I've scribbled the alphabet for meaning since I can remember.
I was watching Happy, the documentary, last night. The experts (in the movie) talked about people’s expectations of when good things finally happen, they will stay happy: their life will change for the permanent “good.” In reality, the good thing happens, and then they are back down from the high.
To further this, the experts explained that people think when bad things happen, their life will stay that way, and that isn’t true either. [This is not to trivialize the tragedies or traumas in life; this is to have you consider that life is constantly changing.] The present moment is constantly becoming a new experience even if the mind is repeating the past. So how we look and what we look for is a big indicator of what we experience, at least that is what those experts said.
I write a good deal about looking at things differently. There are plenty of articles and studies that prove what you look for you will find. Meaning if you love old Toyota pick up trucks, you will see them more than someone who doesn’t; you are looking through and finding your preferred perspective constantly reconfirming and validating it. What you look for, you see.
About two months ago, I borrowed my photog friend’s car while he was in San Fran; the trade-off was to pick him up when he returned - at 2 am. No problem. I propped myself on the couch and Netflix’ed to keep awake until the plane landed.
I pulled in to the cell phone waiting lot, where there were a few other cars, and waited for his text of arrival. It came. I turned the car on. Correction: I attempted to turn the car on.
me: Is there any reason you car might not start?
Eventhough the truth was glaring in the cell-phone blue light, it was 2 am, so I continued to turn the key, turn the key, turn the key to no avail.
I stumble out of the car in disbelief and frustration. There was a van two spots over from me, and I notice the car next to it, hood up, with jumper cables attached.
“Your battery died too?” I over emote.
The man looks at me and motions to the first van, "I'm just getting one installed," he answers curtly. My eyes adjust in the dark. The car had died next to a van that read: Mobile Battery Install.
I was standing next to a battery installation van.
“Are you…do you really?” I walk closer.
“Yes ma’am, I can help you in a minute,” the friendly technician sings out into the dark.
I stood there in the horrible orange fluorescent light and thought: This is unbelievable.
I ask you this, my friend: Is it unbelievable that the car died or that it died right next to the solution?
I never finished reading Surprise, but I really enjoyed it and plan to (I had grabbed it out of the library over the summer along with this and this couldn’t finish them all in 14 days; yes, sometimes I eat books). I was reminded of it when watching Happy; it referenced the fact that doing things different and differently —even just going home from work a different way — is a way to generate happiness.
How? Well, when we are in the same environment, doing the same thing all the time, the brain stops scanning said environment for possibility: Nothing to see here, Bob.
When the landscape changes; however, that same brain scans for the new - the possible - possibly the happy?
Have you ever walked a friend to your favorite coffeeshop and they point out something? Oh look at that: flower, painting, vintage shop, cookie shelf.
And you say, “Huh, I never saw that before.”
It’s like that.
I had a good friend once redefine the presence of Ganesha, the Hindu god. She said, “People explain him as a remover obstacles. Well,” she explains in her soft southern lilt, “ya’ll ain’t removing obstacles. Obstacles are a way - a part - of life. Ganesha is a guy that is gonna tell you the way out, through, around, or how to survive said obstacle.”
I loved that. I love that. And she has the chutpazh to prove her wisdom.
(Did you know that Gaensha is a manifestation of a form of traits to cultivate in ourself? So if an elephant god doesn’t work for you as a metaphor, maybe St.Jude does, or an oak tree does, or whatever inspires you on - think about that).
So when the obstacle comes is it possible you can be parked right next to Grace?
I hope so.
I hope you see so.
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