happiness. We guard our own joy.
So do we hold a knife to the throat of bliss, or do we draw the long sword and thrust forward into the belly of the dragon?
Perhaps, we do both.
But in doing either, we never find happiness. For this is impossible.
I’ve come to learn that happiness is not unattainable, even though it seems so. That it truly does live within, in the subtle part of the mind, in the deepest fold of the heart.
Just by simply realizing that I can look at a picture of my children and be happy is proof of this.
I’m happy on a walk. I’m happy when I think of my daughter, when playing with my son, or just looking at his face. I’m happy when I think of all those I love, and of the life that moves within and around me.
I’m happy when I think of those I’ve touched with my life, and of those who’ve touched me with theirs, even if it was only for a season.
The dragon is real, and he guards his treasure with the grace of infinity. But you can slip by him once in an while, when you tempt him with the sweetness he cannot resist.
Because even the dragon wants to admire his treasure once in a while. He wants to hold it. He wants to feel it pressed against his body, just to know it’s real.
He, too, wants to be happy.
Want to beat the dragon?
Just remember, he’s you.