I???ve spent a good amount of time in the latter part of last year and the very early part of this year, in the unenviable task of culling. Cleaning, making decisions and culling on both the work and home front. In the process, I have thrown a lot of the stuff I was holding on. It felt good to make decisions on these items, some of them trivial decisions. But these were important in the greater scheme of things. I felt lighter and more in control. There is something about actioning off stuff you???ve been putting off for some time that does that to you.
While doing this, I got to thinking about the whole idea of chasing happiness. That is what we are after, aren???t we? The word mindfulness comes to mind again. How much of what we do and feel is subject to external situations? How well do we react to the people and things around us? There have been many times that my happiness was ruled by someone else???s agenda and how well my day is going. How good it would be, to feel stable, in a sense, unaffected by the ebbs and flow of other people???s lives? Not in a I-don???t-care sort of way but more like you were looking down at your life as a third party. I wonder how much more reasonable we might be, how much better we might react, if we didn???t allow ourselves to be so affected by these things and had the time and space to reflect and look at things in a more balanced, holistic way, with the benefit of reason, hindsight and experience.
I feel that happiness must come from within. Happiness must be a choice we make, not a relative state we feel. I learnt two things recently. Firstly, happiness is squarely within our own reach. We don???t leave it to someone else to make us happy, only we can make ourselves happy. That may be a hard pill for some to swallow and it took me a while to accept but I now believe in the truth of that statement. Secondly, we cannot let the pursuit of happiness be an end in itself. Happiness is a by-product of the good we seek to do and the life we seek to live.