It seems to me that everyone is searching… for the perfect job, the perfect partner, the perfect home, the perfect look, the perfect vehicle, the perfect holiday, the perfect deal.. and the list goes on. One only needs to take note of people’s actions and comments over a short period of time to observe this endless quest. Just stand back and observe people in a shopping mall. Listen to people’s conversations over a meal or at coffee. Watch the media messages that bombard us every day. The underlying belief is that these external markers of success will make us happy.
Hmmmm… questionable logic seems to be at work here. “When I have/get [insert wish here], I will be happy.” When did having or getting anything ever result in lasting happiness? Might you experience happiness in the attainment of something? Of course. You might experience excitement, a surge of joy, delight, or even a feeling of euphoria. The question is… does it last? Or, does it wear off and leave you with the feeling of “Now what?” Then the search begins for the next perfect thing that promises happiness. And so we ride this roller coaster of seeking, finding what we think is the perfect solution to maintaining that elusive state called happiness, feeling an expression of happiness, and then realizing that it dissipates and doesn’t last. No matter what it is that you attain, the feeling of happiness doesn’t last. It feels good for a while; in fact, it might feel good for quite a while, but the question is, does it last? Attaining any thing does not equal lasting happiness. And so the search continues.
Everywhere you look, the promises of happiness beckon you to buy in and to place your belief in external things. If one thing doesn’t do it, there are innumerable things to entice you and countless promises to lull you into believing that what is offered is what you are seeking. STOP this fruitless search! Has any thing or any person resulted in lasting happiness for you yet?
You are not alone in your search. This search is universal. As humans, we seek lasting happiness, love, and peace. We want to feel good. We know that our fleeting experiences of these states feel good, and we want more. We want to hold onto these states of being… and so we search for the key to maintaining them.
You can find all that you seek within you. You may have heard the expression that “Happiness is an inside job.” This is true. Happiness is a state of mind over which you have complete control. Happiness is a choice that you make in each moment of every day. It means deciding to be happy and to finding happiness in the people you encounter and in the moments and the events of each day. When you do this, your happiness is not dependent on anyone or anything. You are the constant in your life, and you can choose to be happy.
I have been asked, “How are you so happy all the time?” My response is always the same: “I choose to be happy.” The choice for happiness is a conscious choice that you make and that you need to cultivate through regular practice. As with any new practice, it takes time to develop. At first, it will seem that many things occur during your day that seem to threaten your chosen state. Remember that no thing or person can take away your happiness unless you allow it. Over time, you will develop the practice of choosing happiness, and you will begin to realize that you are maintaining that happy state of mind through the practice of conscious choice-making.
Love is also an inside job. It truly is. The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. Learning to love yourself… to be able to look into your own eyes and say, “I love you,” and mean it… is one of the most powerful exercises you can do to find lasting love. It took me a good part of my life to finally accept the truth of this lesson and to embrace it for myself. That wasn’t the only love I discovered within me.
I have experienced the most incredible, unconditional, unwavering, all-encompassing love of my life right here within me. I searched, in vain, for the love that would fulfill me and make me feel complete. My search failed because I was looking in the wrong places. I was looking for someone else who would provide this beautiful love that I sought. I was searching for someone who would love me unconditionally and who would make me feel totally loved. I have learned that I have always been loved in this way. All I have to do is get quiet and go within to experience the Love of God that is always within me, always waiting for me to remember and to return to who I really am as a child of God. Only God is capable of perfect Love, and I don’t have to search for that. It is given to me; it waits for me; it is me.
When you find and experience that perfect Love, you know where to find true and lasting peace. Within the core of your being, you are perfect Love, perfect peace, and boundless joy. At last, you are complete. You are loved completely with a Love that truly passes all understanding, and it has been within you, waiting for you, all along.
Pause and get still. Go within and feel the quiet that is there. Allow that quiet to expand and fill with the Light and Love of God. All that you seek is within you…waiting for you to remember.