It has been quite a while now since I have taken or made the time to write my thoughts, but that don’t mean I ain’t been thinking. I have thought about many things over the summer and nothing more often than life itself. And this life I am living.

I wonder if I am acting on good advice, new information, old truths, or am I just the same ole Jay. What measure should I use to determine my success as a man, businessman, child of God, and part of nature?

Or should I not try to measure these things other than to check and see if I am trying…. to do what?

I watch folks all around me trying to measure themselves big or small, good or bad, happy or sad, rich or poor, and on and on and on…. and for what reason?

To do better? Or buy and sell more? To see how their money stacks up to others stack of money or lack of a stack? But mostly what I see people measure is how happy they are or are not.

I have the pendulum of joy swinging in my life and I, like you, have my unhappy moments and days. And they are hard to hide or fix.

As soon as I can leave “unhappy” I do and I start the process by remembering what I already know…And that is… What really makes me happy.

Years ago I asked myself this. I thought deeply about what really makes “me” happy and to do that, I had to define “happy for me”. My happy may not be your happy but I bet it’s close.

In the mid 70’s, happy happened every day. The entire purpose of my day was to get “happier”. In the process of getting “happier” I experienced many drugs and drinks, sunsets and sunrises, life and death, cops and clergy, failure and success, friends and family, solitude and crowds, music and silence, sober and stoned. And through it all, I discovered myself and what really makes me happy.

During a night of partying in Jackson, Tennessee, where the coffee table was centered with a platter of magic mushrooms and a bowl of honey for dipping, I had my fill and was happily floating outside my body when my brain says, “Jay, this is it! It is time to decide who you are.” Another force inside me said, yeah, you gotta pick, and another voice said, no, you don’t, and at that moment, all the influences of my life spoke up and declared I be what each voice wanted me to be. My father, my church, my friends, the devil, God, the person I knew as me, my mother, my grandfather… all demanded they were correct and I should be as they asserted through my inner soul and voice.

A battle ensued that lasted hours, as each inner voice pleaded with me to pick them as who I was to be from then on. And I had to sort it all out and clarity came to me when I asked what is the TRUTH. Are any of these influencing voices in my life telling me the truth?

And then the truth was revealed to me and freed me from wondering who I was and who I would be. I would be truthful I decided. Truly, truthful. No more lies. And the truth is and was and will always be I love love. I love and I am happy.

My family loves me and I love them so I stay pretty happy. I have noticed a lot of people are estranged from a family member or members and they speak of it usually sayin, “I done my part, I’m through with trying to fix it.” And in some cases family riffs are not fixable…. and that’s sad. And it makes folks less happy, even if they don’t realize it;. When we are at one with each other and nature and family, we are the happiest.

Life presents all kinds of things that happen and some are good and some are bad. This is when you have to know who you are. And what
truly makes you happy, cause things continually happen. This year I have lost friends and family to death, close friends…and family. And the truth is, I am at peace with it all because I loved these lost ones. We did many things together and laughed and cried together and lived happily as friends. I hold on to the good times and fond memories, but I don’t dwell there, I just carry them with me and that’s the truth.

The thing I love most is the air I breathe and water I drink and the ground that will someday bury me. And I know I am happiest when I am with family and friends…and with nature, who I count as one of my friends.

When I need to sort the “things that happen” out in my life, I turn to nature and I let its silence speak to me and embrace ma and nature reminds me of the nature of things and I see that all things die as it is required for new growth. We as beings of nature, pull energy from our roots and without good roots, life is iffy.

I thank my family for my good roots; I thank life for my mistakes and the wisdom they enriched me with, I thank me, the one I decided to be years ago, for making the decision to find myself and then believe in me.

Telling the truth, is not always necessary, but living the truth is if we are to be happy. Hurtful truths don’t always need to be told, and that’s the truth.

What is your truth? What rock do you stand on and what is your measure of life? My truth is love. I try to keep it, give it, find it and show it. Of course I fail miserably at times and when I catch myself loving myself more than others, I become unhappy. Because I can not even please myself, until I give some love away. I like to take my self to a quite place, and gaze into nature, if I can’t walk off into the woods or float down the creek, and blend in, go unnoticed by the life around me. And sit and breathe and breathe deeper the very air that allows me life and thought and love.

A twig will snap and all nature is alerted,l but soon nature goes about its business of cleaning the air and water… by living and dying. As I am now on the down hill side of living at the age of 56…. most of my life already lived, and enjoyed; I wonder about the days ahead and how many “things that happen” I must yet endure…happily. But I hold a peace inside me because I know the truth. I know love. And that’s the rock I stand on and that’s the truth.

I love ya’ll because I have been loved… Love someone so they can know love and they too can give some away so they can be happy too. You could actually be the good “thing that happens” in someone’s life…. maybe yours, maybe mine. Maybe it’s time to decide what your truth is and what’s “happy for you”. I did and I love the “things that happened” in my life…even now, after deaths of family and friends, I would not wish for one more day of the past but only one more day today.

Happy Thanksgiving is my hope for you and yours. I love ya’ll. You believe me?