Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Only Way To Discover True Happiness

The sound reverberates through the ocean. It's strong and powerful, like a bow pulled achingly slowly across the strings of a double bass, a deep, sonorous tone, that resonates through the water.  Powerful and strong, definitely, but there is something else too.  It's hauntingly beautiful, majestic, it feels almost sad, like the call of a broken heart reaching out across the vastness of space and time for its lost love.  But this is no broken hearted soul, this is the call of a humpback whale and I am lucky to find myself here, immersed under the ocean, bearing witness to this miracle of life.  Is it a question of luck, or is it perhaps something else that brought me to this moment of incredible beauty?

Some days I wonder.  No, let me say that again.  Every day I wonder, but there are some moments when I think to myself whether there is something special about me and what I have done with my life.  I really do not think so.  I am no braggart, in fact, I am nothing if not humble about everything that has happened to me.  My life has been mixed.  I've suffered some debilitating lows, perhaps too many, too often.  I am no different to most in that.  Each time I found myself in those situations, something has spoken to me, called me back from the bleakness, pulled my eyes around to see the small flicker of light, a flame that might wax and wain, but will never be truly extinguished.  It is my heart that called to me and it always spoke to me in these moments of despair, and when it did, it spoke to me of hope.

I clung to hope.  Sometimes desperately, as if I were cast adrift in the vast dizziness of open space, and this one small thing was all that kept me from falling into utter darkness.  There were times when I contemplated suicide, when I thought that perhaps it would be the easier option, the way out.  I felt in these moments that my life would never amount to anything, that I was desperately unlucky in life, destined to live a cold and lonely existence, full of sadness, full of regret for not being all that I could be, if only I had the chance.  The problem with depression, and for anyone who is unfortunate to have been there, is that you are swallowed by it, utterly and completely.  Hopelessness takes a firm hold and there seems to be nothing that you can do, even though there are answers and there are ways out of the abyss of darkness, back to the light once more.

What I failed to understand was that I was the key.  My happiness didn't depend on someone else, it depended on one person, and one person only: me.  I always looked to someone else to make me happy.  I thought that the path to my happiness was going to be found in love for another person, that this was what would make me finally fulfilled in my life.  I put all of my efforts into this one thing and in the process of doing so, I forgot about myself, my true self.  Each time I met someone, I wanted to please them, I wanted desperately to make the relationship work, and I would alter myself to fit to the other person.  I stopped being the real me and I become some other form of myself, an altered state that could only ever be temporary.  That could never work in the long term because at some point, my true self would begin to resurrect itself, to assert itself once more, to shake off the shackles in which I had bound it.  As I write this, I've just had this realistion: that I did exactly the same with everyone.  I altered myself to fit with the preconceived ideas I had about how I should act.  I did it with my parents, my brother and my sister, with friends, teachers, colleagues.  It was not until I moved overseas that I was able to find the real me and to have the confidence to let him come out.  That process began in Budapest and it continued through the years that followed, as I allowed my true self to emerge from its cocoon.  It is when I do the things I love, that I truly become myself, when I let my true soul fly free.  

The path to true happiness is simple.  Be yourself.  It sounds simple enough, but it is not.  I could not be my true self until I began to walk my path, my true path.  In the moment that I did, everything changed.  I chose to follow the voice of my heart, I listened to my inner voice, the voice that will only ever guide you true.  My luck changed, not because of anything that any one else did, not because the stars aligned above me, it changed simply because I opened myself up to the possibilities of life.  And the moment that I did that, life found me and enclosed me in all its wonder.

I am no different to anyone else, I do not see myself as special, nor do I possess a unique gift or talent.  What I have done, you can also achieve.  Everyone has this potential.  You too have this ability.  Do not be afraid to be your true self.  The person that you find will surprise and amaze you.  Listen to your heart.  Hear its message and its call and do not be afraid to follow it.  Wherever it takes you, it will change you forever and will give you the opportunity to discover true happiness.  Forget what others will tell you of the foolishness of your idea and plans, forget what the society tries to tell you is the right way to live a life.  There is only truly ever one way, and that is the way of your heart.  Go follow it.   

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