I sometimes realize, always with a slight shock, that I have spent amazing amounts of time and energy seeking happiness in precisely the wrong places. I’ve thought of happiness, I guess, as something made of matter – something I can find in hot fudge sauce or a certain kind of house or the hottest new handheld device. I’ve searched for happiness by helping myself to more chips and wine, and by buying the best-looking watchbands and bow ties and computer cases. Happiness, I’ve thought, is a thoroughly material phenomenon, something I can select off a shelf and stockpile and use just for myself. Fortunately, what I sometimes see clearly is that this pointless approach has provided, not happiness, but an increasing sense of confusion and loss. It has sent me in circles and ups and downs, dashing around in a fever, and always finding, not happiness, but a whole lot of unusable emptiness. It has shown me, in occasional flashes, that finding happiness is something wholly different than finding the latest laptop. I’ve seen, in these moments of lucky clarity, that happiness has always had its home right inside me, and is endless in its resources. Happiness is as close as my breath and the blood that unceasingly moves through my body. It has no start or finish, and is impossible to be lessened or destroyed. It delivers itself to me every second with wide-open arms. I don’t have to buy it, just believe in it.
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