“Happiness doesn’t exist on the far side of distant mountains. It is within you, yourself. Not you, however, sitting in idle passivity. It is to be found in the vibrant dynamism of your own life as you struggle to challenge and overcome one obstacle after another, as you clamber up a perilous ridge in pursuit of that which lies beyond.” -Daisaku Ikeda
This past week, in my attempt to begin preparations for moving, I discovered something about myself that didn’t bring a smile to my face. For nearly 7 years I’ve been living in the same apartment. For 6 of those years, I’ve had the same employment. I grew so comfortable and accustomed to this structure in my life that I became resistant to change to the point of experiencing emotional outbursts randomly, and for ridiculous reasons. For example, my boyfriend Alex, who I am moving in with, decided to take three boxes out of my closet and transport them to our new place. This was more of a symbolic action to start the transition. Now, mind you, these boxes are old, filled with junk, and were never unpacked seven years ago when I moved into my apartment. As he was preparing to leave, he opened the closet to grab them, and I freaked. The flood gates opened, and tears streamed down my face. What was my problem? What was wrong with me? I had looked forward to Alex and I moving in together for a while. Clearly, I was struggling with change. Moving was not new to me. There was a time in my life when I moved residencies once a year for 9 years. But, the past 7 years had allowed me ample time to dig my roots in deep. Transplanting my little home would be extremely painful if I didn’t get a grip. In the end, I let Alex take the boxes. I even helped place them in the trunk of the car. No tears required.
Thinking, as I often do.…
I realized that life, and our plans, were already set in motion. Whether I was ready or not, this move was going to happen. If I sat in “idle passivity” or if I continued to resist, I would only bring misery upon myself. What I needed to do was take action by participating in the process. True, moving is a pain that poses many obstacles with the packing, unpacking, and communicating your new address to all the important people and places. Undeniably, this move is my current struggle. Life, generally speaking, is one struggle after the next. And, in the clear light of day, I can see myself clambering up that perilous ridge in pursuit of that which lies beyond. Aren’t we all, after all? And so, I give in to the process, cherish the moment, and continue to put one foot in front of the other. I realize that happiness isn’t a destination I am trying to reach. Rather, happiness resides within me, and it is ready for the taking. All I must do is choose to experience it—right now—in this moment even as I struggle to move forward.