“You don’t know what you’re going to get into when you follow your bliss.” ~ James Hillman
James Hillman was a psychologist, born 12 April 1926. He died 27 October 2011. Between those two sentences was a life. I am not going to give you a rundown of this brilliant man’s life–but his simple remark that “You don’t know what you’re getting into when you follow your bliss” is not contextualized here, but if you Google him, you will find a man who found his bliss. Seriously, if you have not heard of him, he is worthy of your time. I just did a cursory search, found his obituary, and was impressed with how this man used his life.
In finding my bliss, I want to use my life. I think that the thing that keeps me, and most people going, is to use the gifts we have been given and not squander them. I have been guilty of wasting time and energy on things that I know now were not part of the reason I was put on earth. But I think in doing those things, I discovered, by process of elimination what I was not meant to do. All those things that we do contextualize our lives and give it meaning.
Bliss is not a dead end. It is not just getting by. It is noticing all those things that make us vibrant human beings. It is that first cup of coffee in the morning (excuse me while I go get mine); reading the paper and discussing it with your spouse; delighting in the good news of others; watching a favourite program (my latest obsession, Downton Abbey comes to mind); eating a particularly good meal; expecting company. It takes so many forms, small and big. Don’t get me wrong, I am trying to find the big bliss things too, but I recognize when magic happens–and when I win that big lottery, or publish my first book I will be ready.
I think Hillman had a good point: you have to be ready for bliss, you have to recognize it~or it will elude you. Though his statement sounds like a warning, I would like to take it as his way of saying bliss is a delight we need to embrace. I think he is daring us to find our bliss.
Are you afraid to find your bliss?