“All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming- a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery we remembered even the misery with tenderness.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Seeking happiness can be tricky. The main reason is because too often we attach the essence of happiness within the form of something or someone. We think, “Once I graduate college I’ll be happy. Once my career takes off I’ll be happy. Once I loose weight I’ll be happy. Once I get married I’ll be happy. Once I have children I’ll be happy. Once I retire I’ll be happy,” and the list goes on and on.
The disappointing part about seeking happiness through outcomes is that once a goal is obtained, such as paying off debt, buying a dream house or getting away on a tropical vacation, we are too often onto the next quest for happiness. In the moment of obtaining the desired outcome, we may experience a brief sigh of relief or a moment of joy, but it is not usually something we can sustain. We end up back in the position of seeking happiness again. This unending quest seems in vain and is quite honestly exhausting.
Just over the weekend, as I was running errands, I found myself a bit down, a bit gray, unmotivated and bored. Nothing was really wrong. I was just feeling blah. I realized, “I am not happy.” That realization was depressing to embrace, considering there really isn’t anything terrible going on in my life. I thought, maybe that is the problem, “I don’t know how to be happy when I don’t have major problems to overcome.” I have worked really hard to rebuild my life and get things in order. Every area of my life is healthy and prosperous. I have achieved balance and success, why can’t I just be happy?
The reality that I discovered and am so excited to share with you is freeing. Happiness is not something you need to go out and get. You cannot seek happiness outside of yourself, you seek it and find it within. Accessing happiness takes one thing and one thing only- acceptance. You and I already have all the happiness we desire within. The way we can experience it is by simply receiving it.
So, here’s how I found it. After I realized I was unhappy, I started feeling guilty because I didn’t think I had the right to be unhappy when I have so much to be grateful for. As I bounced back and forth from the unhappiness and the guilt, I began to notice the beliefs that were instigating the battle. Those beliefs were that I didn’t have the right to be unhappy and that if I was unhappy something had to be wrong and would need to be fixed. As I questioned those beliefs and realized they were simply not true, I stopped judging myself and just allowed myself to feel unhappy.
That was the moment when I experienced and accessed my true happiness. It did not come from any external accomplishment or another person. It simply came from me, accepting and embracing where I was. I now have the key I need to access my happiness in any given moment, despite any circumstance. I have always believed, but just now experienced the fact that external things do not give me happiness.
My wish for you this week is that you have more moments of happiness than any other week. I hope you will let go of any beliefs about happiness coming from an outside source and instead receive all the happiness sitting in your heart right now.
There’s a great book about happiness that I encourage you to check out called, The Happiness Advantage. Here is a video that I’m certain you will enjoy!
Have a happy week!!!
Corry Ann March