“I am happy before I have a reason.” I wish I could tell you who this quote is from but I have no idea. Have you ever put much thought into what makes you happy? What do you need to be happy? What needs to occur for you to be happy?
Have you realised that for many of us, our default state is that of not being happy. For some people their happiness is not dependent on them but on others. Some people feel that loved ones must prove their love constantly for them to be happy.
Have you thought about the saying “What you focus on is what you get?” So if you are focusing on happiness, what happens? If you are focusing on not being happy, what happens?
I am fascinated by language at the moment. Really listening to what people are saying and more importantly how they are saying it. Just today, a conversation with some friends, I will give them names for the sake of story telling.
Julie: “How was the high tea?”
Sally: “I was disappointed.”
Julie: “Really? Why?”
Sally: “Everything was beautiful – the food, the set up, it was all lovely, but I would have liked more people in my age group there.”
Julie: “Oh – so you still enjoyed yourself?”
Sally: “Yes, of course.”
What do you think of that conversation? I found it interesting that Sally focused on such a negative aspect to start with and that overall Sally had enjoyed herself. The food was lovely, the people there were lovely, she just had one expectation that wasn’t met and that tainted her whole view of the event. Do you do this sometimes? Need everything to be ‘just right’ to give something the tick of approval or are you someone who just needs most things to be ‘just right’ to feel that it was fantastic?
We, in this world that we live in, really do have so many reasons to be happy as we don’t have loads of obstacles in our way. We have fresh running water, we have roofs over our heads, and we have food in our cupboards.
Our attention is often caught at what is going wrong. Perhaps it is as easy as looking for what is good or right.
Ultimately, we can’t be a source of happiness for others until we are a source of happiness for ourselves first. So how can you be happy for yourself?
Whoever we are and whatever we believe, much of what we call happiness is in our own hands. It need not have a reason, it need not depend on events outside our selves, and it is not beyond our power to choose. Does happiness arise primarily from how we perceive and value life itself? From how we perceive and treat other people and from how we value our own existence? How we think about our own existence is critical. Not just how we think or how positively we think but who and what we think we are.
We can be the cause of immense happiness for ourselves and others even or especially in the face of pain and grief. Happiness isn’t just joy, bliss, pleasure, fun. It is all those things sometimes and yet from a sacred perspective particularly, happiness more accurately describes a state of aliveness that has abundant room for compassion and sorrow. That has the patience to be forgiving.
What we care about, we will protect.
For thousands of years we have had profound spiritual teachings available to us, from the north, south, east and west that our personal happiness isn’t about grasping and getting. It is about caring well beyond our golden gate.
We should love our neighbours as we love ourselves
Loving ourselves can already be a challenge.
As the Dalai Lama says “Be kind whenever possible and it is always possible.”
So start to focus on your happiness. Be happy for no other reason than you choose to be happy right now. Others will feel the positive energy or vibes from you. You will be someone they want to be around. You will be an inspiration to others. How wonderful is that?
“Be an inspiration to yourself and
you will be an inspiration to others.”