Looking for Happiness

"People spend a lifetime searching for happiness;
looking for peace.
They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions,
even other people,
hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them.
The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within."
~Ramona L. Anderson (1887-1949)American writer

As I was playing around on my IPad the other day, wasting time and trying to at least feel productive, I came across a post in Facebook from a friend of mine Mitch. I don't know if it was the great sunset in his profile picture or the fact that the post was from someone I find interesting, but I quit flicking my finger long enough to read the quote by Ramona Anderson.

I have to tell you, I hate it when a quote speaks into my life and this one definitely did. It got me thinking about my pursuits and the reasons for them. It started me questioning why I involve myself in certain things or behaviors. Is it truly a pursuit of happiness, or drilling down a little deeper, is it my attempt to make myself feel good, or, not feel bad? Why do I hangout with people, watch movies, work so hard, drink, smoke cigars, etc... Is it to try to make myself feel good, feel important, escape feeling lonely, insignificant, unloved or unlovable? Why is it that I define happiness based on external things like number of Facebook friends I have, how many nights I am out of the house, my job title, the car I drive, how many people I make laugh or smile? These aren't bad things, but if they are what I base happiness on, I will start out each morning having to score happiness point in order to define myself as happy for that day. How miserable to start each morning as unhappy, and have to work towards happiness, and who defines how many points you must score to be happy.

Ramona suggests that happiness is not externally driven, but internally based. I have to be honest, I have a hard time with this thinking. I don't always like to look inside and "cultivate the soul, or practice self care, or tend to the issues within." isn't that for introverts, not extroverts. That's the stuff of Psychologists, HR managers, etc... Those who are CEO's or oversee large groups of people, or must out perform the world everyday of the week, can't look inside. I don't know how to define happiness internally. Is it a feeling? I was told feelings aren't always reality. Is it a inner voice? I was told that could be the voices of past fear and doubt, or my elementary school teacher telling me I wasn't coordinated (thanks Mrs. Smith). But it does make more sense that happiness is a state of being rather than an endless pursuit. It is something you know instead of a destination on a map.

Obviously, I have no answers only thought, and that is what looking inward is all about for me. If you have any thoughts or input please add it to my blog or Facebook. May you experience happiness today. I am going to the Brewfest to contemplate.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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