I expect you are reading this blog and wondering if you are about to discover some heavily guarded secret? Something that will immediately change your life, making you happier and more fulfilled? Unfortunately I don’t have those kind of answers.
For those of you who have continued reading, thank you! Those people looking for the quick fix will now have clicked again in search of the next miracle, the next convenient spot to offload their personal responsibilities onto some blame-collecting icon or deity. I’ll get right to the point: happiness is hard won.
There seem to be a few underlying realisations that we have to go through in life that lead to us understanding first what happiness is, and second, how to try to find it. Some people acquire this with age; it may take them a whole lifetime to attain real personal bliss. For others, the awakening of an inner sense of beauty comes earlier, often through trauma or hurt, sometimes glimpsed momentarily and lost without practice.
For some people, those fixated on cures and quick fixes, it never happens. They wander through life mistaking financial success for happiness and material possessions as proof of happiness. By the time the years have advanced they have grown too bitter from greed and envy to really value what is good in the world.
The definition of happiness is good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy. I would add to this ‘balance’. The balance between being too harsh and being too lenient. The balance between worry and carelessness. The balance between unconcern and obsession. The balance between lust and sloth. The balance between self and other. In my experience, happiness is not simply a state, but a dynamic; a kind of life-equilibrium.
Where can we find it? Happiness is not so easy to notice unless it is right on top of you, with a smile, a glow and a tummy tickle. Yet it is there all the time, waiting in the wings for the conditions to be right. When the conditions are a faux joy, a combination of greed-related materialistic trophies, the dynamic is loaded and temporary. Happiness has hardly a moment to set in before the next quick fix floats seductively by.
But, when the conditions are right, when it all balances out and you can just ‘be’, then happiness is all around, diluting into a haze of long-lasting aura that shadows your soul. Smile. Breathe. Be Happy.