Darkness exists so the exposure of light can be clearly distinguished.
A bedazzling burst of luminescence tosses my thought process out of the bathroom window with reckless abandonment. I crawl through the window trying to take back what is rightfully mine but I find myself stuck. Here I am with my head in hand and my ass showing for the entire world to see. My thoughts are within arms reach yet still a day’s drive from this precarious predicament in which I find myself. I start thinking that I should just give up. I could just crawl back inside where the warmth of insignificance is ignorantly bliss. The place where I would be weighed down by a false feeling of contentment is probably the best-case scenario for me, I think. I start pushing my way back towards my comfort zone and with a sudden circumstantial awakening, thousands of flickering lights illuminate all around me. I reverse course and with every ounce of effort I have in my belly I push through the window. I land on my feet with an overwhelming sense of zest. I grab my thoughts from the midst of these bioluminescent fireflies full of imagination. I shuffle through them retaining the ones that demand a more permanent posture. I toss the negatives aside. I maneuver my motivation towards the conquest of happiness. I am venerated by how easily these little bugs that live their life just to shed some light on the darkness can spark an artistic chain reaction with the slightest ease. Minutes ago, I stood with my face to the wall and now here I stand with all cylinders firing clean and the engine running smooth. Everything I see is again so animated with fertility. I can once again feel an air of confidence from my head to my toes and so the story goes.
My mind seems to operate like a child’s more often than not and in more ways than others. I can visualize those of you reading this who know and love me, shaking your head profoundly in this very moment. In all seriousness, it’s somewhat true. It’s truer now than ever before with my son’s imagination growing more flamboyant by the day. I do not believe this to be a bad thing. It is Aldous Huxley that said the secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age. Over the past few weeks I have become so spellbound by the isolated art that besieges us in every exclusive occasion this life offers. My recent behavior is similar to how a child looks at life. Its not some sort of creative threatening augmented reality; it’s zest in the purest form. A child’s creative mechanism never stops working. That is until we as parents unconsciously deviate the child from maximizing the make-up of this peculiar mechanism.
Let’s assimilate what I am talking about to the simple game we call connect the dots. This is one of the first games we learned to play as children. You simply draw a line from one dot to another, typically in numerical or chronological order. I look at it like this these days, that no matter the path we choose, the dots will always connect themselves. We may choose a more abstract avenue or even a straightforward street, either way it’s the path we choose in the present moment that nourishes the imagination. Eventually the more we played this game and understood it’s pretense the more our creativity became patterned by uniformity. Maybe someone told us we were doing it wrong and with that negativity a piece of our genuine creative process escapes our soul, similar to a glacier calving itself into the ocean during it’s short lived summer. The mind is such a delicate thing during those early years that any detrimental feelings can carve a path towards unhappiness. I find it imperative that we must allow our children to take the path they choose, not the path we choose for them. Of course I know that is our parental responsibility to keep them out of harm’s way. It’s our instinct of nurturing that keeps them safe but there is nothing nurturing about forcing their hand to do what we deem necessary for them to do as far as their welfare is concerned. When it comes to rearing children, I am now realizing that it is a joint effort between parent and child to enlighten each other. I would be lying if I told you that my son hasn’t been instrumental in cultivating the man I am becoming. I’ve grown up more in the past six months than I ever pretended to over the past twenty-five years.
A child carries with them possibly the weightiest approach towards happiness; I call it the Zen of Zest. A child is full of endless energy, charismatic creativity, and their enthusiasm towards life is perpetual; and unless they crave your affection, they are tirelessly happy. Why do you think that is? It’s because they are living in the present moment. Their minds have yet to learn the ambiguous actuality of time management. They don’t care about yesterday and haven’t even thought about tomorrow. They are satisfied with what life is giving them in the moment. It’s zest in its purest form. It’s innocence without any measure of guilt. Therein lies the message I am hoping to deliver with a bit of oomph in the frame of this post.
It is of the utmost importance that in order to maintain the art of happiness we must only focus on the moment we find ourselves wrapped up in. I have heard these words before, more or less. Hell, I’ve written them recently. I just never really let them sink in to the depths of me until about a week ago. I know that the secret to disembowel stress, one must take a sort of meditation stance, in order to release the mind from the body and transform yourself towards a secondary plateau of enlightenment. The belief of Buddhism teaches us that by restraining oneself, cultivating discipline, and consistently practicing mindfulness and meditation one will achieve nirvana. These are all bullet-points for the outline of living in the moment. In Christianity, we must give our fullest devotion to God and be true to an everlasting relationship with his word; in return he will handle the rest. In other words go about living your life in the moment; do not worry about what is down the road because it is in God’s hands. It’s all about the follow through in whatever we choose to do…..
Let’s talk about zest. What is zest? How would you define it? I define it as a lively quality that embraces all of life’s energy, enjoyment, and excitement. It’s an entirely outward affection that doesn’t warrant anything inward in regards to it. Why is zest so imperative to the overall health of happiness? It’s because without even a small dose of zest we become miserable and despondent. We become a statistic and are content with going through the repetitive motion of the soul-sucking arrangement known as uniformity. A man or woman, who exemplifies zest in its purest form, follows their individual path with equal parts humility and ego. I call it the perfect concoction for confidence. They do not worry about the future and have no regretting demeanor towards their past. Their enthusiasm has only one place to be and that is in the now. They give genuine and providential affection without demanding anything in return. The best type of affection is supplementally life-giving; each entertains affection with joy and bestows it without effort, and each discovers the whole world more absorbing in corollary with the presence of said supplemental happiness. Hmm…Hmm…Hmm….Sorry I was clearing my throat. I believe the writer of this blog could learn a lot from the last paragraph he just wrote. Only time will tell if he does.
One of the main factors that rest in the lack of zest is because man or woman feels unloved. This is how we become self-centered and an inadequate amount of affection promotes unstable insecurity, which in turn leads to seeking constant escape via some degrading habitual habitat. A few examples of this could be the following. First a man or woman that buries himself in work, in order to escape reality, no longer seeks zest just complacency, this will ultimately lead to a life lacking joy. They typically take on extra responsibility to alleviate the pain filling the crevices of their soul. Secondly, the man or woman that delves into the depths of a bottle seeking solace in a drunken stupor has just given up on zest altogether. They no longer see the light in anything except through the bottom of an upside down bottle. Don’t get me wrong a few drinks here and there in moderation is probably a wonderful thing for zest but when drunkenness becomes a dependent of yours its time to recalibrate the thought process.
In the book “Conquest of Happiness”, Bertrand Russell states the following:
“Among those that I regard as harmful and degrading, I would have to include drunkenness and drugs, of which the purpose is to destroy thought, at least for the time being. The proper course is not to destroy thought but to turn it into new channels, or at any rate into channels remote from the present misfortune.”
That ladies and gentlemen is a flash of brilliance. See you soon.
My roots are buried in the Dirty South. I grew up learning the importance of God and Southern Charm. I began writing in my late teens mostly through heartbreak and music. I moved out west 15 years ago and live right around the corner from the Fountain Of Youth. Most people refer to it as Lake Tahoe. I play Chef during the day and search for ways to save the world by night, through reading, writing, and believing. I enjoy the side of life that is less abrasive. I look forward to joining you on my quest through Spiritual Sobriety with the Promised Land as our ultimate destination.