The Pursuit of Happiness: a Spiritual Journey
Monday, August 10, 2015 - Author: Warren W.
It's a topic that has been pondered for centuries. Found in both in the US Declaration of Independence and a song by the Cleveland born rapper Kid Cudi, the pursuit of happiness still eludes most of us.
How many people have managed to find true happiness?
How many of us are still looking for it daily? When we think about finding anything there are three key factors to consider; What, Where and How. Let's explore together and see if they can help us find real happiness, shall we.
What is it that was lost?
Before we can even look for happiness we must know what it truly is. Many things can make us happy; a hug, a warm summer day or even chocolate. But we all know that these and many other things are fleeting. If you only want temporary happiness then we need not look farther however, there is so much more to the state of happiness. Did you know there are people that are genuinely happy almost all the time? I do because I am one of them. Now there is nothing special about me; anyone can be happy as I am.
Is there a secret to knowing real happiness?
Yes and no. Each of us needs to find what it is for us. While I cannot answer that for you, I can help you see what it is not; happiness is not anything external. No other person, place or thing can truly make you happy. Finding happiness is an internal and spiritual journey that we must choose to take. It is a state of being - not a state of mind. We can change our minds about things often but if we choose to make our core being one of happiness then nothing can change that. Not people or circumstances.
Where should I look for it?
As I just mentioned, to find happiness you must look inside yourself. In my 50 plus years on this spinning ball I have not ever met anyone who was truly happy because of anything external. We think that finding the right partner or the perfect job or the winning lottery ticket will finally make us happy. That is just not true and there are millions of people who prove it. No, the only place to find happiness is within your being.
Start by taking just a few minutes each day someplace quiet. Turn off the TV and the cell-phone, log off Facebook and Twitter. Spend time with yourself. If you have never done so, find a guide who can teach you some simple meditation techniques. Put the day's events behind you and focus your mind on yourself. Some people call this prayer, others call it contemplation. Seek out your soul and spirit. It is not a religious act but a time to search within you.
How did I lose it?
Was there a time in your past where you were happy? For some people the answer may be no. But does it really matter if we are finding happiness for the first time? No, what matters understanding why you are not happy now. A true, internal happiness cannot be lost; it is part of you. If you were happy because of something external then it was never truly your happiness to begin with. Happiness on loan is not our goal; happiness for life is. If you can see that what you lost came from someone else, you are well on your way.
It's time to learn to let things go and move on. It may seem difficult to many of you, but it is really simple; you just do. People who have found their true, internal happiness can let things - even bad things - just wash over them like rain. OK, so I got wet. Do I focus on being wet and unhappy or do I choose to accept that I am wet and move on. My happiness is only dependent on me and not other people or circumstances. You know the saying that "stuff happens" and it is true. However, people with a real inner happiness acknowledge that it happened and move forward; those who do not spend hours, days or even weeks dwelling on the event.
Treat finding real happiness as a spiritual journey. Make time to meditate or spend quiet time alone every day. Learn to let things go and not to make the "thing" the focus. We are beings given the greatest gift imaginable; the ability to choose. Real happiness is never external nor is it affected by other people or circumstances. Make a choice each and every day to be happy no matter what may happen. It is not only possible to do but after some time it becomes our nature. It becomes who we are.