I recently posted a note on the home page of my social networking site referencing a quote I happened to enjoy that morning. It has become a new practice of mine to only say encouraging or uplifting things on the site as I find myself so entirely weary of using the forum to gather negative momentum in my life by not only experiencing something less than favorable in my life, but to post it and then seek affirmation or support for my disgust. To me, posting how "life sucks", or "having a bad day" is simply acknowledging it as being true or real. I figured I will get back what I put out there ten fold over so why not try a little positive energy and support for others needing a "nudge" in the right direction?
My post loosely interpreted was that perhaps it may be wise to take a break from "searching for happiness, to just simply be happy". I liked that. I too have decided that, like any skill, being able to overcome obstacles and to dispel some of the undesired mental states we can find ourselves in is a skill indeed and like anything from sports, to cooking, to martial arts is an acquired art form coming through diligent practice. There are many practices, avenues, belief systems, tomes, and activities that could honestly make the quest perpetual and lifelong. We could spend the duration of our lives feverishly and unceasingly in a quest for elimination of the negatives that we encounter to find serenity and understanding of the sinister events that we perceive plague us.
I noticed too that in the actual "act" of learning, and especially "searching", diverted our focus to "what is out there", and that there is a "lack" in us to which me must seek to fill the void. That in and of itself can be distressing if we look at it. Although the trek to find a happier existence is truly noble and better than entertaining the mindest of a victim or hopelessness, it in itself can be a paradox as to the quest itself is a proclamatiom of the "absence" of happiness itself, that it is "out there", and not within our possession.
As I write this, I look up to my left and see my collection of DVD's, books upon books, CD's, and various support items that I too use and or used to seek the elusive "state" that would validate why we are all here. I have spent hours upon hours reading, viewing, praying, meditating, contemplating, and searching for the best way to be a happier me. I also find, as I reflect, that I often felt compelled to get through one book, as another awaited, to search the net for a class that is out there, to get to my meditation and see that my focus also was diverted to that which was not yet here. I had alot of work to do. Lots of reading, viewing, and yet there always came more. I drank it in, and did, and do enjoy the reading and wisdom that is to be shared with myself and others. I really get inspired, and love sharing the sentiment.
I also see that as I searched, I often sacrificed time that could have been spent on other experiences as I was afraid to waste the rest of my life longing for what was my destiny, so I felt, I better get to the study, the reading, the sitting in the presence of others finding the lost element that would make it all make sense. My vision was that of looking through the looking glass to see the heavens that were currently out of reach. I could see it, but it was not yet in my grasp. I saw what I wanted, the recipe was just not yet finished. I too got caught on the hamster wheel...
I see now that often times on the quest for "happiness", we can spend too much time looking at or for the "map" that we lose the joy of the journey. The further down the path we look or search, diverts us from experiencing where happiness and joy reside which is now. Why do I want to be happy? To enjoy life, right now!
I see one of the biggest common threads in my learning, my studies, readings, religion, and experiences show that being "present" is where peace, joy, love and connection lie. Be where you are when you are there, that is the key to joy. If we are here, now, we cannot allow tomorrow's problems to haunt us today, and yesterday's incidents and burdens are of the past and therefore are no longer a threat. I see now that the safest, truest, and most fulfilling place I can be is here.
I will definitely continue my studies, my reading, my times of reflection, but I now see them as a supplement to my positive existence. A way to "Feng Shui" what I now experience. I also see that the ups and downs, like that of a heartbeat are simply life's fluctuating pulse, that simply means I am alive, and for that I am grateful. I realize the happiness I seek is within me now, and sometimes it may need a little polish to allow it to shine brighter. It is that beacon within me that will keep my atention to where it belongs. To me, happiness comes from presence, presence is connection, connection is divine, and in the divine love is found. What a better way to find happiness? Now rather than seeking for what I may still be missing, I now will take an inventory of that which I am currently blessed with; and that make me happy. Right here, right now!