Happiness is something in the western world that most of us seek as outside of us. Happiness is not outside of us, but most westerners do everything we can think of to get more happiness into our lives. We’ve got Ted speakers telling us how to be happy, and Oprah Super Soul 100 folks telling us what can make us happy. We’ve got gurus telling us what we should do to be happy, and magazines telling us the science behind being happy, while bestselling books tell us that we can find happiness “here” in their pages, if we want it.
And when we seek happiness and it continually eludes us, we get unhappy about being happy.
From TGIF to hump day to taking vacations to taking sabbaticals to celebrating holidays to eating our favorite foods on special occasions to being with our favorite people anywhere, anytime to playing sports off-season to watching our favorite sports teams in season to extreme sports off the beaten path to going to extremes with addictions to having sex to watching other people have sex to…
Yes, we do know all the ways we have mastered to find our happiness.
We look for more ways to find happiness all the time, not realizing it’s closer (and easier) than all of that. Most of us seek all of these ways to happiness because we fear expressing our pain; as though .giving voice to it may sustain it somehow. And this is something most of us simply do not want. So we think we have to do things, take things, imbibe things, and all sorts of other things to cover over the pain and get happiness back. But then knowing happiness will not last somehow turns pain into sadness.
It sounds bleak, doesn’t it? What’s that quote about “quiet lives of desperation?” Not a good look for social media. Or for the vision we have for our lives.
Most of our attempts at finding happiness somehow become attempts to keep our pain at bay, our sadness at bay, our disappointment at bay, our dread and disdain and despair at bay. So then finding happiness becomes a salve.
We’ve inherited a consciousness through the ages that says, “Pain will last forever unless you get rid of it,” or some version of that. (Okay, that may be really bleak… but don’t discard that it’s in the background of how we think about the world and life itself. Look at current affairs. Look at our movies and television shows. Look at our books. Look at… most anything in our zeitgeist.) Not only is it not true that pain will last forever until you get rid of it, but it’s not necessary to get rid of the experience of pain to experience more joy.
Joy, or bliss, as I refer to it most often here on the (r)evolution of bliss, is our natural state of being. (I say this from direct experience in myself and indirect in my clients.) Joy is who we are and any pain we experience is simply covering over our natural state of bliss.
And we don’t just apply this inherited consciousness to pain, it applies to any negative emotion we’re having that is undesired by us. So our joy – our natural state – goes covered over to the Nth degree as we heap idea on top of idea about how “I’ve got to do this to be happy” and how “I don’t want this bad thing to happen anymore” like piling shit (yes, I said it) onto our living room floor, layer by layer, and then planting lovely, fragrant roses in it and expecting for only the beautiful fragrance of the flowers to be evident by aroma.
It’s like the elephant in the room (or his dung). And there we are planting flowers like good gardeners, but the smell of those little blossoms will never overpower the smell of the other.
We can begin to get that happiness is closer than we believe. All that you want is already within you… whether that sounds like a cliche or not. What do you need, you ask? Well, nothing actually. If you want to experience the joy you are, you can create practices by which to experience this joy that go with you wherever you go. I mean why not? Take advantage of this *free* joy that abides within you. What have you got to lose?
Self-Care 101: Make It Okay to Be Human
Here’s a practice that can start to show you more of the joy that abides within you. Click above and check it out.
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*updated as of 3/11/2022