I do not wish you a happy life
No, not a happy life, I wish for you an ecstatic life. One with many highs and lows. One filled with wild flashes of joy and moments of darkness that spur you on to greater things.
Because a happy life, a steady life, a life with no big peaks or troughs, well, that’s a life that will have safety but no wild joy. And you deserve to be wildly joyful. To be filled with the energy of strong emotions, the energy that feels it can span the universe, that creates galaxies and pulls the stars to dance.
Because I want only the best for you,
I wish, I dearly wish, that joy only fills your life sometimes, so you feel it bone-deep when it returns.
Our lives are chiaroscuro — light and shade in their truest form. We cannot have burning brights without corresponding shadow: one leads inexorably to the other. The beauty of the firework is that it pierces the night: blackness illuminated. The joy of coming home is preceded by the fear of pushing out from safe harbour.
So don’t be small, don’t choose only safety.
We can’t live ecstatically all the time, but we can have a richer life with flashes of joy. Of course, I hope you’re happy more often than not. But I also wish you moments of yearning; to wonder if this is all there is, is this all you are? Because it is this yearning, that will lead you to take action and action leads to change and change always has the possibility of wild deep joy.
It is from my darkest moments I’ve learned the strength to make the shifts that have given me the greatest things in my life: skills and patience I never knew I had, friends I will know for life and depths of personality and kindness I would never striven for without the dark to spur me on.
Don’t settle for anything less than a full life, a complete life. Don’t sit quietly at home and hide yourself in safety. Be sure to leap into the unknown occasionally so you experience the full breadth of life: fear and consequences and wild joy all mixed together. Being truly alive doesn’t come from being always safe.
Don’t settle for anything less, my beautiful friend, than joy. Dive deep, don’t rest in the shallows, for your return will be stronger for your visiting the dark.
I do not wish for you a happy life. I wish for you an ecstatic one.
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