It was an innocent comment at the end of an innocent get-together. She leaned over and conspiratorially whispered in my ear, “Don’t worry, you’ll get your happy ending.”
I know she meant well. It was a show of friendship and solidarity – but it rankled. The next day I got a message from our mutual friend who had been sitting right there. Ruchi, she said, I am not sure why but something about that comment really bugged me. You don’t need a happy ending. You guys are amazing exactly as you are. Your happy ending is right now. Today.
Her message, apart from bringing tears to my eyes, crystallized how I’d been feeling. Of course, everyone has things in their lives that are difficult. We all have prayers that need to be answered. In a sense we are all waiting around for our happy ending.
But at the very same time we must wear the attitude of joy in the moment. If we’re always waiting around for our happy ending then what is the point? Truly, we are all living our happy endings today, to previously unresolved issues.
But there’s more.
Nobody wants to feel like the object of pity. My struggles in a way are things I’ve gotten accustomed to. And when others glimpse into my life they may wonder how I manage everything. But I likewise look at other people’s struggles and thank G-d that I haven’t been given those tests. I say I wouldn’t be able to handle their stuff – and they probably feel they couldn’t handle mine. But life has a way of growing you into your grown-up issues.
So I don’t need other people reminding me that my stuff is stuff. I don’t need to be the object of anyone’s pity. I don’t need anyone wishing me a happy ending when I’m happy right now, today.
Am I happy every moment? No. And when I’m not, feel free to give me a hug and tell me how awesome I am. But most of the time I’m good.
As I recently told my husband: “We are so blessed. We have everything that we need and lots of things we want.” And I think that’s true for lots of us. Yes, we struggle. Some struggle with financial difficulties. Others, with health issues, both physical and mental. There are dark days in everyone’s life.
Which is exactly why we must make today our happy ending.
As I recently wrote on Facebook:
The light at the end of the tunnel is not about someone else coming through, getting fixed, changing. The light at the end of the tunnel is me. Me accepting. Me loving. Me making space for the reality of another and loving that person exactly as he is today – not tomorrow. Me understanding that that person needs to be in my life to teach me a lesson I can’t learn elsewhere. And by shining that light, and only that way, I shall find peace.
I’d add to that: not just accepting people as they are but also accepting our lives the way they are. Jewish wisdom reminds us that the definition of a wealthy person is one who is happy with what he has. Note the adjective: happy. Not satisfied. Not content. Not begrudgingly settled.
Happy. And there, my friend, is my happy ending. Right now. Right here. Today.