Our Misplaced Happiness
People in our society are generally more materially abundant and have more comforts than we have ever had in history.
We ferociously consume with the thought that more things will bring more fulfillment. Yet so many of us find we are unfulfilled and unhappy. This is because we are tying our happiness to external conditions, to material things, to consumption of goods and that is our mistake. That is misplaced happiness.
Of course, we need to have our basic needs of food, water, shelter, etc. met, but I know I don’t have to explain how those of us in the West go above and beyond that, voraciously using and buying more than we need in the hopes that the next thing will bring us true fulfillment.
Often, this isn’t even a conscious thought. We see something we like and unconsciously believe that possessing it will make us happy so we buy it. We place part of our identity around it and everything else we own, tying our self worth and selfhood to our material objects and conditions. The problem here is that this kind of fulfillment is short lived. Further, outer conditions are beyond our control and physical things are impermanent, destined to dissolve into nothingness, taking our misplaced happiness with them.
The invitation exists for you instead to seek the cultivation of a truer happiness. A happiness that can be found anywhere regardless of the price tag on your clothes. Be happy now, just find it. See the beauty in others. Practice altruism. Practice compassion. Instead of seeing those around you as separate and unreal, truly connect with them. See your interconnectedness by seeing the commonalities you have with them. Smile. Breath consciously. Take time in nature and feel your oneness with that. Once you realize that you can actually have happiness despite outer conditions and once you make the conscious choice to actually have that happiness here and now, it will be yours.
Originally published at www.scottgoolsby.com.