Where do you find happiness?
For the longest time, I had been searching for happiness.
I thought that if I got to a certain job, made a certain amount of money and got a nice car I’d be happy. I thought that if I got my body to look a certain way, if I could get a certain girl and if I got respect from others, then I’d be happy.
I had been placing my happiness in someone or something else, expecting that it would give me the happiness I had always searched for. The funny thing is, once I got those things I wasn’t any happier. In fact, I felt even worse.
I was truly fed up with my life. I was fed up with how I felt. I was fed up with my job. I wanted change so bad because I knew I was destined for more.
Most of all, I just wanted to be happy. I prayed to God everyday and asked him for help. Asked him to help me find happiness.
What I came to realize was that I had been searching for happiness in everything else, except myself.
“(un)Fortunately, life puts us in a corner where we can’t run anymore and we have to look within.”
– Jay Shetty
I couldn’t run anymore. I had to face my own shit.
I had to learn to love myself, first. It was hard. Really hard. I had to learn to let go of the past that was holding me down. I had to learn to forgive myself of all my past mistakes. I had to learn to forgive all those I blamed and understand their side. Have empathy and compassion for them and know that they they tried their best.
We are all humans who make mistakes and sometimes the decisions we make, whether we are aware or not, can affect someone, positively or negatively, for the rest of their lives. To continue to put blame on them was childish. What happened, already happened. It’s done.
“I can’t change it.”
Is what I repeated to myself. So I stopped beating myself up and decided to change how I thought and I felt about it.
We have the choice to relive an old painful moment over and over. This can give our mind and body the emotional response that it is still happening. The body doesn’t know any different. This can cause disease and chronic pain.
Or we can actively choose to live in the present moment, where nothing is wrong. We can choose to focus on the positive in our lives, all that we are grateful for which can have the opposite effect. It can give us joy, peace and happiness. It can give us the space we need, to let it go.
Once I accepted the problem, forgave myself and others and decided to take ownership, my world changed. It felt lighter. It felt like I shed the weight of carrying the world on my shoulders.
The crazy thing is, the whole time I was searching for happiness it was there the whole time. I just had to move past the clouds, walk through the storm. And at the end of it was sunshine.
Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.
Buddha said it best:
When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear
When you are ready to look inside and really dig deep, you’ll find the happiness you’ve always searched for.
I believe in you.
Stephen Albert Ramos
Grateful for you.