This morning I heard a report from a major news source regarding a couple who went to Disneyland every day during the year 2012. 365 days in a row… no misses… no exceptions. Why? They “just love it!” I guess so, after all it is “the happiest place on earth.”
A colleague asked me what my thoughts were about this couple’s reasons for doing such a thing. Please keep in mind I’m not trying to be judgmental here, but here are a few thoughts and observations that came to mind. First, Disneyland is called an “amusement” park. The word “muse” means “to think, ponder and consider”, certainly words that are contemplative and require introspection. The letter “a” in front of muse means the absence of musing. So to be amused is to have someone else occupy my mind and prevent me from deeper self-reflective thoughts and observations.
Second, many of us are terrified of our own minds and emotions, and we stay busy so as not to have to slow down and face our true thoughts and feelings. Often we stay busy to prevent ourselves from a collision course with our inner selves which is unknown, unexamined and subsequently for many of us a horrifying proposition.
Third, achieving balance as human beings is very hard. At one end of the spectrum is denial and escapism, the avoidance of reality (perhaps our couple above). At the other end is a morbid obsession with everything that is wrong with life. This unhealthy immersion with reality inevitability leads to anxiety, depression and a darkness that can suffocate our souls.
Lastly, healthy balance involves both fun and light hearted moments as well as times where we pear into our inner man (soul). There we examine our places of pain, conflict and confusion which we than can bring into relationship with God (prayer) and others, which in turn provides relief and comfort. When we strive to balance both ends of the spectrum equally, we begin to have choices in life as opposed to addictions and compulsions… the silent and destructive animators of our destiny.
That’s my New Year’s resolution, daily working to find a better balance between reality and delightful escapes.
To a happier 2013,
Milan and Kay