Already There

For a long time I saw happiness as a huge banner across the finish line of a long race. I felt that only when I accomplished certain things could I finally relax and be happy in my life. Most of the time I felt like the tortoise hoping that "slow and steady would win the race." At other times I would act like a crazed hare trying different side roads at breakneck speeds hoping to reach that banner a little faster. Gradually, though, I began to see that no matter how long I raced towards it the banner was never any closer. I finally decided one day to sit down and take a break. It was then that I saw my happiness sitting beside me. It had been with me all along.

It had been with me as I played basketball as a child. It had been with me as I learned in school. It had been with me as I worked minimum wage jobs mopping floors, doing dishes, and carrying lumber. It had been with me as I held each of my newborn children in my arms. It had been with me as I struggled with my sonsí autism and learned to love them for just who they are. It had been with me when I was sick. It had been with me when I didnít have a cent to my name. It had been with me as I raced towards that stupid banner. I just hadnít had the wisdom to see it.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, "Tension is what you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are." Perhaps we all should stop our race towards the perfect life we think we should have and rejoice in the life we have now. Happiness will never be found under some banner far away. It will be found in your own heart, soul, and mind. It will be found when you realize that God loves you just as you are and that you can choose and share love and joy as well. Donít be a determined tortoise or a chaotic hare when it comes to your happiness. Be a playful puppy and carry your stick of joy with you everywhere you go. Take yourself out of the race and realize that when it comes to love and happiness you are already there.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella Copyright © 2008 ( -- submitted by: Joseph Mazzella ]

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