It feels like a lot of people are waiting to be happy. They are waiting for all their ducks to line up and THEN and only then do they feel that their life could be a happy one. But there are two things to consider about that – 1. ducks lining up perfectly is a rare occurrence (or at least that has been my experience) 2. what’s wrong with being happy right now while your ducks are still a little jumbled?!
I often wonder if we feel that we aren’t worthy of happiness if our lives don’t look a certain way: That happiness comes wrapped in a particular box, with very expensive gift wrap. But this isn’t true.
Remember when you were a child and you were absolutely thrilled to play with pots and pans or make a whole world out of a big cardboard box? The world was magical then. It was full of possibility. It was full of wonder. We didn’t need anything to be happy… we just were.
And then somewhere along the line we were taught that we needed things to be happy. That who we were or what we had wasn’t sufficient. And so we started searching… and yet, no matter how many degrees we earned or how many cars, or relationships, or successes… something was always missing. Because happiness is just around the corner. We are convinced it will come with the next move, the next job, the next relationship and so when we get the next house, job, relationship, we then find the next new THING that we will need in order to be happy.
Why? Because our relationship to happiness is in the future. And once we believe that – that is where it will always be. But if we can begin to see the abundance in our lives in the present, if we can have gratitude for everything we have in this moment, then our lives transform and happiness becomes tangible. Happiness can only be experienced in THIS moment, in the right now.
When I was a child, I would pray to God every night. And I practiced what I had been taught, I blessed the people in my life, I’d bless those less fortunate, and then I’d ask for what I wanted. Dear God, please give me an A on the math test. Please make me popular…. etc. But one night, after I rambled off a particularly long list of requests, it occurred to me that I wanted all those things so I could be happy. So maybe I should just ask to be happy instead and then it wouldn’t matter if I got my other requests at all, because I’d already be happy!!!!
I can’t say that I have remembered this wisdom always, but when I have, it has freed me from the confines of societal demands and my own personal perceptions. And as I have gotten older, I have also learned that happiness is like love, it is always sitting in your heart waiting to be accessed. We don’t have to go out and get it. We certainly don’t have to pursue it. It is here. Right now. Ready to make your day. And all we have to do is be present, and be grateful and our happiness will fill us instantaneously.
But what will it look like, the wrapping of this gift? Who can even see the wrapping when the gift is so glorious in and of itself?