Anthony De Mello said the following in his book titled Awareness:
“Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop something. You’ve got to drop illusions. You don’t have to add anything in order to be happy; you’ve got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!”
Wow, I remember first reading this when I was 19 years old and not really knowing how to take it. I was at a crossroads in life, leaving the life I used to live behind me and seeking a new one but not knowing what this “new life” would be. I already had an identity for myself, things I did on a regular basis and people I spent time with.
I thought I needed to party in order to be happy.
I thought I needed to hang out with my friends in order to not be bored.
I thought my happiness depended on making others happy.
I fooled my self into believing I was happy because I built a life that allowed me to do all these things on a regular basis.
Luckily this world I had built for myself came crashing down and I was forced to make a change. These illusions I had set in my mind suddenly became challenged. I did not want to let them go. That meant I was letting go of me, who I thought I was, and that is a tough pill to swallow. But when your actions lead to crappy consequences and you stop blaming other people for them…well it all starts to make sense.
Being happy is not based on the things you do.
Happiness is a state of mind that can not be destroyed by any current or future situation. For me it is a choice built on a foundation of a confidence, confidence in my ability to make it through any situation life throws at me. Will I be sad and upset at times? Yes, of course but those are fleeting emotions, they come and they go like clouds passing in the sky. Behind those clouds the sun is always shining, some shit just got in the way for a little bit. The sun is always there. Your happiness is always there. When you’re feeling sad, that’s ok but do not let it consume you. You are not a sad person. You are a happy person experiencing a temporary feeling of sadness.
”Don’t worry Be Happy”