We’re taught from a very young age that things and people outside of us bring us happiness. You get the toys and possessions you want. You get to see beautiful things at great vacation spots. People in your life love you, smile at you and say good things to you. Until they don’t.
When your sources of happiness are “out there” somewhere in the world, you are vulnerable to their absence. Sometimes what you have is not enough, you don’t feel contended; not enough things, not enough people, not enough love for you. Every wave of loss or lack is a sharp knife cutting down your happiness. And even when there is enough, your happiness is a little bit tainted by the fear that this good time will end. Because it always does, as it is a universal law, good times and bad times are hand and glove with each other.
Maybe your happiness is also tied to who you are or what you look like. Does your definition of happiness include a particular appearance, or job, family or relationship status? Those are also things that change constantly, often without asking for your permission.
So, time change, events change, people change, you change. Suddenly what was responsible for your happiness is no longer making you happy. You find yourself needing to begin the difficult process of looking for more happiness.
If you are in touch with New Age ideas, which now boast science and real evidence about how our consciousness creates reality (often narrated in a few books like – power of your subconscious mind, etc), you may have spent some time on deliberate manifestation. The process calls for you to envision the future happiness you want and to see that vision as true now. You learn to become grateful for what you currently have. If you have undertaken this process you may have had some success. Perhaps some of your vision has come true. Perhaps you are generally more positive, which is a wonderful result in itself.
If you have enjoyed some success in deliberate manifestation, was it enough? Did your happiness last? Or are you still looking for more; trying to manifest more?
If your definition of happiness is based on the good feelings you have when you have what you want, you will be engaged in the “pursuit of happiness” for a lifetime. (Hey, don’t think it to be your constitutional right. It is important to you and you deserve every bit of happiness in your life, but only the pursuit towards happiness is guaranteed.)
What if happiness isn’t really “out there” somewhere? What if true happiness, or joy, isn’t tied to material things? What if it isn’t about having OR not having? What if it’s a state of existence we all vaguely remember but don’t remember how to get there?
Now let’s go basic – After that first lung-clearing cry, most of us come into this world happy. Babies smile for no good reason. They are pleased with the smallest things and are delighted just to be. “That’s easy”, you think. They have no responsibilities, no bills to pay, no one else to care for. All true. However, what they can teach us is that real happiness is there, inside us, from the moment we’re born. It’s not lost; it’s not given away. It’s COVERED by the events and responsibilities of this world. That happiness, that joy, you see in a very young child is still inside of you. It is an essential part of the truth of who you are. What we need to do is uncover it.
We begin that process by remembering that real happiness springs from within. We must stop believing it’s ‘given’ to us by outside events. If you can stop looking for happiness outside of yourself and believe that there is a core of happiness inside you, you have made a start. When you locate that core of happiness within, you no longer need to fear that it will be taken from you.
The challenge is in changing your mind about what happiness is and where it comes from. If you have a view of happiness that isn’t serving you, learn how to look within. Your true happiness is always there. Close your eyes, still your mind and look within.