[Bear with me, this one is a little philosophical…or something…]
Evolution: def. a process of change in a certain direction: unfolding. A process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state: growth.
Bliss: def. complete happiness.
One of my favourite ‘chick flicks’ is Under the Tuscan Sun. A newly divorced writer is sent on a gay tour of Tuscany(courtesy of her best friends – a lesbian couple). In the process of escaping from the pain of her divorce she purchases a run down home in Tuscany. To make a long story short her expectation is that love, happiness – her bliss – will come to her instantaneously and in exactly the way she has imagined (sound familiar?). By the end of the movie she realizes that love, happiness and bliss have come to her, but in ways that she had never imagined. It is an evolution of bliss, an unfolding of happiness.
In ballet we execute an unfolding movement called développé, an unfolding of the leg into a specific position (click the text to see the movement). When ideally executed there is a moment at the end of the unfolding at which point the leg seems to hover momentarily in space and time before resolving into the next position or withdrawing slowly towards the floor. It can be absolutely exquisite, breathtaking. So, when I think of the word unfolding this is exactly what I envision…something (a thought, moment, or movement) that evolves to its height, hovers momentarily and then either moves on or concludes gradually, yet at a somewhat accelerated pace.
Unfolding = evolution.
Is happiness a destination? Or does it evolve throughout life, throughout our highs and lows?
In my mind, albeit idealistic and perhaps romantic, we evolve into our bliss. We have moments of happiness where we feel that there is no possibly way that life could be any better than it is right at that very moment in time. And then, the moment escapes us at what seems like a rapid pace. After some amount of time (and possibly therapy…) has passed, we find ourselves in a similar moment again – for it only to escape us once more. With any luck, we feel gratitude for those high points, those moments of bliss…so much so that each one seems more blissful than the previous. Tragedy occurs when we are unable to find that place of gratitude and are unable to linger in those moments for as long as we are able – our vision becomes clouded and the moments of happiness become difficult to recognize, to feel, to appreciate.
This is not to say that the low moments should be immediately turned into bliss…cause that’s just crazy talk! As in that ballet movement, développé, the movement/moment must resolve at some point. Bringing some kind of conclusion, before moving onto the next step. In life the lows can be really low, sometimes it seems like the lows just keep getting lower, however after we have sufficiently allowed ourselves to wallow in the muckity muck (with lots of chocolate and red wine) there needs to be a moment when we wipe away the muck and begin to stand up again. To begin the evolution yet again – to move onto the next step.
The evolution of happiness, the unfolding of bliss. Could it truly be this simple?
What do you think – does happiness evolve throughout our highs and lows, or is happiness a final destination, something we either have or have not?