Second Chances

Spring has finally sprung, though here in New York it looks and feels like the middle of November. There is something very, very wrong with the fact that it’s still cold enough for me to wear Uggs in April. With the arrival of Spring, I cannot help but feel that I should been reborn, that now, I should have a new sense of self, maybe even a bit of clarity. Yet, I find myself with the same foggy head full of confusion that presided during the long winter months. Some thing just don’t change. Shattered Illusions is due out in one month, and I am oddly calm about that fact (never mind. As I wrote that, I was suddenly stricken with an insane panic). The main question on my mind is ‘NOW WHAT?’ I wrote a novel. It’s out of my hands. Whatever happens with this novel from here on out is completely out my control. And while that fact would have made me faint about a year ago, I am happy that it is out of my hands. It was time for it to go out in the world and make it’s mark. It’s time for me to learn what it means to be happy regardless of the course that this novel (or any other novel that I plan to write G-d willing) takes.  It’s out of my hands.

Today was Pesach Sheini (the second Passover). It’s a day of second chances. There’s always a second change to get the job done right, even if to the naked eye it does not seem so. Back around the holiday of Passover I wrote about achieving the ultimate goal of self redemption from a personal exile. Removing yourself from a deep, dark exile, whatever it may be, is never easy. Failing at such a goal only makes the journey harder. It is never easy to climb out of the self made hole and face the daylight. Negative emotions and traits are easier to come by because their easier to surrender to. Why is it so difficult to surrender into happiness? I’ve spent so many years trying to answer that question, and still I come up blank. Why is it so difficult to be happy, gosh darn it?! It may not even be about happiness either. Perhaps second changes aren’t only about happiness. Second chances can be about a miriad of things.Forget happiness for a moment. What about any other positive emotion? Why are these things so difficult to come by, so difficult to hold on to? The truth is that they don’t have to be. Happiness, joy, bliss, all of these things can be just as easy to come by as anger, bitterness and neglect. It’s up to you to decide how to you want to live your life. It’s never too late to turn over to the bright side.

Now, back to happiness. The definitions of happiness are endless. The text book definition of happiness is ‘good fortune, prosperity; a pleasurable or satisfying experience. On my Facebook page today, I asked everyone what they think happiness means. Most of them came to the same conclusion that I’ve come to time and time again: Happiness is not about how much money you have, where you live or what you do. Happiness is not about how your surroundings affect you. Happiness is not about internalizing the things that come from outside of you, it’s about cultivating it within you and giving it to the world. How many times have I looked to my external needs (entertainment, money, etc) to find a source of happiness? True, all of these things were enjoyable and fun, but they did not make or break my happiness. The problem becomes when you look to other people or other things to grow your happiness for you. We are taught to believe that happiness comes from the outside. Happiness is determined by your material wealth. Just look at the text book definition. “Prosperity.” What does prosperity actually mean? Does it mean your material wealth, or the wealth you attain without the use of money?

If you’ve ever found yourself in a rut, you’re not alone. I’ve been there, and I am sure that this life lesson will continue to teach me as time goes on.  Break free of your chains today. Decide that you’re going to make a difference in your life. Don’t look to others to give you happiness. Grow it within yourself and share it with the world around you. Bets are, if you give a bit of your happiness to the world, it will begin a ripple effect, and who knows how many other people you can help. It’s never too late to decide that your happiness (or whatever it is that you want) is yours to create and not the other way around.

It’s never too late to change your life.