The simple, not so secret of happiness
If you have spent much time in the world of personal development you may sometimes wonder what happened to that simple, natural happiness. As adults it seems the search for happiness is much more complicated.
First we tend to think it lies in being rich or having the right job or being able to discover and live our passion. Then we gradually discover that life doesn’t always work that way. We see people who are rich and not happy. We get the right job and it doesn’t make us a lot happier than we were. We can even discover our passion and find we sabotage ourselves with self-doubt.
Then we learn how to be positive; how to change our thinking; how to clear negativity; how to identify and get rid of self-limiting beliefs; and how to do a whole lot more. We feel happier sometimes but it often seems elusive. We can’t rely on it. Sometimes it’s there but it can disappear so easily, leaving us with another lot of negativity to clear out or work on. It can be pretty exhausting.
Then we learn that happiness lies in connecting with the right energy, or with God or with Source and we try really hard to connect the right way. We can put huge effort into being connected and sometimes it feels amazing. We pray, meditate and relax. We get some powerful experiences. We feel increasingly positive and life is definitely getting better. But that happiness can still be elusive. Maybe we didn’t pray well enough. Maybe we just couldn’t connect today. We clear out some more negativity, put on a brave face, keep going, pray or meditate or relax some more. We are hoping for happiness.
The problem is that we are always looking for happiness outside, even when we try to connect. But as children we didn’t need to look anywhere for happiness. It was just there. We didn’t need to know how to clear negativity or connect with God or meditate. We had the capacity simply to be happy.
And this is where the secret lies. Once you realise that your happiness is already there, inside you, regardless of who you are, what you have or what you do, you can access it without having to do anything at all. Just the memory of childhood happiness is enough. You do not need to look anywhere else for it. You do not need to do anything to find it. You just need to know that it lives in you and has never gone away.
You may read this and think nothing of it. But I urge you to read it again in that case. This is the simplest and most powerful knowledge I have ever come across about happiness. When I first came across it, quite recently, I realised within minutes that this was going to change my life for ever. For the first time I knew, without any doubt, that no one and nothing could ever take happiness away from me. I knew that I would always be able to access it whenever I wanted from that moment on. I lost all fear that it could disappear in another lot of releasing/clearing/negativity.
When you realise that your happiness is already inside you, and has always been there since you were a tiny baby, you feel such a peace inside you that it is difficult to describe. I have felt generally peaceful in virtually all situations for quite some time now, but this has been different. There is no more resistance. There is no more struggle inside me. I am no longer looking for something over there because I know it is here. Even if I do not feel happiness right in this moment, I know it has not gone away. It is still here – just the same as when I was a little kid, lying in the daffodils in the garden.
Maybe this is what they call the Divine Spark. I don’t know and it really doesn’t matter very much what it is called. I just know that I do not need to be special, highly trained or have a rarefied level of consciousness to experience happiness. Anyone can do this. I cannot imagine a baby that never gurgles with pleasure or a small child who is incapable of feeling a moment of happiness. And the same is true for anyone, any age, any history. Your happiness is inside you. It is already there. It has always been there. And it is not going to go away – ever.
With deep gratitude to Michael Neill. A single sentence in the middle of a one hour interview changed my life. This is his book on the same topic. The Inside-Out Revolution: The Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever