The Pursuit of Happiness

committedThe holidays are here, which means that I have been doing quite a bit of long distance driving. Thank goodness for books on tape! (Er..”audiobooks,” I don’t think I will ever outgrow calling them books on tape.) I am currently listening to Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert, and am enjoying it very much!

I think she brings up a good point, or a good observation at one point in the book.  Her observation is about marriage, but I think it is a valid point in all human relationships. She notices that in the West especially, we tend to rely upon our partner, or others, to inspire us, and to make us happy. This is a lot of responsibility to place on another person!

Somehow this got me to thinking about happiness, and where I search for happiness in my life. And then I realized that maybe the main problem isn’t where I am searching for happiness, but rather that I am indeed searching for happiness.

In the United States, we are granted the right to pursue happiness. But this promise of pursuit is not entirely fulfilling. I don’t want the right to pursue happiness, I want the right to be happy! And you know what? Being happy is not something that can be pursued by acquiring boatloads of money, or by finding inspiration in someone or something else. Happiness is not a goal which we can pursue. Happiness is a state of being that is found within- you don’t have to pursue happiness, you must dig deep and discover happiness, perhaps finding happiness underneath all that extra stuff that you acquired in your pursuit of happiness. On the eve of this New Year, take this new beginning as an opportunity to look within and inspire yourself.

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