A Blog A Day

It\’s a blog where I write about the extraordinary and the ordinary things going on in my life.

The Pursuit of Happiness

There are times when I look back at my life with regret. Next year, I’m turning thirty. I never thought that I’d reach this age and not have kids yet. After college, I was planning on proceeding to med school. I had taken a pre-med course. The next step would have been to go to med school. It’s always been my dream to become a doctor. But I hesitated. That path although a noble path, wouldn’t lead to my happiness. If I had become a doctor, everyday of my life, I’d have to be faced with death. And that’s not what I needed.

When I met my ex-boyfriend, it was the beginning of the end for me. Our relationship caused my spirit to die. I died on the day that I met him. Each time that we’d make love, I felt unhappy instead of sad. Our physical union caused me to die a slow death. I tried to tell him that, but he would never listen. Perhaps he couldn’t understand that the love that we had, was slowly poisoning us and killing us.

I loved my ex-boyfriend. I would never forget him. But that path, led me to more spiritual death. It’s the way that he loved and the way that he tried to claim me. I forgive him for that. He was a substance abuser. And that was the way that they love. He loved me the best way that he can, but his love was selfish and all-consuming. He was jealous and possessive. And even if I tried to tell him many times before that our relationship didn’t make me happy, he wouldn’t let go. And so I stayed as if I was his prisoner.

If I stayed in that course. If I took medicine, I’d be faced with death everyday of my life. If I stayed in that relationship, my heart would die a slow and painful death. I’d forget how to love. But I took the path that not many people dare take. I took the path to self-discovery. I realize now that it was a very brave thing for me to do. My parents didn’t want me to take that path. But I took it.

After college, I took art lessons. After that, I took literature classes. I wanted to know how it feels to be happy. I wanted to pursue happiness. And my life has come full circle since then.

In pursuit of happiness, I realized that happiness isn’t to be found outside of us, but inside of us. For years, I tried to find it. I thought it was something outside of myself. I thought that by doing things that I loved, I’d find happiness. But if you don’t understand the nature of happiness, you won’t ever find it. Even if you take years to find it. Because it isn’t external. Happiness is internal. But my seeking soul has found an answer. And it found it through Buddhism. And that’s how I know what true happiness is.

True happiness is acceptance. If you are able to embrace the bad things that have happened to you, and know that it has a purpose, then you can be happy. If you are able to accept your flaws and your short-comings, then you will be happy. If you can accept your limitations and embrace your humanity, then you will be happy.

As I’ve learned, happiness isn’t found outside of yourself. You can be happy just the way you are. You can be happy just where you are. I thought that I had to travel to someplace to find it. But all along, I had it with me. All I needed was to tap into my soul.

Sometimes, I fear that I might lose this happiness. That I might forget. But my fears are unfounded as long as my happiness is based on gratitude. We should all be happy that we’ve been allowed to live. We should be happy that we’ve been allowed to feel pain, sadness, sorrow, longing because without these feelings, we wouldn’t know how joy, happiness, delight and gratitude would feel. We all need the good and the bad. And at the end of the day, it is we who define good and bad. At the end of the day, it won’t matter.

Everything has a reason and a purpose. And if we fail to see that, we will never be happy. Because happiness means acceptance. Happiness means living and delighting in your present existence.

Maybe in the future, everything that we have will be lost. But the future is so far away. Why dwell on something that hasn’t happened yet, when you have so much to live for today?


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