When we live frantically, our blissful moments are easily overlooked and under appreciated. And yet the slow chewing of a perfect piece of chocolate or the sweet intimacy between partners or the deep ecstasy of noticing a bluebird on a slow walk has cathartic properties. My therapist recently mentioned something about my “access to bliss” and I’ve decided I’d like to increase my access. It’s not about accumulating more chocolate. It’s about appreciating the chocolate.
“One of the quickest pathways to bliss is to experience a life-threatening illness. All of a sudden life’s sweetness and tragedy unfurl before us. When we hear that we may only have a short time to live, life seems especially precious.” Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age by Mary Pipher
Bliss happens when a sick child has a really good day. Bliss happens when the test results show no more cancer. Bliss happens when there’s a death sentence reprieve.
It occurs to me that there are millions of people in the world who live with such a high misery quotient that they have virtually no access to bliss. They live in refugee camps or detention centers. They are trapped in broken bodies with clear minds. They have no hope and no reason to be hopeful. They have lost almost everything after a flood or fire or storm.
On this Friday full of possibilities, how can we offer someone easy access to bliss? Seeing those who need it is the first step.