“Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it” – J. Petit Senn
Lately I feel as though I’m doing a lot of hiding and seeking. More seeking, to be honest. Whether it’s some sunshine, some quiet time , or just a stress-free moment, I find myself looking and looking… But rarely finding.
And then I came across this quote, and I got to thinking – maybe I’m looking in all the wrong places? Could it be that all of my searching is just another distraction, causing me grief?
So I focused the last couple of days on just being happy with what was around me – and it made a world of difference. I found myself smiling at an unexpected cup of coffee with a friend. Laughing at a random radio commercial in the car. Enjoying the feel of the sun on my face, the chill of the wind around me, or even the snow under my feet on a run. I allowed each moment to just happen (the good, the bad, and the ugly) … Whatever it was. I allowed myself just to be. It was great – and it turns out, a lot of it wasn’t so bad.
They (you know, the ‘pie in the sky’ folks who are in charge) often tell us that we find great things in unexpected places. It’s sort of like finding love – it’s next to impossible to look for, but when you quit looking, you often discover it’s right in front of you. I think happiness has the same characteristic. When we feel sad, it’s natural to look for ways to cheer up. But it turns out this is quite counter productive. It is actually the looking that makes us even more stressed or upset. Instead, just be present in that moment; recognize that it’s happening; be OK with it. This recognition opens us up to what else is going on, lets us see the ‘hidden’ happiness, and sometimes unexpectedly, allows us to invite it in.