True happiness is a state of being that is inseparable from our timeless nature. It is a quality of who we truly are. It can be reflected in our daily lives as positive emotions, pleasant sensations, or positive states of mind. But true happiness is both more than these states and independent from them.
I talk a lot about happiness and unhappiness because I have found that understanding and paying attention to both is one of the most potent keys to moving from unconscious suffering to the freedom of Awareness. There is so much to explore on this topic, that truly it is a life’s work. So keep in mind that I am only working with broad brush strokes here.
Now, if you would indulge me for a moment: Let's say you accept the possibility that the nature of who and what you already are (beyond any appearances to the contrary) is limitless awareness, infinite potential, and perfect happiness. (Yes, I know that is a big ask for some of you!)
So here you are, sitting in silence with no image or story in your mind, and thus no reactivity or judgment of anything. Just deep peace. Completely happy, with no need or desire for anything. Empty space in every direction, endlessly. An emptiness filled with perfect happiness and love. And you recognize that this is who you truly are. Fantastic.
But hold on. We are just beginning here.
Now, there is this thing you call “my life” which includes a body and mind you have learned to call “my self.” It also includes lots of other elements you have learned to call “my friends,” “my family,” “my world,” “my house,” “my past,” “my issues,” and on and on. Given this deep-rooted tendency to assume ourselves to be a body and/or mind, how do we remain grounded in our natural state of unconditional happiness while we move through the virtual dream-scape of our lives as fully embodied and engaged participants?
I have found that learning how to be “happy-with” is a natural bridge between the unconditional nature of who you are in truth, and your everyday life of conditional experience. If you are identified as a flawed and limited individual, this orientation opens a window to what is universal and perfect. If you are more identified with your infinite nature, yet believe that your existence as an individual is filled with obstacles to your permanent abidance, then learning the art of being “happy-with” reveals that there is no obstacle whatsoever.
Everything you react to, judge, hate, and fear can be a doorway to greater understanding, freedom, and wholeness.
Learning to be “happy-with” provides a bridge for Heaven and Earth to meet, for Love’s Presence to be allowed to shine through our relative circumstances, and for every part of our experience to be welcomed into clear light.
What if it is possible to be happy-with everyone and everything? Not as an endorsement of something that is harmful. Not as an emotional state or mental attitude to be sustained continually. But, as an expression of Beingness that is effortlessly self-sustaining and all-inclusive.
It is possible to take appropriate action concerning the offenses you perceive, without needing to use aggression or unhappiness to motivate or justify your actions. It is possible to motivate yourself and others through inspiration rather than criticism or self-flagellation. What I have experienced and observed is that authentic love, forgiveness, and understanding have the power to heal, to transform, and to inspire the best in myself and others.
I am not suggesting this is as simple as noticing unhappiness and deciding to choose to be happy-with (okay-with, at peace-with) something that we have a strong negative reaction to. However, it is possible to use everyday life to notice when we are coming from a judgment of self or other, or fear of self or other. This simple noticing can have a profound effect.
When needed, we can seek guidance for how to take the next step on the way back to peace. Back to being happy-with what is.