Connection

“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way” Thich Nhat Hanh

If happiness had a clear, unambiguous course of travel,
Would you follow it to the T?
Would you not get distracted by what lies before you
On the path as you travel to get there?

Would you go by car?  Perhaps that pace is too fast
And one sideways glance away, you might miss
The next mark on the road.

I’d choose to go by foot.  I imagine that happiness is like
A hiking trail with blue square postmarks.
Some are new and bright blue.
They are easy to decipher.

Along the more difficult terrain,
The marks may be dull and faded.
Can we trust that we are being led to happiness?

What means happiness to me
May not be happiness to you.
So we must have a clear definition of what is happiness
Before we embark on this journey.

Or perhaps it is the course of travel itself
That illuminates the path to joy.

Is happiness the end point?

Connection · shared stories

They say

Who understands me but me 
when I say this is beautiful.
When the path looks crooked and torn
with rocks, stumps, roots and uneven ground.
I take the first step.

They say I should be afraid 
and not wander out too far,
not go out of my comfort zone:
the safety net that has become a leash
tethering me to this spot
training me to be okay with this small plot.

They say I am reckless, foolish
and asking for trouble.
I lace on my sneakers and head out the door.
The sunlight streams through the tree branches
A lighted beam pointed toward freedom:
Freedom from thinking small
Lighting the path to discovering my own voice
and inner strength.

They say the path is dangerous.
Its twists and turns unknown
to an untrained eye.
I do not need a compass in my pocket
to show me the way.
I have always known this journey.

I may return to it again and again
Reminding myself of my true worth.
My true north is an innate part of me.
It cannot be scared, beaten or numbed away.

I will always resurface
and be a companion and a guide
to my own suffering 
and fears of being lost,
Filled with doubt or shame,
Guilty for taking the first step.
I am in my corner.

They say it is for my own good.
It is uncomfortable to go against the grain.
I show up again and again
Not only to prove them wrong
But to show up for me.
I am on my own side
and free to be me.