“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
We must carry it in us or we find it not”
~ Kahlil Gibran
“Are you happy? Really happy?” This was a question my dear friend Kelly asked me recently.
For the longest time I had forgotten what it was to be happy. Is it when everything is going my way? Is it when I have achieved success and been applauded for all my accomplishments? Is it when I have all the material things I always wished for? Is it when I finally have the approval of my family?
I have realized that those thoughts and experiences are not what give me joy. They are about happiness of the fleeting kind, which once achieved leaves you empty. They keep you constantly searching but never finding, always ready for the next best thing. They keep you in this perpetual cycle of seeking but never really attaining happiness in the true sense.
I have learnt that deep-rooted happiness is in the soul, that it stays firm and solid no matter what is happening around me. For such a lasting state of joy I have to participate fully, by creating a powerful state of mind, a stage for the soul from where to perform all deeds. I have to constantly bring my focus back on happy-ness. Keep pulling myself consciously into the light. After all there is no such thing as darkness. Darkness is only the absence of light.
That yearning for true happiness is in everyone’s heart. It’s that constant awareness, that constant pushing and pulling, that takes time and mindfulness. And it requires lots of prayers. It’s not impossible, but it does need your full and consistent participation. It is definitely within your grasp. You just have to make up your mind that it is in fact what you truly desire.
‘What is happiness?’ is a question that has intrigued humanity for eons. People have climbed the highest peaks, dived into the deepest oceans, sat in meditation in caves for months, isolated themselves in deep contemplation on mountaintops, yet they have not found the secret to this billion dollar question.
No one, including our parents, our schoolteachers, or our gurus, has ever taught us to be happy. Wish that schools would offer an education in mastering happiness. Imagine if happiness were truly an art – how many of us would claim to pass in that subject?
Virtually every human being has the same problem- we know what is good for us, but we don’t do it. We tend to be lazy at heart. We rarely want to work for something. We prefer the easy, comfortable route. So if happiness can be achieved easily through material means, then why not?
Take for instance shopping, vacations etc. Taking pleasure from buying things can give us a high, going on vacations may add to our happiness quota but the effects will wear off sooner than we think. It’s like a drug, effective for a very short while but giving us a taste and a wanting for more and more so we can maintain that high feeling.
Such happiness is fleeting because it is dependent on things, people and circumstances outside of us and thus can just as easily be taken away.
We tend to seek success, fame and acquisitions as a means to our ultimate happiness. We set up principles and impose values on ourselves and we always feel uncomfortable and unhappy when we do not live up to those standards we have set.
Nothing outside of you can give you joy. Nothing others do can make you truly happy. The spiritual path requires that you just BE happiness.
Take some time daily to go deep within so you may consciously connect with the happiness from within you. Meditate, so that you may tap into the joy that is your birthright. Align your thoughts, your words and your actions so that you may experience the bliss that comes from knowing that you have been true to yourself. Then there will be success, and all the other things you seek will surely follow.
Being happy already you will suddenly realize that the things you were always seeking did not matter so much after all…
“All things in this vast universe exist in you, with you, and for you.”
~ Kahlil Gibran