It's funny how our deepest desires -- the things we believe we've always wanted -- rarely turn out the way we imagined. These are the "I'll be happy when _(fill in the blank)" stories.
Mine was always, "I'll be happy when I get a book published. Then I'll have MADE IT." Some of y'all know how this goes. The book deal, the marriage, the promotion, the whatever your fill-in-the-blank is, won't suddenly heal or fix or purify everything else. And if your happiness is dependent upon this thing, whatever it is, then your happiness will be at the mercy of life, which is ever changing and always shifting. Your happiness can be swept away as soon as the breeze slightly changes. I thought having a book -- a fancy, beautiful book with my name on the cover -- would give me something, something like peace. But in fact this book tour was stressful and very expensive for me. Am I grateful for this wonderful collection filled with moving words from some of the best contemporary writers? Hell yes. Every day. Am I grateful for every reader and supporter and positive reviewer that it touched them personally? I thank my lucky stars. Did I learn more about aparigraha -- about letting go of attachment to results -- than gain some (ultimately egocentric) happiness? You betcha. And for that I'm super grateful as well. The Bhagavad Gita teaches this: to do our work with all our heart, and then let it go. My happiness arises within, independent of any circumstance -- everything else just adds to this joy.
So watcha gonna do with all those lemons? Lemonade?