“Happiness”! One of the most complex words to understand in the human vocabulary. And yet, each one of us runs to attain this intangible state all our lives. I wish I had a better partner, wish I had a new pair of clothes, wish I could buy a new car, and wish I had that job. Wish I had this or that and then I would be happy. But lets’ just look at it from another perspective. Will anything change when you have one of those things? The world would remain the same even if you have a better partner, or a new pair of clothes, or a bigger car or a job that looks nicer to you. Every time the wrapper could be different, but the gift inside remains the same. Happiness for me is like that pretty little butterfly we run around chasing, never being able to catch it while it comes and sits on our shoulder when we stop chasing it.
Every time we see a baby giggling and smiling at us, we realize how much we have lost as we grew up. We lost that sense of innate happiness as time passed and we attained maturity. Have we ever thought why that little baby’s happiness never seems to vanish? How does that baby appear all cheerful and full of joy all the time? The answer is simple. At that stage of life, the self is unaware of the complexities of life. It is ‘benighted’ if we can call it that. Basically, that young self is just in touch with the real happiness that lies within. That little baby does not get burdened by societal pressures or tensions. For the baby, happiness is a balloon, a piece of candy, or maybe a colourful new toy. Happiness for that baby is looking around and adapting to new things. Meeting new people and smiling at the faces who try to talk to him like they are his age.
As time passes, the boulders of pressures and responsibilities fall over and push that little baby in us beneath them. The real happiness gets overshadowed while finding a purpose in life, while sitting in the office for extra hours to get a bonus, while missing out on a summer trip because you had meetings scheduled during that time. As we grew older, we learn about sadness and suffering and loss. That innate happiness fades because of more externalised circumstances. The occurrences in the surrounding start mattering to us. We stop living in the present. Most of our times are spent in living in the past or planning the supposedly “perfect” future. If one of your friends criticized you for something, the next couple of days will be spent in contemplating about that criticism. What would happen or occur tomorrow occupies our minds and disturbs us greatly today. This again stops us from living in the moment. We fail to understand that living in THIS moment and being happy about it is more imperative that clinging to the past or thinking about what the future would bring.
So is there still a way we can get hold of the happiness we had within us while we were a baby? To find that innate happiness which maybe is still there within us but while accomplishing certain things in life, we put it on the peripherals of our existence?
Yes there is. And the solution is to ‘Live in the Moment’.
If we look towards tomorrow for attaining happiness, there are chances that tomorrow, we would feel the same. It sounds strange but it is actually true that while looking at tomorrow, we forget to appreciate the beauty of the moments that we are living in today. We should practice appreciating what we already have rather than waiting for all that we don’t. Start counting the blessings and we will know what our present is worth. At times, we get too worked up about things and get hyper. Maybe we did not get a promotion we were waiting for from months. We should stop taking ourselves too seriously. It is difficult to stay humorous at times of suffering or loss, but sharing a small laughter could actually help in making the weight of the circumstance lighter and help us accept the loss sooner. Remember that angles fly because they are light.
Just be yourself. It’s always good to be you rather than being pretentious and trying to be someone else. No other person is better than you. You are His unique creation and He loves us all equally.
Try to be friends with your own self. Close your eyes and try to find that little happy self that is hiding somewhere within. It is said that the greatest downfall for a man is when he does not know himself. That little baby is still there hiding within you. Find him.
Forgive yourself for all that you have done in the past. Had it not been the past, you wouldn’t have been what you are today. You need to forgive yourself for getting angry, for feeling hurt, for getting frustrated at times. Know that you have grown into a better person because of learning from those past experiences.
And finally, don’t forget to treat and surprise that little child within you. Play with the kids in the colony, go out on a hiking trip with strangers, sit in the balcony enjoying a cup of coffee reading your favourite book, buy yourself your favourite chocolate once in a while, dance in the rain, jump in puddles, spend time with the one you love, do all the small things that bring a smile to your face and the ones around you. Live each moment that you breathe and never miss out on the little things that life offers each moment for you to be happy.
Just find that little baby within you and that pretty butterfly will quietly come and sit on your shoulder.