The search for happiness...
Like a fish in water who doesn't realize the water's presence because water surrounds, uplifts, and is the fish's "life breath", we too, fail to recognize the potentials for happiness that envelop us continually. Unceasingly.
Our ideas of what brings happiness - money (always, always, more money than we have!), the perfect mate, the ideal children, job, house, car, etc., etc., etc., stand between us and what we seek.
Yet, there are cultures, worldwide, whose populations seem to exude an innocent happiness, grace, and politeness that is independent of personal wealth and "stuff". These people are happy despite having very little.
What is their secret?
Why are these people happy with so few things?
What do populations who lack for outer material wealth know that we, who have so much, do not understand?
Once the basics of life are fulfilled - food, and shelter (enough food, and shelter) - the choice of happiness becomes our own to make.
Some time ago I read a book, "Double Luck" by Lu Chi Fa and Becky White. A true story about a boy-become-man who, despite a childhood of intense misery, became a well-to-do immigrant to the U.S. And, most inspirational is that despite much hardship, he IS a kind, loving, compassionate man. He didn't allow rejection, pain, misery, and the often harsh realities of his life to extinguish his innate goodness.
Confucius stated, "With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow, I have quiet joy in the midst of these things".
With so many material things why are so many of us miserable?
Is it because we have been taught to expect so much? Even more than we need?
The secret, that I have been excavating, mining, realizing, is that life will never be trouble free. If we decide to choose happiness, we must find it in the midst of these things!
While troubles are an inescapable factor of material life, we can mine our inner lode, our Soul, for the happiness that resides therein. Once we realize that our true source of happiness is NOT dependent upon outer things, people, issues, etc., we each tap into that eternal wellspring of joy.
But...here is the caveat...
...we must be willing to make a choice! To choose joy over misery!!! To accomplish this we must realize truth over mere belief. We've been taught that happiness is dependent upon a trouble-free life!
This is a false belief for life is never trouble-free!
The secrets to escaping false beliefs, are...surrendering to what is going on right now, living in the present moment, and gratitude for what we do have. Right now!!!
Perhaps the most elementary choice we can begin with is...
...shall I choose to be a good person, or not?
All other choices and secrets arise from this one place of being.
Lu Chi Fa, even as a child, discovered this secret!