“When there is a gap between that desire and the reality of our life, we may feel keenly interested in finding out what will bring us happiness”.
Many people who choose to seek the spiritual path do so because they are unhappy, unfulfilled, or desperately miserable. They have lived a life that lacks meaning, feels empty, is filled with anger or anguish, or is emotionally excruciating. Whether mild or severe, pain itself is a great motivator when it comes to choosing to grow psychologically and spiritually. And it can be said that this is one benefit that pain and suffering offer to human beings.
Emotional pain and psychological suffering often are felt as depression or unhappiness. It is human nature to desire happiness and a life that feels full, satisfying and alive. When there is a gap between that desire and the reality of our life, we may feel keenly interested in finding out what will bring us happiness.
There are two steps to becoming more happy.
First, we must understand why we are unhappy. In a nutshell, we are unhappy because we are trapped in the small, limited confines of our ego personality – identified with a false self that is not who we really are. The ego is endlessly preoccupied with past and future, which are also false realities in the sense that neither is ever happening NOW. The less we are experiencing ourselves and life in the present moment, which is where reality exists, the more unreal and false our life is and the less happy we will be. Understanding this will begin to help liberate you from ego and its trappings and live increasingly in the aliveness of the present moment.
The second approach to becoming more happy is contained in a little secret that is very simple and very potent—accept what is. The great Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher J. Krishnamurti expressed this secret in a lecture he gave near the end of his life. He said to his audience, “Do you want to know my secret?… My secret is that I don’t mind what happens.”
I don’t mind what happens. Another way of saying this is
“I accept the present moment as it is.”
“The present moment is my friend, not my enemy.”
“I am in alignment with what is, as it is, in this moment.”
“Whatever is happening in this moment is OK, neither good nor bad. It just is.”
The secret to happiness is letting go of judgment and resistance to the way things are. When we accept and align with what is, we are not resigning ourselves to a fate we may or may not like. We are empowering ourselves with peace, tranquility and a sense of clarity that will allow us to make wise, non-reactive choices about our conditions.
When we befriend the present moment with acceptance and non-resistance, we will feel more peaceful and be less torn by what we like and don’t like. To be happier, make friends with what is.
Here is a question to ask yourself regularly through your day:
“Am I making the present moment my friend or my enemy?”