Everyone is always looking for happiness in a variety of ways, and most people agree with the idea that happiness is the aim and end of existence. You may seek happiness in close relationships, family, and social interactions; or you may believe it comes from your professional success or the contributions you make to your community or a better world.
But you probably also know it starts with yourself, with things like:
- Cultivating gratitude in spite of difficult circumstances.
- Developing confidence by celebrating your little (and big) victories.
- Finding and focusing on the positive aspects of any situation.
- Building resilience when faced with obstacles, opposition, or loss.
- Being mindful and present in your relationships and what you do.
- Discovering your purpose and identifying what brings you joy.
- Balancing work and life by managing your time, energy, and self-care.
- Sharing your talents and skills, and helping those in need and those you care for.
All these aspects are important to be happy, but if you delve a little deeper you’ll notice that what they have in common is bringing the ego-mind to the background. In other words, they aim to counter the negative, self-centered qualities of ego. And yet, ego brings forth the impulse to seek pleasure and avoid pain, to keep your attention directed outwards, so it creates the illusion that happiness comes from outside of you.
Happiness is your true nature. In this sense, ego is your attachment to pain, since any pleasurable experience holds the potential for suffering due to its inherent impermanence. As life fluctuates and changes, people come and go, and experiences appear and disappear, holding on to pleasure (or the promise of pleasure) results in its opposite, just like holding on to ice will eventually burn you.
Furthermore, due to its mobile, shape-shifting quality, the ego-mind can easily get hold of your good intentions (thinking positive, being grateful, giving, etc.) and distort them somehow to remain in control of your perception. So rather than freeing you, they turn into self-images or “obligations” often leading to self-judgment and discouragement (“Why do I still suffer if I’m doing what I’m supposed to, to be happy?”).
Real Happiness Is Self-Realization
What the ego-mind does here is distract you to keep secret the focus needed to experience real, steady happiness: knowing your self to realize your true Self. If you understand that anything external—anything that has to do with your sense of otherness—will invariably keep your ego in charge, thus disconnecting you from yourself, then it’s clear that there are no shortcuts to happiness except completely surrendering ego to Divine Consciousness.
Everything in this world is transitory, because it’s a projection or dream of Consciousness, and anything outside of Consciousness creates pain to lead you back to Consciousness. The ego’s mission is to give you self-centered experiences, but it dissolves when you direct the mind inwards, in the direction of your Inner Self.
When happiness relies on anything external, it doesn’t last; it comes and goes. One day you’re happy and then next you’re anxious or worrying about something. One day you’re proud of your accomplishments and the next you’re seeking validation from someone who doesn’t appreciate you. One day you’re in love, fully enjoying life, and the next you’re arguing with your partner or sabotaging your relationship somehow.
You’re complex and multilayered, so you need both a steady resolve and continuous self-awareness to catch the relentless ego-mind trying to sneak in and taint your perception. Isn’t it time to stop fooling yourself and commit to the spiritual purpose of your life? Then contact me today to start discerning and diminishing your egoic sense of otherness, to open up to the infinite possibilities of a mindful, soul-guided life, lived with love and awareness!
© 2020 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.