‘When you seek happiness for yourself it will always elude you. When you seek it for others you will find it yourself’ ~ Wayne Dyer
Of all the lessons that I have learned in my life, this is one of the most profound. Why this is the case is because in worldly terms it is so counterintuitive, yet in spiritual terms it makes perfect sense. The world preaches the virtue of action as a means of attaining happiness. It says, move about externally and bring to yourself that which will make you happy. This is problematic on so many levels. Firstly, this flawed thought is underpinned by the assumption that we know what will make us happy. Secondly, the belief that happiness must be acquired is one that originates from the ego mind that will deny, for the purpose of its preservation, our innate ability to know happiness by giving the spirit a voice in our life. Thirdly, that which the ego guarantees will deliver happiness never truly does.
A sure way not to know happiness is by indulging the selfish desire to experience it at the expense of others, or going after what we believe to promise happiness with blinders on. Often confusing an experience of happiness with one of pleasure, we chase physical sensations, rather than allowing joy to arise from within. Thinking that experiences of pleasure will make us satisfied or whole, we go out and get ourselves addicted to the things of this world, not knowing that in the process we are numbing ourselves to the love of the spirit, which is the true source of happiness in life.
This, we will not be able to comprehend in the company of the ego because it is too myopic in its focus. Seeing only the potential for its enrichment, the ego is blind to the needs that others have for our being. Perceiving only a small part of a much larger picture, it fails to understand that happiness is born of reciprocity. What this universal law teaches us is that it is not what we receive that leads to happiness, but that which we give to others and the world. Here, I am reminded of a quote from Marianne Williamson which says that, ‘fullness has no potential for fullness, only emptiness has the potential for fullness’. A lesson in the value of having a beginners mind in learning, it also speaks to the need to prioritise serving others with our natural gifts.
The ego resists service to others, preferring instead to be served by them. Wanting to preserve what it believes to be fullness, it blocks us from a genuine experience of fulfilment. Hoarding the things of the world that the ego values most highly, the joy of the spirit is prevented from entering. Having our hands full of things that we do not need, we have not the capacity to receive anything that we intentionally want. Maintaining this internal imbalance, it explains why we often want things to get better in our lives, but they rarely do.
To bring enrichment and abundance into our lives, we must subscribe to a more evolved paradigm which is focused on meeting the needs of the world. Taking care of others, we will be taken care of. Doing what we can to bring happiness to others, it will surely, as the night follows the day, come to illuminate our heart. This is not a complicated but a simple process, for reciprocal flow is the spirit’s way. Coming from the ego, we have to strive for happiness through effort, but when we allow ourselves to give from the heart, it takes no effort at all. Only when we resist giving do we expend energy needlessly, but this we can move past when we focus our eyes on the bigger picture, and respond to what love prompts us to do.
The boomerang is such an apt metaphor for this concept. What we toss out into the world builds momentum and returns back to us in greater amounts. Fill your heart by giving of it authentically, and trust that the universe will play its part in manifesting your highest intentions. There is so much more to happiness than what we have been taught. There is not much more to happiness than giving of the highest parts of ourselves that nourish the world in ways that the lowest parts of ourselves cannot fathom.