“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” Thich Nhat Hanh.
by Bridget Brewster
I often feel many of us, if not the majority, are always looking for joy and happiness as though it’s something “out there” . . . just beyond us. Over the next ridge. Down the block. On another street. In another place. Under the overpass. Just around the corner.
Nope. Not there. Not in a box, not with a fox.
Joy and happiness are within. That’s right. We are the source of our joy. We have been given happiness. We just have to pay attention.
A few years ago, I finally applied an affirmation that has changed my life . . . “It’s only a thought and you can change your thought.”
Simple. Not easy.
If I seek to be happy, I monitor my thoughts. When I start down that negative spiral, I stop myself. I change my thought into one of positive expectation. Knowing I am created in the image of God and I am the dwelling place of Spirit, I’m assured of joy and happiness. Not necessarily a laugh a minute, but the kind of feeling that sustains me in times of sorrow and moments of distress. As the gospels state, it is a peace that passes understanding. It is a cup that overflows.
We can become so caught up in seeking peace that we totally miss it because it isn’t somewhere over the rainbow. Joy, peace, happiness . . . is a state of mind, not a circumstance. When we daily, moment-by-deliberate-moment, reach inside and touch that space that is God, we will experience joy and happiness.