The Search for Happiness
By Anil Giga
It is fair to say that happiness is most likely number one on most people’s wish list. We all go through life and in our own way we are all seeking this “happiness.” The idea of what represents happiness is, of course, very different for all individuals. For some it is to find the right partner, get married and have a home with kids. For others it could be the achievement of success in a career or wealth. Some may observe their personal situation and feel that an elimination or reduction in the problems and obstacles they face would lead to happiness. What gets missed in all this is that our search for happiness has really become a paradox. First, happiness is undeniably a feeling; it is not a material or physical thing. Yet, for some ingrained reason, we continually seek happiness in material and physical things! That’s right: We look to other people, to worldly goods and possessions and external impulses to give us this feeling of happiness. This is the reason most people never really find happiness even though they may spend all their life looking for it.
Second, happiness already exists within each of us at the deepest level of the soul. There are no shortcomings or inadequacies in that sacred space within us. When we live our physical life with conflict and stress, this stifles that inner peace, creating imbalance and causing the inner voice to lament the lost happiness. The yearning for happiness we feel is an auto-response coming from within telling us that the way we are living our life, our priorities and our actions is creating a curtain around that inner light. We respond by looking for happiness in things and people, and consequently are doomed to failure and disappointment. We should recognize that the happiness we buy and achieve externally is nothing but temporary gratification. Some people indulge in a lavish spending spree; others might jet off with their partner on a sunny cruise. Yet chances are three months later, nothing will have changed much and that yearning for happiness will have emerged once again. The fact is that since happiness already exists within, we need to restore the balance and the conditions that will allow happiness to emerge from within once again. The reason why people do not find happiness is that, instead of simply stopping and rediscovering it within, they go out looking for it. Happiness has never been what we have, who we are or where we are, but rather how we perceive ourselves.
Is it not ironic that, when we were little children, a glass of milk and a broken Tonka toy or rag doll was enough, and that we found so much natural love and happiness in everything we did? As we get older, no matter how much we acquire or accumulate, nothing is enough and happiness is often illusive.
If you are searching for happiness: