I remember when I was very young, being intrigued by happiness. It wasn’t a constant state that I enjoyed all through my childhood which meant that whenever it came upon me, I was always curious to understand it and what seemed to induce it. Tracing things back, it was this curiosity that was the beginning of so many years of effort to preserve preferable states of mind.
Certain mornings I would wake up and it would just be there; this wonderful feeling of happiness or excitement at just being alive. I would try to notice any associated factors; blue sky, holidays, the sounds of my parents talking together, laughing in the next door bedroom. The start of Wimbledon (I was a great tennis fan).
Although happiness often seemed to come along with these things, there were other, subtler moments which were more “vertical” or timeless in quality and they would come upon me more unpredictably, normally when I was alone. The feeling of “alone-ness” seemed to lead me into this mystery a little more, but again, I couldn’t penetrate it very far.
Another quality that I often noticed and came to associate with happiness more than anything else was the feeling of being “available”. This, still to this day, serves as a clear pointer for me. Being available, unpreoccupied, ready for this moment. Ready to engage and meet with whatever happens to be going on. And in reverse, the feeling of not being available for the moment was a clear pointer that I had drifted away from the freedom inherent in living.
Taking it a little further, happiness and “now” are maybe pointing to the same place. Not an objective place or thing but a space of being for everything. And this place is always “of the moment”. Our struggle, is always a struggle against the moment. Always a rejection of the fact that life exists in moments.
In a way, we are never denied happiness. We are always being offered happiness as we are constantly being offered new moments. We see the momentary nature of happiness and life as a weakness or flaw…a sign of “unrealness”, whereas in truth it is the very momentary quality of anything that is the hallmark of its realness.