Me : Happiness, Happiness, Where are you? Why don’t you come to me?
Hn : You are looking for me in wrong places, she responded!
Me : Wait, what!!! I expect people’s actions and their validations to make me happy. Isn’t this the way everyone is searching for you?
Hn : In searching and expecting happiness from the external world, you may find me sometimes, but you also sign up for and accept my dual opposite brother – sadness, and therefore will also experience massive disappointment along the way.
(Hn : Happiness)
Does your happiness depends on external conditions? If it does, then you are not alone in this.
From the past few weeks, I have been observing this phenomenon in my life over and over again. Call it a epiphany of sorts, I am beginning to realize that we have Himalayan Expectations from the external world to make us happy i.e. looking for validation, my favorite football team should win every game, life should happen according to my mind, my social media pic should have more number of likes and comments etc.
These are only few of the infinite expectations we have from the world to make us happy. Conditioning and environment doesn’t help either; when everyone around you is looking for happiness in external world, take it in written from me, we will be influenced beyond comprehension to do the same, albeit unconsciously. We have cheaply given our right to be happy in hands of people and conditions.
Following are some incidents from my life and things I have observed in people around me-
A Football Match
It’s second half of 2017 (pre-swamiji time in my life). I was madly attached to the Liverpool football club that my happiness depended on the team winning the game. It was weekend and I was set for Newcastle United vs Liverpool. Liverpool was expected to win the game. The game ended at 1-1. And that’s where the trouble began. Sadness and disappointment clouded my mind like nothing else. I was drowning in sadness due to the result of the game.
Now, things are pretty different.
It’s April 2021, same teams and same competition.
Liverpool were heading towards a 1-0 win, and only last minute of injury time was left to play. And that last minute turned the complexion of the game, Newcastle United somehow managed to score an equalizer and the game again ended 1-1. What the game didn’t change was my mood, acceptance has now replaced the attachment and sadness and I felt deep sense of peace with a little smile on my face. I refused to let the result drown me into a sea of sadness.
How am I Looking?
This question doesn’t have a proper answer in my perspective. And people are usually asking how their dress is looking. I mean, it’s you who have chosen the dress, how I am suppose to tell how the dress is or how you are looking. Surely i can tell if the dress is shabby or if there is proper color contrast, but then that’s the only thing i can tell. Suppose, if you ask your loved ones how you are looking?, then If they say you are not looking good, will you become sad? (rest assured if you ask me, I won’t say you are not looking good 🙃🙃)
I honestly don’t know why people ask this question. Why we have given so much importance to external world in such trivial matters? Be confident in your choice and the body, then you won’t require any external validation to be happy.
There are thousand different things that will come to light, when you sit down and contemplate on how much we have come to depend on external world for our happiness. You will finally begin to realize the depth of conditioning of our minds as if someone has infiltrated us to look for happiness out there.
Contemplate on these questions-
If your social media pic has less number of likes and comments, will your happiness disappear?
If your friends and family forgot to wish you ‘Happy Birthday’, will you become sad?
If you don’t get a cake or gifts on your birthday, will your smile fade away?
If your loved ones forgot to wish you ‘Happy Anniversary’, will it dampen your spirits on this special occasion?
(Warning : This statement is written by an unmarried person, please remember to wish ‘Happy Anniversary’ to your better half, lest you risk some utensils, shoes and knives flying around your house for failing to remember this special occasion. Please take this suggestion with a pinch of salt.)
Trivial matters like this should not be ever given the power to take away our happiness. Despite the truth hidden in plain sight, we still fail to realize the truth and continue to play this game of happiness and sadness.
You can ask different variations of the above mentioned questions as per the conditions in your life and see for yourself if your happiness is dependent on external factors or not.
How wonderful it would be if we take our happiness in our hands? How great it would be if people’s actions and opinions doesn’t make us sad anymore? If we can only learn to be happy (as much as we can) without being reliant on external conditions, then there will be no more getting hurt by external conditions. At least we can minimize the unnecessary disappointment and sadness.
One thing I have realized is that happiness derived from external world is truly fleeting. Sadness is waiting around the corner to wipe out the smile from your face. Now maybe, it’s finally time to turn inward in search of infinite bliss.
Take back your happiness, now. 👊
Image Source – Pixabay