I’ve always disliked the phrase, “the pursuit of happiness.” It sounds as if it were something one chases rather than a state of being. Perhaps listening to the local evening news has led me to believe that “pursuing” something is an active and arduous chase:
The police are in pursuit of an armed robber.
Until recently, I believed that happiness is an elusive feeling that one must keep striving for.
This belief is not unique to me or to Americans. In a study of more than 10,000 participants from 48 countries, psychologists Ed Diener of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Shigehiro Oishi of the University of Virginia discovered that universally, people rated happiness as being more important than other highly desirable personal outcomes, such as having meaning in life, becoming rich, and getting into heaven.
So what’s wrong with “pursuing” as great as happiness? Our attitude
The phrase, “pursuit of happiness” echoes our fear that happiness is unattainable. How can we “catch” something that’s constantly one step out of reach? We ask ourselves,
“How will I ever get there?” instead of “In this moment, am I happy?”
Nowhere is this more evident than my love life. I’ve been “pursuing” a great relationship rather than experiencing one. On dates, my fear-based perceptions take over and I judge the hell out of myself.
In the past, I’ve worried, “What is he thinking?” “Is he having fun?” “What’s next?”
On a recent date, for the fist time ever, I paused. I remained present.
I stopped the chase to be present and actually feel happy.
As a spiritual being, my soul searches for lessons to remind me to align with my higher self. I often judge my connection to myself, thinking “if I meditate more/ if I ate differently, my relationship with myself would be stronger." The truth is that my soul and the Universe will manifest the lessons I am meant to learn. I don’t need to work to find these lessons, they will find me.
I am exactly where I'm meant to be. I have everything I need to be happy. I just need to be present enough to accept that simple truth. I will manifest the people, relationships, assignments that will teach me and mirror back my truth: my fears are an illusion. Only love is real.
Whenever I catch myself worrying or pursuing, I pause and remind myself that:
My ego and fear look to the future while my higher self allows me to be present.
All it took was a moment of stillness to remember that my soul’s true purpose is to be happy, to be present, to heal.
The pursuit of happiness is not a chase. I will get to where I need to be, I trust in that truth. It's not my business when or how, only that I will receive the lessons I need and be guided intuitively back to my truth: I am love. When we take a moment to pause, everything is available to us. Especially happiness.
The Takeaway: Be present in the present. The past doesn’t exist and neither does the future. Peace, joy and tranquility happen in the present. So what are you waiting for?