PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
I have been searching for happiness my entire life. I’ve searched for it in relationships, time frames, material belongings, and vacations. In the past, I’ve always convinced myself that when I get to the next accomplishment, I will be happy. Of course, I had happy moments; getting married was one of the happiest days of my life. Spending time with my kids and performing in endurance sports have brought me so much happiness. I’m not sure where I got the idea that the possibility of being happy all the time was possible. Perhaps it came from all of the the fairy tale movies, commercials, and news of the rich and famous.
I have held onto the belief that I would eventually find eternal happiness for such a long time, and it seemed the harder I tried to make it happen, the further away from it I would get. A few years ago, my therapist suggested I meditate, and this was the cure to my search for happiness. I tried it but couldn’t understand how it would help me relieve this knowing pressure of my Pursuit of Happiness. I told her that once we moved to the country and travelled more, then I would be happy. That didn’t happen. I still got sad, upset, angry, and frustrated.
In reality, happy moments are all we are capable of. Our emotions are so broad and vast; we can roll through an entire range of them in one day. They last for brief moments, and this is what we must remember; the pain will not sit in our hearts forever. The happiness will not remain there either, and that is okay. Would we even know happiness without sadness? I think back to all of the goals I set over the last ten years, telling myself when I achieved certain things that I would be happy, fulfilled, and satisfied. The truth is I always set off to the next goal, feeling like I hadn’t arrived yet. Where is this arrival? There is this intense need to arrive at a point where we feel fully content and happy with ourselves.
I’m happy to say that I finally feel closer to this arrival, and it’s not where I thought it was going to be. My therapist was right about meditating, but boy, it sure did take many hours and even years of sitting, quieting the mind to get a taste of what peace and contentment can feel like at any time if we allow it. We have the keys to our happiness, yet we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy it. We get caught up in the drama that our ego creates for us. Learning to set the ego aside and tune into Self is the arrival.
I also believe that accepting our emotions as they come is key to moving back into alignment with happiness. I used to dwell on feeling sad or angry and ruminate on it. Now I really tune into those emotions. I acknowledge them, instead of trying to stuff them away or sitting with them without acceptance. I welcome them with a thought such as, “of course you are feeling sad, what happened was very hurtful, it is normal to feel sad at this time.” I now recognize that accepting the emotion and giving myself permission to feel it helps me move through it so much faster. Then I get to realign with how I want to be feeling: back into my positive energy, back into happiness.
For me, happiness is not found in a store or with certain accomplishments. I have found happiness right inside of me, a light that shines from within. All I have to do is close my eyes and silently say a mantra such as “I love and accept myself,” and I get goosebumps, shivers, and happiness. It won’t last forever, and it’s not supposed to. However, it is always there for you to reclaim when you choose.
Do you have a favourite mantra that aligns you with your higher Self?