“As long as you are pursuing happiness, you do not have it.”
― Khang Kijarro Nguyen
In time we learn our true strengths. Though this doesn’t happen overnight, nor can strength just occur without struggle or experience, it surfaces most often when we are on the precipice of despair, in a moment of anguish; our backs against the wall.
Despite our “strengths” at times, we must all learn to be stronger than ourselves. For we are our own archenemy, and we are the cause of our struggles.
In some form we are all perpetually struggling with something. As we all have our moments of triumph where it seems we know no struggle, all the while, even now in the minute corners of our lives our minds are working through problems, creating solutions or figuring out how to attain peace constantly.
In this sphere of suffering we are always on guard, always standing vigil and always meeting the odds whether we falter or succeed.
But, our focus can be shifted..
I came upon thoughts of forgotten pursuits the other night; of those elusive longings that we once strived for that seemingly faded into the background of our lives over time. These are the things we may have once pursued in the hopes of bringing us to a state of happiness. Whether it was a job that we hoped for, a degree we worked to achieve but never attained, or the love we wished for that evaded us.
It could’ve been a path that we chose to walk but deviated from long ago only to find ourselves here, now, presently aware of all that we’d lost, given up on, wished after or dreamed of.
But, it is here where we are awakened. It is here where we become stronger.
It is in this relentless pursuit where we can learn a golden lesson of life.
The pursuit of happiness is a term often thrown around as if to taunt us. This overall struggle however is where we may find our strengths, and also, it is on this path where we most often lose ourselves. It is in this pursuit where we lose the focus on the present and suffer the fate of our past, over and over again.
We become focused on what hasn’t happened yet.
We become lucid of moments that are long forgotten.
As we pursue our happiness, we forget to look where we already stand.
Moments will come and go, but the continuous moment of now is always evolving and shifting. Our happiness will stay out of reach so long as we remain outside of now. And it will remain our main cause of suffering should we long to attain what cannot be attained outside of ourselves.
Often I think of the things I hoped to achieve when I was a child. And now, looking back I wonder how I’d ever thought that those things would bring me happiness alongside everything else that life brings to the table every single day. But, I was young then.
And now for the first time the picture is clear.
Happiness exists in every moment.
It exists in the small things that we take for granted every day.
It exists in the smile that you see on a child’s face.
It lives within the heart, and as the heart beats, so does the tempo of happiness.
We should all take time to embrace what we have now and realize that the pursuit of happiness is a standard misnomer. It is a true existential oxymoron. And it is only when we master our strengths and become stronger than ourselves that we will understand why happiness has eluded us. Because the answer is simple.
You cannot pursue what already exists within you.
Happiness cannot be found.
It can only be realized.