We have all been asked at some time in our lives, “What truly makes you happy?” Seems like a simple question and, to many, a familiar one. I have recently asked this question of others and was not surprised to find their happiness was linked to things and people. Nothing wrong with that, but it seemed to be so familiar among those whom I asked. And, of course, there is happiness to be found in things and people.
But when we eliminate those two things as possibilities for our happiness, what are we left with? I sat with this for quite a while and slowly came to realizations apart from things and people. In fact, those realizations were much deeper in feeling and emotion than things and people. I will not share with you what I discovered because I don’t want to influence your personal experience should you choose to see for yourself.
Just for fun, I have started a journal listing those things that make me truly happy, apart from things and people, and, surprisingly enough, the list has grown to include not only what makes me truly happy, but what feels pleasurable, what sounds pleasurable, what sights are pleasurable. Those things that bring a smile to my face. In one instance it was the beautiful sensation that I was perfectly content with the moment I was in, the event that was taking place and the role I was playing in the event. An encompassing feeling of ease and comfort swept over me that brought a smile.
Many opportunities to experience true happiness or a sincere smile inside and out can be missed when we feel that “things” or other people can fill the bill for us. True happiness never comes from what lies outside of us, but what we are experiencing inside. That is our true touchstone of happiness.
I spoke to one person and asked where their true happiness lies. He couldn’t name anything other than things and people that make him happy. When I suggested he look inside to see if he could set aside things and people, he said he couldn’t. Seeing that we were not going to move away from things and people, I asked him to focus on what the feeling was regarding a person or a thing and, when he had touched into his feelings, it brought a big happy smile to his face. I didn’t ask what he had discovered; the smile was enough.
Such a simple thing to ask of ourselves, but so very rewarding and revealing it can be.