“When life throws you a lemon, make a lemonade.” That’s how the saying goes, isn’t it? It’s easy for them to say. How do you even make a lemonade with one lemon? Isn’t that just you creating more troubles for yourself? I don’t care much about lemons or lemonades. I just want true happiness. I threw the lemon in my hand far into the thick green forest.
I’m on a quest. I have been searching for a glimpse of happiness for over 20 years. I wonder what it looks like. What shape would it take when I eventually find it? Would it look like a bird? I thought so. Birds seemed content and happy. Their wings were to me, like flapping engines that fuel their happiness. They’re able to fly whenever and wherever. There’d be hardly any trouble for them to face. That was what I thought. Until my tenth year in this forest, searching for a bird whose name was TH.
I had stopped several birds on their endless soaring journey, asking if they knew of any of their kind, bearing TH.
“None”, they said. “No one bears that name.”
They had to be wrong. I was sure. True Happiness was definitely a bird. I finally stopped an eagle, asking him for the whereabouts of TH. He looked at me like I was loony.
“TH? What does that mean?”, he had asked me.
“Why, true happiness, of course.” He told me I was looking for the wrong thing. He said True Happiness was not a bird. He made it clear that birds also have troubles that ail them even worse than cancer.
“Imagine you’re a bird,” he had said. “And you’re flying happily and gleefully in the wide blue sky. Until suddenly you feel droplets of rain beat you silly and knock you down to that ground you’ve spent all your life flying away from. Birds don’t have perfect lives,” he said.
“And wet wings don’t make soaring birds,” he concluded sadly and flew, as gracefully as he had come.
So, TH was definitely not a bird.
It had to be a lion then. Powerful domineering lions. True Happiness was definitely a lion. I spent five more years pleading at the entrance to the lion’s cave for just one opportunity to approach TH.
“No one bears that name!” A lioness had roared. “You’re in the wrong place,” she had said. But she had to be wrong. If it wasn’t a bird, it was definitely a lion.
After the years had passed with me pleading hopelessly at the cave’s entrance and my beards had become even as the lion’s mane, I was finally granted an opportunity to go in.
“I heard you were looking for TH,” he roared. He was definitely the king here. He reeked of royalty and majesty. He was definitely TH.
“Yes, I—I am—“, I stammered.
“What does TH mean?” He roared again.
“T-t-rue Ha-p-p-i-i-ness”, I stammered again.
“You’re in the wrong place, my friend. Power and royalty don’t equal happiness. In fact, riches and wealth don’t make us happy. It actually burdens us even more. True Happiness is not a lion, my friend.” He waved his paws for me to leave.
I staggered on my way out. True Happiness was not a bird. True Happiness was not a lion. So, what could it be. If it’s not in freedom or wealth, power or riches, then what could it be? I had wasted twenty years in this forest. Would I ever find it?!
The sun had set and the moon was now glowing in the dark night sky. I saw two birds fly above my head and remembered the eagle’s words. So, they also had their problems.
The night breeze had suddenly become chillier than usual and I shivered. The leaves from the nearby trees seemed to gather right in front of me. I couldn’t move. They made an apparition of sorts. It had wings like an eagles. It had the mane of a lion. Its face was that of a human baby.
What was this abomination in front of my eyes?
“I am True Happiness. I am whatever I choose to be. I am not a lion. I am not a bird. I am whatever I make myself to be. I am free. I am powerful for I can choose what shape I possess. Like a child, I am happy with whatever I choose to be. I am free. I am powerful. I am TH!”
It disappeared as quickly as it had come. Its whispers echoed in my mind.
That was True Happiness?