For many years I just wanted to be happy. Is that too much to ask? I’m sure you’re no different, the pursuit for happiness is present in everybody.Isn’t it quite reasonable to have a few little comforts that make us feel alive, secure, and happy.
I wrote a blog a while ago ‘Why I’m Giving up My Search for Happiness‘ and it has been on my mind the last few days.
Did I really give up this search for happiness?
No, not really. I thought working on my spiritual journey and being told to let go of the search would mean it would happen and I would find my everlasting bliss.
Well, for some that might be the case but it certainly is not for me.
I still desire things, new house, good living, and I want to help more people find more peace of mind.
So, in one respect isn’t it good that I still have wants?
After all, doesn’t it improve the world when people want to improve themselves and help others?
It benefits all of us when someone has the desire to make a better phone, car, and improve the taste of a nice takeaway meal?
So, what is the problem with searching for happiness?
Well, the problem is how much we become attached to the desires.
We may desire a new relationship, car, move to a new house, a little security or spiritual enlightenment. And I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with desiring these things, if we didn’t want something in life we wouldn’t have any motivation.
The problem occurs when we get so fixated on what we want and believe that we need those things to be happy.
That balance is somewhere between being grateful for what we already have while still having ambition and a goal to improve things.
Becoming so attached to these things we desire almost inevitably sets us up for disappointment in life. And we miss the things we already have.
Our minds can only think of one thing at a time. If we spend that time constantly wanting, then there is no time for enjoying what we already have. Having this balance and practising gratitude means the happiness is already present we just need to become more aware of it.
If you’re not happy with what you have now, you will never be happy with what you have in the future. Even if it is a better car, happier relationship, the dream home, or anything else your heart desires.
Then sometimes we are lucky to get some of the things we want. What happens when those feel good feelings start fading away and we immediately start desiring other things.
The cycle continues.
Chasing the carrot.
Imagine dangling a carrot about two feet in front of a horse. As the horse moves towards the carrot the carrot stays the same distance ahead. The faster the horse goes, the faster the carrot goes. No matter how fast the horse goes, no matter how skillful the horse negotiates the roads and the lanes they will never get the carrot.
Then, suddenly one day the horse stops! It gives up the chase.
The carrot carries on in the same direction. As the horse gives up, the carrot swings away then changes direction and returns past its original spot until the horse can take a bite.
This is like life; the happiness is the carrot and we are the horse chasing it.
We need the carrot, but we need to give up the constant running faster and faster in the hope we are going to catch it up.
Sometimes we need to take time out, stop the pursuit altogether and allow things to fall into place, as they will at the right time.
I don’t know if the universe has a plan. However, I do believe in karma. Karma works just like the carrot, you sometimes must give it a little time.
I do know things work out, I do know that if we leave things go sometimes they will come to you if it’s meant to me.
Slow down, let happiness catch up.
So, we need to slow down and stop. We need to take that conscious breath several times a day.
It gives us a clear sight, space in our mind to make wiser decisions and not rely on our habits to do the same things we’ve always done.
The muddy water clears when things are just left to settle.
Today, starting right now take a mindful conscious breath. Just become aware that you’re breathing in, and you’re breathing out.
Recognise in this moment everything is okay just as it is.
When we regularly take a mindful breath, life will become more peaceful, calm and everything starts to improve.
We still have our desires, all those wants, however we become less attached to needing them to be happy.
Happiness is right here right now, it is not something to attain. It is not possible to make your surroundings perfect to what you expect from life. You cannot change people to think and live the way you would like them too according to your story.
Having a balance between all your pushing and grabbing and what you already have in life will make a big difference.