When Happiness Knocks

I was put onto this article by a fellow blogger Spillay, it is written by Ruth Ostrow on her blog – the parable she talks about is really beautiful and the message is one that is so true to each and everyone of us, a lesson to remember…

When Happiness Knocks

I HEARD a wonderful parable the other day that captures something so profound I thought it worth repeating.

A man returned from war to find his five-year-old son had been killed when bandits came in and sacked his village. The boy’s body had been burnt beyond recognition. So devastated was the man that he stopped being able to function. He was inconsolable, crying day and night. Slowly, over time, he stopped being able to relate to his wife, plunging deeper into his pain, until finally she was forced to leave.

What he didn’t realise was that the child he found was not his; rather, it was another of the village children. In fact, the bandits had taken his son, who was strong and able to work in the fields. Eventually the boy grew into a young man and escaped from his captors, returning to his village.

Knocking on the door, he cried: “Father, it’s me, your son.”

The father, lost in grief, wouldn’t answer the door. “Go away and stop tricking me,” he said. “My son is dead.”

“But I’m not dead. I was taken captive. I have returned,” cried the boy.

Rocking in his chair, clutching the burnt rug that the boy had been covered in, the father again told him to go. “My son is dead,” he insisted, despite the young man’s pleas. Finally, after seven days and nights, the son left, never to return.

A sad saga. But true to one of the great spiritual teachings. That sometimes we get so convinced by our own stories, our own version of events, that we become incapable of seeing anything that doesn’t resemble the thing we believe to be true, even if it’s right in front of our faces.

In my view, the lost son is a metaphor for all the lost visions, desires and dreams that we have thought dead, the sacred, cherished parts of ourselves killed by our own neglect, or the relationships we have failed to nurture. All these could be resurrected if only we were able to see that they were there all along, alive and healthy, awaiting our attention.

We bring so much misery on ourselves by being unable to let go of the burnt blanket of regret and bitterness, mourning lost loves, lost youth, the opportunity that got away.

Lucky is the person who can look up from their pain and see how things really are, so that when Happiness knocks, it is let in before it walks away.


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