Why Happiness Is A Choice (Part 1)
Everyone really wants to be happy right????.... but most people expect happiness to appear out of nowhere and stay forever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
Happiness is a choice, a certain approach to life that we take and of which we must be aware. Happiness is a matter of feeling good about yourself, a state where you are in perfect harmony with life, with the universe, with everything...... It’s a feeling. A well-being experience that you can create yourself......It’s not going to fall on you..... It’s not going to come knocking on your door BUT the great news is, you can create your happiness. You just have to know how to do it.
Almost everyone is in search of happiness. As if happiness was hidden somewhere and we had to go on a treasure hunt..... We have this belief that happiness is ‘out there somewhere, and we try every way to catch it, like a hunter who goes hunting to catch a wild animal.
Having said that.... Can we find it?.... Is happiness outside of us?.... Wouldn’t we be happy only ‘if’…?
The Sufi tradition tries to explain this to us with a story.
Their story goes thus:
One evening, people were watching Rabiya looking for something in the street in front of her hut.
They said ‘poor old woman’ and asked, ‘What is it? What are you looking for?’
She says: ‘I lost my needle.’
Everyone began to search, unfortunately without success. At that moment someone asked: ‘Rabiya, the street is wide and night is falling, it will soon be dark and a needle is a very small object, do you remember where it fell?’..... Rabiya replied: ‘I lost the needle inside the house.
People were offended,
‘What the hell is wrong with you?
If the needle has fallen inside, why are you looking for it outside? ‘
She replied: ‘Because here outside, there is the light of the lanterns. Inside my cabin, there is no light. ‘
Someone replied, ‘Even though there is more light out here, how do you find a needle that you haven’t lost around here? Wouldn’t it be easier to bring some light in and find the needle where you lost it? ‘
And Rabiya smiles. ‘You are so smart when it comes to the little things,’ she said. ‘
I have seen you all looking on the outside, yet I know very well from my own experience that what you are looking for has been lost on the inside
Use your intelligence!..... Why seek happiness outside?..... You’re not going to tell me that’s where you lost him. ‘
Everyone was speechless, and Rabiya returned to his house.
This story teaches us that we should use our intelligence to find things where they are, rather than looking for them where they are not - even when it is all dark. You have to look inside.
So maybe happiness is inside of us. Maybe it’s not outside of us at all where we lost it, as so many people think. They keep looking in the outside world, and they keep on being miserable because that’s not where it is!
It is quite realistic that we do not even need to seek happiness. Maybe we are just happy already, without realizing it. We believe that we will finally be happy once circumstances improve or people around us change. Is this the case? How can some people manage to be happy in pitiful circumstances while others are unhappy in the most luxurious conditions?
What is it if happiness isn’t outside of us, and if we can’t ‘find’ it? Happiness is a state of mind.....It is a behavior..... an attitude..... a way of seeing things..... a way of being present in life.
Seen this way, one can choose to be happy. Even more, we can create our happiness. A lot of people make it harder to be happy. They wait for outside things or people to make them happy, and they worry that nothing will come, only to conclude, ‘I’m out of luck.
Happiness is, first and foremost, a choice.
Happiness is not something you have or don’t have, ‘by chance.’ Happiness is the little extra that we get when we do certain things, look at life in a well-established way, manage our emotions in a very healthy way, and reason in a certain way.
It doesn’t matter if in your youth you were ‘lucky to have been raised by happy people, or, on the contrary, that you found yourself surrounded by unhappy people who taught you that life is difficult ... the past is behind you, and now it’s your turn to realize your happiness.
“Most people are as happy as they decide to be.” Abraham Lincoln
Working with clients I work with I realize not only how lucky I am but how bad things can get when the shit hits the fan so choosing happiness is not always the easy option so the joy I get from seeing others change things around is a true privilege for me.
The next blog will focus on how to make those decisions to choose happiness.
If you wanted to sprinkle this blog around a little that would be grand but if not I'll see you all next time :) x