Ask yourself what is actually preventing you from being happy right now, right this very moment? If you are honest with yourself, you will probably say it's because you don't have what you want. This could be better health, a partner who's more understanding, more money in the bank, or a nicer apartment, or a million and one other things. But whatever it is, it's something you don't have at this very moment in time.
And this is what's making you unhappy right now.
Isn't this true? You're unhappy right now because you feel there is something you are lacking. What else could possibly make you unhappy at this very moment? It can only be the thought of what you don't have.
And this brings us to the crux of the matter. There is reality — in other words what is — and then there are your thoughts about what is going on — and this is your experience. That's all that is going on.
You're sitting here, reading this. Nothing else is happening. And you're either liking what's going on or you're not liking it. And that's always the case and this is always true for all of us.
Are Things Living Up To Your Expectations? Or Not...
We live and things happen and then we think some experiences are good and other experiences are bad or at least less good. We live and things happen and then we think the experiences, events and people live up to our expectations or they don't. It's as simple as that.
It's all just thoughts in our minds.
Always. All the time.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
Just look at your own experience. The situations in themselves, the specific events, circumstances and people are just what they are. We can like them or we don't but they're still just what they are. It's our preferences that make us happy or sad.
The truth of the matter is there is reality — and then there's our thinking. And these are two different things.
Reality Check: How To Take Care of Your Own Thinking
We think that our suffering comes from Life itself. (But Life doesn't send suffering, Life just is.)
We all believe that what we think is true and this is the cause of all our suffering. We never learned to distinguish between our thinking and reality.
Radical Stuff: We Can Be Happy Regardless of Our Circumstances
Now I know this is very radical stuff but it's true nevertheless. And this brings us to the startling conclusion that you and I can lead happy lives regardless of our circumstances, regardless of what we have or don't have. Because when we drop our interpretation of events, we find ourselves living here and now in this present moment.
And that's about it. With no stories, no comparisons, no expectations, life just is and we are just here. And so we find, to our great and eternal delight, that at this very moment, when we drop our stories and beliefs and stand quietly in the now, we're quite happy! We find that right this very moment everything is OK. And that strangely enough, happiness is what we are.
Happiness Is Our Nature, Our Natural State.
The great paradox is that the moment you step out of your stories — even for just a minute — the radiance and amazing power and presence of the now shines through. And it's all so very delightful because when we stop trying so hard to achieve and are simply present, there is a peace that is joyful, free and which is precisely the happiness that we all seek — beyond time and space, beyond thinking and mental constructions, beyond our personalities and life stories and expectations and dreams.
The only thing that was hiding this radiance from us was our own non-stop mental chatter and expectations. We were so busy with all our stories, comparisons, thoughts, beliefs and expectations that we missed the power and the presence and the radiance of life right now.
But even if we don't notice it, this radiance never goes away. Regardless of how attached we are to our identities and stories, this radiance and peace is always present. So the moment we drop our stories and step into this now moment we find that we are radiantly happy right now — and for no apparent reason at all!
This is the magic of life!
And it was here all along.
We just missed it!
Happiness Depends on Nothing Outside of Yourself
Now I know we have all been brought up to believe otherwise, but I'm here to tell you that what you learned is not true. You may believe that your happiness depends on your health, on outside circumstances, on your good looks, or on the amount of money you have in the bank, but it's just not true. Your happiness depends on nothing because you are already the happiness you seek. You are this, all of it, this moment! Now!
And this means you can live a happy life regardless of outside circumstances because without all your thoughts and expectations, without the thought that you "need" something to make you happy, you will discover the unconditional happiness, the radiance and joy, that is your innermost nature.
It might take a while for you to find this out, but when you do, you will see that this is the most wonderful, liberating and absolutely lovely discovery you can possibly make. Because it means you are free! It means you can live a happy life right now, whatever your circumstances are. It means that happiness has nothing to do with health, money or success. In fact it means that happiness has nothing to do with anything outside of you at all.
And once you get this, once you really see this and get your realization, you will truly understand why I say that nothing external can influence your happiness one way or the other unless you allow it to. You can only experience your own thoughts.
Happiness is what you are.
©2009, 2011 Barbara Berger.
Reprinted with permission of the author. Published by O Books,
an imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd. www.o-books.com
The Awakening Human Being: A Guide to the Power of Mind
by Barbara Berger with Tim Ray.
A practical spiritual handbook that offers readers a complete guide to the awakening consciousness that is emerging on planet Earth. Find a way out of suffering by waking up to the nature of reality and the nature of mind and find the peace and happiness you seek in the present moment.
About the Author
Barbara Berger has written over 15 self-empowerment books, including the international bestseller "The Road to Power / Fast Food for the Soul" (published in 30 languages), "Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life" (more than 20 languages) and “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”. American-born, Barbara now lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition to her books, she offers private coaching sessions to individuals who wish to work intensely with her (in her office in Copenhagen or on Skype and telephone for people who live far away from Copenhagen). For more about Barbara Berger, see her Web site: www.beamteam.com