Ruler of My Heart.

/ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 /

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.
 ― Elizabeth Gilbert


I have this peculiar connection with the homeless. I find the individuals rather inspiring. I am sure there is a handful of people who would jump at the opportunity to say, "What is inspiring about a person who has nothing?" Well. That is just it. In a world where society and the government is constantly and consistently shoving products, ideas, laws, and making the decisions of what is and what is not socially acceptable for us, I find a glimmer of mental freedom in the eyes of the displaced. They give a twist to destitution. I cannot help but wonder if maybe they are more rich than the chap walking down the streets in Manhattan. 

Cell phone in one hand. 
Triple Americano in the other. 
Laptop secured in his Valextra briefcase. 
His Tom Ford business suit. 
His pretentious attempt to comb his hair like David Beckham.
The eight different credit cards imprinting his pristine Pineider leather wallet.

I find nothing wrong with people in this world who want to have a successful life and stability in a goal oriented career. The question that I like to ask myself is: "What IS success?" I have always wondered this question ever since I could deliberate my own thoughts. When I graduated high school I worked three jobs and made the decision to not go to college. Personally, it was the best decision I have ever made. Months to come I met and married my soul mate and we began our journey in life together and were wholly blessed with our son, Forrest. I look at the past facets of my life and I do consider myself to be successful thus far.

What is so compelling about the homeless is that every time that I have stopped to converse with them they are always the most humble and joyous individuals that I have ever met! One of my favorite stories to tell is a perfect example of my statement: 

About four years ago, I was at a pub crawl that was being held in the downtown district of our town. I noticed an old man with a tattered and rugged guitar, the strings trying to escape the neck. He had a tall straw hat that sat casually on his unruly smoky hair. Clothes desperately clinging to what little fibers connected them together. I felt this unusually wholesome energy from this man, simply from his idiosyncrasy. I could not resist the urge to introduce myself and start a conversation with him. After a wonderful and long enchanting tête-à-tête with this man, I decided to invite him to breakfast the following morning. I told him exactly what diner to meet me at and what time. His face dripped of flattery and disbelief. He kissed my hand and we parted ways until morning. Dressed in the same attire as the night before there he was. The same kind smile on his face. The same glimmer in his eyes. We shared laughs and swapped stories over a few cups of coffee and a wholesome meal. He introduced me to his pet crickets, Homeless and Hungry, which resided in his straw hat. I sat across the table from him. Soaking in all his wise words. My heart felt as if it was over flowing with joy. Hollis was such a sensible man. He taught me a very valuable lesson about not only life, but people in general. He showed me that if we live in a world where our materials define our happiness, we will be more empty than a well that has run dry. 

Elizabeth Gilbert has said it with such sophistication, "Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it." If there is one thing that I have gathered from my twenty years of life on this Earth, it is that happiness does not come and stay effortlessly. It takes work to recognize the happiness in your life and it takes even more work to maintain it. 

When we can be left with nothing but ourselves and still find a reason to seek joy and smile, then I believe that we have truly learned to live. When fighting for our own identity and merriment becomes more valuable than the numbers in our bank account, then we are the most wealthy individuals that exist. When just being is enough, then I believe that we have negotiated the honest meaning of success.


Open your mind and reevaluate your priorities.
 I think that you will find if you just cross the street you will be walking in sunshine.



With love that moves the sun and the other stars, 

Had the pleasure of running into this adoring man on our trip to Munich. We had a language barrier, but that was irrelevant. His eyes and smile spoke words that his voice could not. God bless this sweet mans heart and soul. 

This man could heal with his unbelievable talent to play the pipes.


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