The Path to Happiness: How I Found Happiness Within Myself
For many years, I struggled with inner demons that blocked the path to happiness. I wrestled with restlessness, depression and bouts of feelings of hopelessness. You know moments when you wake up and see the sun shining and the birds chirping but you just want to crawl back in bed and hide. It seemed so much easier to run away from life.
But once you recognized the void, you try with all your might to fill it up. You immerse yourself with activities, love, relationships, companionship, music, and food, anything to assuage the emptiness. Until one day, I woke up and realized I was fed up with this doom gloom thing. I was ready to do something different.
That’s when light entered my soul and I recognized the first truth to the path to happiness. And when I did, I took another step and another one, until I was happily skipping and dancing in this path of joy.
Here are the lessons I have learned along the way.
When you are ready to get out of the rut, you will discover that there are hands ready to help you up. I realized I was ready to step out of the dark hole of misery. Books fell into my hands and I savoured them eagerly. I met positive and kind souls who affirmed and supported me.
To find joy and happiness, I need not look elsewhere for it was just inside me. I needed to understand that happiness was not out there, it was here on the inside.
Happiness is deciding to be in the present moment and to treasure every minute of it. There is a need to listen to your thoughts as I had to. Are you constantly recalling your past or contemplating about the future? If yes, stop! Choose to be happy by treasuring the now. Live in the now!
Are you cutting the grass? Savor the blade in your hands. Are you making love? Enjoy the pleasure and the intimacy and the love shared. Are you playing with your child? Relish her smile and the way her face lights up when you are around.
Happiness is having a positive attitude to life.
Positivity and negativity cannot exist in the same plane. Accept the negative things that are there in your life. After the acceptance, choose to move on. Choose to let go of what is holding you back from living a joyful life.
Happiness is having an attitude of gratitude.
A thankful heart paves the way for happiness to flourish. It sees beyond the sadness or the burdens of life. It is not a matter of acquiring a good fortune or fame or popularity. It comes from appreciating what we have instead of what we don’t have. With it comes a deep knowing that things may not seem to be working right now but there is something more to discover, to learn, to hope for.
“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are” ~Marianne Williamson
If you want to experience happiness, then share happiness to others. Sometimes going out of our way to help another person uplifts our spirit. For those who give their time, energy, money, talents and skills with joy, joy is their reward. So continually be attentive to what increases your joy of living and do more of that.
Being happy doesn’t mean you don’t have any problems and that life has to be perfect. It just means you have decided to see beyond the problems and the imperfections and decide to be happy anyway. I hated pain of any kind. I felt problems and pain made life miserable. Accepting that my life doesn’t have to be perfect for me to be happy freed me from internal stress. And peace followed after that.
“I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace – a connection to what matters.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
A wise man by the name of Thich Nhat Hanh said, "“There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way.” As you travel the path to happiness, may you always remember that happiness is not out there, it's within you. Denis Waitley also defines happiness as a spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. Beautiful!
To your happiness and joy.
BY: Michelle Simtoco
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