I was teaching at a lovely retreat last weekend when I overheard someone say something that has been bouncing around in my brain all week: Happiness is not found in pleasure. It’s found in acceptance.
Putting aside the fact that the man who said these words was sitting in the sun beside a pool eating organic vegan snacks while waiting for his scheduled massage, he’s right. And to be fair, it’s always easier to have these kinds of revelations when we’re sitting pretty. It’s harder to keep them in mind when times are tough.
Happiness is found in acceptance.
It’s the inverse of one of the main teachings of mindfulness, that desire is the source of suffering. When we can’t be happy with what we have, when we are constantly striving for “something else,” we ache. It’s the reason money doesn’t make us happy (though it certainly can make us more comfortable – just ask my friend by the pool there).
It has me thinking about being content in the moment. Right here, right now, my belly is full, I have a roof over my head and I’m writing. Life is good.