We seek it here, we seek it there, we seek it everywhere…The reason we wake up and get out of bed… The reason we work… The reason we have relationships… Happiness is our ultimate goal, happiness is our motivator. We exist to be happy.
Why is it then that we seem to spend more time chasing after happiness than experiencing happiness? Why is it that it can seem so elusive, difficult to track down and fleeting? Could it be that we are misunderstanding exactly what happiness is and where it comes from? What is happiness is made up of?
So what is happiness? Would you agree that happiness is a state that we feel? If so, what are we feeling when we feel happy? What feelings make up true and long lasting happiness, rather than moments of excitement? (Not that there’s anything wrong with excitement). Turning this over in our minds we come to see that 3 strands (or expressions) of happiness are contentment, joy and bliss. But what do these 3 stands mean to us?
Contentment: the feeling that comes from a sense that nothing and no one can disturb me and whatever happens will be OK. There is proactive acceptance, that has the insight that everything is happening just as it is meant to be and has a benefit in it or has something to learn from it. It’s not an acceptance that requires us to have to agree with others or condone what they have done. Proactive acceptance allows us to see that criticism and blame don’t achieve anything useful, but are a sure path to unhappy and discontent. Contentment is a belief that we have everything that we need.
Joy: a feeling that arises naturally from deep within. It’s particularly linked to being on purpose and maintaining an optimistic outlook. Our creativity is embedded in it. It is recognising that there is far more to us than our physical form. Joy is a conscious energy that nurtures. Our joy increases as we see, we haven’t come to take from life, rather that we are here to create our life and that we have the ability to do so.
Bliss: The feeling of being totally free. We’re often caught in the illusion that happiness can be attained from things from outside ourselves. The world contrives to convince us that our happiness is dependent on something or someone out there. Which leads us to the fear of loss. We become dependent and insecure.
Can you think of any more ‘feeling’ ingredients? Now take one for starters and start focusing on it and increasing your inner experience of contentment, joy or freedom