“It just seems like no matter what I do, I’m just never happy.”
If you’ve ever said or thought the statement above, you’re a member of one of the biggest clubs in the world. Struggling to find and hold onto happiness is one of the most difficult issues that people have to deal with.
Usually the beginning of this problem is that we have an idea of what happiness is, but we don’t fully understand it because it comes and goes. Since we don’t know what we’re really after, we just chase the shadow of it. If you’ve ever chased your shadow, you know that you’re wasting your time. So we need to start figuring out what being “happy” means to us.
It’s important to remember that even the people with the most perfect lives have issues that they’re dealing with. Everyone suffers and everyone experiences pain differently, so we should never feel like we’re alone in this struggle.
One of the many gifts of our mind is that it allows us to imagine better things. We can always imagine our situation being better, healthier, and happier no matter how good things may already be.
So really what we have to accept is that since our happiness comes from within, we are responsible for nurturing it. As we grow up we learn what works for us, and we learn what we really care about. It’s a growing process. We grow to understand happiness; we don’t create it, because it’s already there.
The things outside ourselves can only take us so far. Money, friends, love, music, food, medication, cars, entertainment, work, church, school… can only carry you to a certain point. If your sense of self-worth and happiness comes from the outside, you will always want more. You can spend your whole life working on these things, but ultimately you’ll realize that things are decorations. You’ll realize that everything you really wanted was already there. You just needed to recognize it and help it grow.
The simple realization is that things don’t make people happy. Meaning and value and strength come from within you, they come from a place that no one else can touch.
Happiness happens. It shines through the cracks in between everything else that goes on in our lives. All the happiness you could ever want is already there, if only you can accept that it’s yours.
And although no one else can give you happiness, no one else can take it away.