Our Happiness

“Our happiness doesn’t depend on somebody else’s action or on anything else.  It doesn’t depend on our success, but rather on the effort we’re willing to put into everything we do.  Even if people disappoint or fail us left and right, even if people turn against us, hurt us, lie about us, don’t understand us, even if they think they know everything about us and judge us unfairly, they can’t infringe upon our happiness.  True happiness means that we have a deep-seated peace and tranquillity that transcends all the difficulties of life, that cannot be disturbed by the chaos and warfare that might touch our lives.”

~ The Monks of New Skete (In the Spirit of Happiness, 312)

Even More

A wise friend has said,
“Yoga is a fine fuel;”
it keeps us going,
sometimes for ages,
past our last practice.
Indeed, it is the repetition
of the little movements
and breaths of our days
that come back to us
when we’ve nothing left to give –
it is the cardinal’s red flash across
our back-porch window,
his flitting between the forsythia branches;
it is the plethora of our little boy’s
generous hugging, his loving squeeze
when we are happy, sad, angry, tired;
it is the unwavering “I love you” of our two-year-old,
the immediate “it’s ok” of our four-year-old;
the surprising “thanks for having me”of our nine-year-old.

All these things come back to us –
our hard work moving and breathing on the mat,
our constant glances through the window,
our cuddling through the night,
our speaking love through the day,
our effortful forgiveness at all hours,
our creation of enjoyable experiences –
and we are given
freedom of movement,
glimpses of beauty,
comforting touch,
words of love, forgiveness, gratitude.

But even more than all of this,
Divinity comes to us without
our effort –
for God loves us first
God chases us always
God never turns away
God always waits.

God in infinite humility
comes to us in person,
in Christ, in a Spirit
that reaches into our own
without our needing to lift a finger of effort

but to say “Yes.”

Sometimes saying yes
feels like mountain-moving.

Thank God he is God.
Thank God he is even more
All-Loving than I can understand.