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Musings of an Aunty who wants to live life to the fullest

by Aiden

Dolly Koghar is in pursuit of true happiness, called JOY.

As we bid bye-bye to a rather depressing and confusing year, let’s hope that we’ll also be waving ta-ta to the worst phase of a virus that’s definitely been brewed in a witch’s cauldron; a broth of bats’ wings, snakes’ innards, bears’ paws, tigers’ penises, and monkeys’ brains. However, it’s also the time of year to wish everyone and sundry good cheer, hoping to reflect some of those blessings back into our own lives. However, this year, I’m going to abandon the anticipation for mere happiness, and hope for JOY to echo back to me. 

It’s finally dawned on me that I’ve been like a horse with blinkers for the past seven decades, plodding on and on relentlessly, tirelessly, with the gnawing desire to bite into that tempting, juicy carrot called happiness dangling in front of my nose, but always just out of reach! 

The chase for happiness is very exhausting and futile, as happiness is a self-serving emotion and demands action and active participation; it constantly demands quick fixes: entertainment, noise, distraction, changes, and more of everything, and yet it’s never enough. We ride along, hoping someday, somehow, we’ll find that elusive happiness; that fabled pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, although we know that it’s only an illusion, a play of deflected sunlight on water droplets that creates the seven colours that make the rainbow, a rainbow! 

In the quest to reach the mirage called happiness, I’ve spent an entire lifetime swinging back and forth, back and forth within minutes, nay, seconds, on the two extremes of the emotional pendulum. Both happiness and its exact opposite, despondency and despair, swoop over me and before I actually know why, I react and either get elated and ‘happy’ or nosedive into the ‘blues’ because circumstances or someone’s behaviour miserably failed my expectations. I surf on the waves of emotion and get tossed thisaway and thataway; a wave of happiness gives in to despair, then despair subsides for a peek into happiness; each wave rising rapidly and dissipating equally swiftly, though despair does seem to last forever. The shifts leave me reeling and befuddled, and render me incapable of doing anything wholeheartedly or correctly. The curse of my super-active human brain.

And that’s why, this time, I’ve asked Santa for JOY, because joy neither needs action nor acquiring. Happiness reacts, but joy transcends; it’s neither tied nor dependent on any outer stimuli. Joy neither judges nor expects. While happiness is an outward expression, joy is our innermost intrinsic nature; our true nature. Joy can be mine, forever, only when I finally make peace with who I am, where I am and how I am, which in a sense, means I’m finally home and reunited with my own being. Once I’ve tapped into joy, it’ll be my limitless reservoir, constantly present to hold me steady and unwavering in the face of any affliction. It’ll bring a closure to the wild goose chase for happiness and an end to all my fears and misgivings about others and myself. Joy wil make me serene, restful, and so still from deep within, that the butterfly of happiness, real happiness, itself will alight on my shoulder!

But Joy isn’t an emotion that just happens, it’ll have to be a conscious choice I make. It’ll require me to surrender on its altar my prejudices and to release myself to the Universe and become one with it. Once joy becomes part of my being, the difficult times will transform into blessings, and heartache into gratitude. Joy will transmute and bring meaning to every little thing in my life; it will bring life to life. I will finally live life to the fullest because I will be fully alive in the moment, every moment, with understanding, appreciation, and gratitude till the very end of my days! As the singer Joyce Grenfell said, “there is no such thing as the pursuit of happiness, but there is the discovery of joy.” 

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