“True Happiness Lies Within”
Most of us have heard these beautiful words being spoken many times. Whether or not we practice any form of spirituality, on some level, we believe this to be true even though we may not have truly experienced it and know it to be true.
So, these words are just a beautiful, poetic phrase but, do we really understand their true profound meaning? If the seed of happiness is within all of us, why do we keep searching for happiness in money, fame, power, appearances, accumulating possessions, achieving a goal: that is, in external things?
I know I’ve done this many times. Telling myself, “I’d be so much happier, if only I had…”
It always seemed that happiness was just right around the corner. Even if I got one of the things that was suppose to make me happy, I’d think, “I’m almost there, just one more thing.” For example; I would be happier when I got to travel. When I was traveling across South America, I’d be so happy when I learned to speak Spanish. Oh wait, when I learned to speak Spanish, I’d be happy when I launched my website. Then, one last thing, when I published my book. But then, when I started my coaching business…
How about you? Sound familiar?
Maybe, we haven’t truly captured and understood how happiness can possibly be within us. I mean, if this was true, wouldn’t we all be automatically happy? Is it possible that the simple fact that we search for happiness in external things, is what’s keeping us from finding the key to experience true BLISS?
I want to share a tale about the secret to finding the hidden key to true happiness.
The Divine felt very lonely and wanted to have company to share the experience of all living things with. So, he decided to create beings that would keep him company. One day, these beings found the key to true happiness, followed his path and became one with him.
The Divine, once again was left alone and felt lonely. He reflected. He thought about creating human beings but, realized that human beings would be able to find the key to true happiness, find the path towards Him and once again would be left alone.
He continued reflecting and wondered where he could possibly hide the key to true happiness so that human beings could not easily find it. At first, he thought about hiding it at the bottom of the ocean; then, in a cave of the Himalayas; then, in a very remote place in outer space. However, he was not satisfied with any of these hiding places. He spent the entire night trying to figure out the best place to hide the key to true happiness. He thought that human beings would eventually explore the bottom of the ocean, enter the caves of the Himalayas and travel to outer space. They would surely find the key.
Where could he possible hide the key to true happiness?
In the early morning, when the sun was slowly beginning to dissipate the morning mist, it finally occurred to Him. The only place where human beings would never seek to find the key to true happiness: Inside the human being itself!
He created human beings and hid the key to true happiness within them.
In search for true happiness, the more we seek on the outside, the more we distance ourselves from it.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting more in life, actually it’s great if you do, unless you are putting off being happy waiting for that one thing to come along. It’s this illusion that always keeps us one step away. Always! The only way to let go of this illusion is to experience daily happiness by being in the present moment.
I remember the first time I got out of a van and stepped foot in one of the ‘poorest’ neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. I had just joined a volunteer team to help with educational and recreational activities with the children. The first thing that caught my attention was the smiling faces of a group of children running towards the van. Although it was the first time they were seeing me there, at some point, I had two little kids glued to my legs and one hanging on my back. They were so excited and thrilled to see someone new come see them to play with them. As I continued going there, I got to know some of their mothers. Around supper time, some would gather in a broken down cabin with a cooking stove to prepare the meal. When it was ready, the whole neighborhood would line up to get their small portion. Just like the children, they always seemed like they were in Disney Land. Some lived in homes made out of cardboard. Some shared tiny apartments with four to eight other families. Why were they so happy?
Here’s what they explained to me:
“From the moment we wake up, we celebrate the wonderful blessing of being alive. We never know when will be the last time we have to truly enjoy every moment we are given. Yes, we face many struggles.
They are part of life and every part of life is meant to be embraced.
By appreciating and being grateful for all we have, we enjoy the process of facing our struggles and see solutions and opportunities which are always right there in front of us. Always know you’re a beautiful part of nature that is stronger than any circumstance. No one and nothing can ever take away your inner peace and happiness.”
Although, this is still something I occasionally have to remind myself of, when I do drift off and experience moments of anger, frustration, sadness or fear, I remember these words.
I want to share three things I learned that helps me release my negative thoughts and reconnect with my inner self:
I know, you’ve heard it all before, “Be grateful for everything you have,” right?
But, what if you actually took the time to acknowledge all the simple things that may go unnoticed? When you’re stuck in traffic on a stormy winter day, what if you acknowledge that you are seated in a warm car with probably the luxury of listening to your favorite music? What would it be like without it? When you’re doing your laundry, what if you acknowledge the fact that you have all these clothes, bed sheets and towels? What would it be like if you didn’t have any? Try doing this with all you have and with your friends and family. Doing this regularly, has helped me to shift my focus from everything that’s missing and wrong in my life to the abundance I already have and the miracle of life inside me.
The universe doesn’t revolve around me
In any given situation where I am faced to confront or handle an obstacle, whether it’s having to deal with a rejection, criticism, or the process of learning something new, or waiting in line or weather conditions, as soon as the thought of, “Why does this always happen to me,” I take a few moments to take deep breaths. With every breath, I slowly allow myself to remain aware of my present thoughts without attaching myself to them. I remove the “me” from my thoughts. Slowly, I am no longer the center of these things directed to me. They are external forces that are circulating, that are happening. At some point, I feel my body begin to release tension and relax until the emotion is completely lifted and I feel reborn and alive. I feel that I am the one who is back in control of any decision or action I need to take, instead of allowing the heaviness of my thoughts to take over and control me.
No one can take away my power
The release of whatever negative thought I had allows a shift that brings a joyful, peaceful mindset. This shift always reminds me of my own incredible inner power to handle any difficult situation and not take it personally. It’s all about wanting to make the choice between giving away my power by allowing my negative thoughts to take control or to recognize my inner power and be the one in control. One thing I learned is that the minute we begin to victimize ourselves and blame others or circumstances for our unhappiness, we automatically give them the power and the control over our happiness and freedom. Without them, we would never have opportunities to truly experience and discover the power of the hidden key deep within us. We all have that choice. We all have the power, our own personal key to experience a life of happiness.
“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet” ~ James Openheim
I’d like to hear from you. Is there someone or a situation that’s keeping you from being happy? It’s not easy, believe me I know! True happiness is already within you, it does depend on external forces. True happiness can be felt and experienced no matter any given situation, that’s why it’s true happiness. What can you practice doing in releasing the thoughts that are keeping your inner power buried inside? Do you have any other practices you can share which have helped you reconnect with true inner happiness?