Where can you find happiness?
People talk about happiness as if it is tangible and when you look in the right place you will find it. For some, happiness is achieved through their career, their wealth or their home, whilst others find happiness in their children or a romantic relationship.
The Pursuit of Happiness is at the root of our current society as we look for instant gratification through ‘retail therapy’ (shopping), food, sex, alcohol, drugs and prestige. The need to feel accepted, to be good enough – these are some of the emotions we use to define happiness. As we have more, we feel we are more. And this feeling of being ‘better’ keeps us in a cycle of competition, constantly striving for more.
This is the feeling we believe is happiness. The problem with this model is that you are relying on things outside of yourself to make you happy. And your level of happiness seesaws between ecstasy and despair depending on how well you believe you are doing in comparison to how you see other peoples’ success or failure.
The other way we try to create happiness is by reducing our pain level. In other words, if our emotional pain is less, then we must be happier, right? So finding ways to numb our pain produces a feeling of well-being or happiness, at least in the immediate moment. The problem with this tactic is that over time we become desensitised to the method of pain numbing; shopping, alcohol, drugs, sex etc; so that we need to do more of these things to get the same result. This puts us on the same seesaw as the paragraph above. Again, we are relying on something outside of ourselves to make us happy and are therefore powerless to maintain our sense of joy when things change.
The only place to find true sustainable happiness is to look within. If you look ‘without’ you will go without!
The contentment, stability and comfort you find in knowing you are your best friend, that you never need to feel alone and that you already have everything you need is liberating. It’s like magic! Your fear, insecurity and pain melt away like frost on a sunny morning. And just like the sunshine after the rain, your heart feels lighter, there is a Mona Lisa smile hovering around the corners of your mouth, your head lifts as you look out through eyes which are bright with anticipation.
When you look at your life through the eyes of gratitude, happiness is the automatic result. Events will occur around you, there will be loss and things will change. But with a clear sense of who you are, your happiness can remain intact.
Happiness is not always the feeling of euphoria we are led to believe. Sometimes it’s just the choice to be grateful, to focus on the good and to let go of any feelings of anger, rejection or frustration as you know they do not add to your life.
This is a position of extreme power. Here you understand you have the freedom to choose your responses and therefore your happiness.
Have a think about this and see how you can add more happiness to your life!