Catching the flow of happiness
People always claim to be looking for happiness and peace in their life.
If they have been looking for a long time, why haven’t they haven’t found it yet?
Maybe it is because it’s much easier and less painful to look for happiness externally.
Cars, boats and big houses make some of us feel happy for a little bit.
A new pair of shoes or a new hair style might work for a day or two.
An attractive date or a wealthy spouse certainly is something to dream about, but what happens when that feeling of newness has faded and reality sets in.
What pattern will you repeat when you realize that these things do not bring lasting happiness?
Happiness received from a destination vacation, a meal at a four star restaurant or a huge royalty check abandon us rather quickly once life allows us to get back into our normal flow.
We have somehow gotten caught up in the false belief that our happiness is tied to things we possess or surround ourselves with.
But if that is true why do the poorest countries have the happiest people? They certainly don’t have the luxuries even the most modest incomes allow most of us.
Money brings comfort and security which are important but happiness is achieved by looking inside and finding what truly makes you happy and fulfilled and being grateful for things that are of value to you.
Happiness is a river that flows through our spirit, nourishing in ways that possessions never will.
Let me make it clear that there is nothing wrong with wealth and possessions, you can have both, but I have seen again and again where “things” serve as a replacement not an enhancement of happiness you already possess.
To immerse yourself in the river of happiness and bring peace in your spirit you must be keenly aware of the value you place on everything.
I am sure you know the value of your home or car. What you paid for that amazing pair of shoes you love and that vacation to paradise.
But have you considered the value of a walk in a park, the smell of jasmine blooming or hearing birds singing on a beautiful spring day? What is seeing the face of your newborn child worth?
What of value would you trade for health for yourself or someone you love who is terminally ill? What would you give of your possessions to have the loving embrace of someone departed, just once more?
Wading into that stream and catching the flow of happiness is one of the most valuable gifts we can give ourselves, but it comes with a cost that many believe is too painful to pay.
It is the cost of acceptance of the raw and very fragile nature of our existence. The awareness that our time is limited and that we have no control over death. That is precisely what makes every day beautiful and so amazing.
This week try to acknowledge all of the things that you receive at no monetary cost by becoming aware of the value they hold to your life and then writing them down as a reminder of all the blessings that are shared by everyone rich and poor.
Then join me again next week as we venture into the river once again and learn how to use the awareness of our mortality and the pain of loss as a tool for achieving lifelong happiness.