is the worst thing you can do to find your own happiness.
Virtually everyone around us is on the search for happiness. Happiness became a buzzword, like well-being, wellness, mindfulness, without anyone realizing what it really entails. After all, everyone defines ‘happiness’ subjectively. Many of us accumulate a lot of materialistic things in our life in order to feel satisfied, pleasured, fulfilled. But is pleasure-seeking the ultimate way of finding happiness? Why is it that the countries with the lowest income in the world are happier than those with highest income? Why do those who seem to possess nothing, seem to be the happiest? Perhaps because true happiness isn’t comparable to a thick wallet or the number of possessions that one has. Its true worth lies in feeling blissful and happy even when you possess nothing of materialistic value. Things, either physical or mental, too often weigh us down, whereas happiness is only felt when we manage to let go of unnecessary things.
Watching kids playing is perhaps the easiest way to see, feel and learn what happiness truly is, as kids don’t focus on anything else but enjoying being in the moment to the absolute fullest extent. For us adults, happiness may last just a brief moment, but for them, that moment seems to last forever. Lightness, not contemplating about possible consequences that come later, naturally accompanies happiness. After all, happiness is a fuzzy and warm feeling that comes from within, with no apparent source. It makes us feel that everything is achievable, that we can fly without wings. It energizes and spreads out like wildfire. When other people catch that fire, they synchronize with our happiness. It lightens our worries, uplifts our mood and enlightens our mind (pun intended 😉 ). It transforms difficulties into opportunities, sadness into joy, impossibilities into possibilities.
To some of us, happiness seems so fleeting that we feel, we must try to catch it with our hands, hold on to it and never let it go. Yet, the more we chase after it, the further it slips away. Instead, if we take a moment to stand still and let go of all expectations, worries, heavy thoughts and emotions, happiness will lightly and naturally come to us. If we let it fly free, it will embrace us. If we give it a home within our heart, where it is welcomed to come and go anytime, where it is appreciated, where it is not expected to perform any miracles, that is the moment that it comes to reside within us. In short, we feel the happiest when we learn to let go.
As with happiness, relationships work the same way. We come to fall in love with the person who makes us feel ‘light’, happy, appreciated, grateful, fuzzy and warm inside. As time goes by, we get hooked on those feelings and start to develop expectations, wants and wishes, in order to drag on feeling those emotions as long as possible. Yet, these heavy thoughts and emotions start to drag us down by putting a weight on the lightness of happiness. We constantly fear that these feelings will go by, forgetting how much we bathed ourselves in these plentifully happy moments when we first discovered them – the moment it felt like they would last forever. We must remember, once again, that, from the very beginning, happiness has always been inside us, that we were able to find another person who resonated and synchronized so well with us because we welcomed them in without any expectations, and because that person also shared their happiness with us. Learning to let go of the physical and emotional stones that tie us down is a life-long journey, yet it will help us tremendously with inviting happiness in every moment of our life, with or without any possession, with or without other people. To attain happiness, remove ‘chasing’, and all you’re left with is ‘happiness’.
There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path. – Buddha