Wednesday pondering – on happiness

It’s raining – hasn’t rained for a while now and only those of you who’ve gone through extensive drought will understand the olfactory climax given by the petrichor rising :). Add to that a mild breeze fluffing the window curtains, a cup of coffee and the sound of Rachmaninoff, and there you have a slice of perfectly seasoned happiness.
And speaking of happiness, there’s a small parable into which I bumped the other day:
A man said to Buddha, “I want Happiness. How do I get it?” Buddha said: “First remove “I”, that’s ego, then remove “want”, that’s desire. See, now all you are left with is Happiness.” But is it actually that simple? (as complex that “simple” actually is) We want happiness. All of us. And that’s where all the paradox begins – the more we want it and run after it, the farther it seems to be. Clichés like “I’ve searched for happiness my entire life and never found it” can always be heard round us. But one must understand first of all that happiness provided by perishable things cannot be something permanent, because when the object or the circumstances providing us happiness are gone, guess what: so is our inner feeling. And one cannot bask for the rest of its life in the memory of “what was but is no more”.
Then again, WHAT generates the real happiness that everybody chases? The feeling of joy? A sprinkle of good luck? Having the “bare necessities” of life fulfilled? The number or quality of our earthly possessions? Discovering the secrets of the universe? Being together with the one we love? Happiness is a different drug for each of us, and a most expensive one too – it costs us our entire lives, and no matter how much we all have of it at some point, we keep on wanting more. So far though, nobody complained of having an overdose of it. That may also be due to the fact that we keep chasing an illusion instead of seeing the real happiness which, often, is merely a glance away – and even when we notice it, it all seems so simple and at hand that we think “it can’t be that easy!” and we move on, ignoring it. But happiness doesn’t have to be something complicated. Happiness needs only be felt. Not wanted, not chased. Just felt. It’s in everything around us, and it doesn’t cost a dime. Does smelling flowers make you happy? Do it! You just love to read books? Why not?! Running early in the morning and being struck in the face by the beauty of sunrise is a source of it? Go ahead! Real, raw happiness is there, in the smile of a loved one or in the deliciousness of some fruit or in the beauty of stars. Or in a cup of coffee spiced with music, petrichor and a mild breeze.

© Liliana Negoi

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