I saw a great Thomas Merton quote in the most unlikely of places yesterday (a credit union teller line):

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”

I’m curious as to what others think of the “intensity” portion and what Merton meant by that, but this relates closely with my thoughts on happiness and why we don’t “have it”.  We’ve been brainwashed by our culture and media to think that happiness comes from someplace, something or someone.  What we fail to realize is that happiness is already there, inside us.  Happiness doesn’t need to be attained (nor can it be).  Instead, we need to get rid of all the junk in our lives that prevent us from experiencing that happiness.

Think of it this way, when your life is more balanced and everything is in harmony, you’re happy right?  That is another way of saying, nothing is in the way of you being happy.  You don’t buy that balance or harmony, it’s a way of life.  Happiness is a result of dropping things (like stress, worry, fear, etc.) rather than getting things (like a new car, hairstyle or money).

To prove this further, think of a person that, when you’re with them, you feel happy with.  When you’re hanging out with this person, you’re typically happy.  You’re not happy because the person is with you, you’re happy because their presence has motivated you to either drop those worries that prevent you from being happy.  They didn’t make you happy, you did!  Happiness is a choice (most of the time made subconsciously), so choose to drop those worries, fears and stress and enjoy the harmony and balance that remain with you.

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