chasing happiness

As the season deepens and the darkness settles around me, I find myself chasing happiness.

And I don’t think I am alone.

This is the time of year when shopping seems like medicine – where a Fitbit that counts my steps will make me feel accomplished; a new journal with lists for my goals and my gratitude will set me straight; a new app for meditation will calm my mind; or a new self-help book will improve me in some way. I feel the pull to set a word of the year, one that will be my guiding principle. And I imagine a grand scheme where I set about making changes that will make me happy.

But I’ve been fooled by this illusion before. It’s time to face reality. I’ve been stuck for some time – holding onto old patterns.

It’s time for real change.

A few thoughts on the truth about happiness from Matthew Jones of Inc. —

People are afraid of vulnerability, attached to their suffering, and stuck in their ways. They don't want to change.

They think that happiness is an object that can be purchased. Whether in a book, a pill, a work-out plan, or a simple to-do list prescribed by a life coach. The truth is that real happiness is always present in your life--you just need to get out of the way to access it.

You create suffering each time you imagine that happiness is an object. You elicit unhappiness each time you search for happiness. The mechanism of this seeking for happiness is what reinforces your isolation from its presence. Read that again.

Convincing yourself that you are inadequate--that your life needs something more and that you need to achieve things, own things, and buy things to find happiness--is what shackles you to unhappiness.

The only way to discover true happiness is to surrender to it. Open yourself up. Transform your habits. And stop practicing unhappiness.

You need to release the illusion taught to you by the self help industry--that happiness is an external object that can be purchased--and recognize that happiness is here, now. You are not broken. You are not weak. You are beautiful and complete just as you are.