Happiness is an exquisite kind of torture, sweet, slow and unrelenting. Like a drug, once we had a taste of it, we want more, need more, yearn for it with every fibre of our body. Its perfection is too appealing. It makes us endlessly chase our tails, forever trying to catch that ever elusive butterfly, yet never realising that the more we chase after it, the further out of reach it gets.
When we do eventually give up, we soon realise that what we tried so hard to catch is all around us, even in places we'd least expect to find it. C. P. Snow once said that "the pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase" and I wholeheartedly agree with him. He also said that "if you pursue happiness you'll never find it". Wise words, for if we're busy bustling around, turning our world upside down, looking for a slice of happiness, we'll never see what's already there.
When we pursue something we have our eyes set on the goal, our entire being is focused one one single target: finding happiness, preferably before everyone else does so we can brag about it on social media. What we then fail to acknowledge is everything around us. The divine pleasure of sipping a cup of hot tea in perfect silence, that sense-assaulting first bite into a sweet, juicy strawberry or even that comforting feeling of wrapping your hands around your favourite coffee mug, inhaling deeply, than carefully taking a series of small sips, delighting in every single one of them as we close our eyes and let reality be for a moment.
There's that friend, who seemingly always seems to know what's irking us, even when we're dead sure we haven't given anything away. There's that stranger, who smiles at us for no reason as he walks past and our favourite barista who draws a smiley face onto our coffee mug.
Then there's that fresh smell that lingers in the air after the rain and that rewarding exhaustion after a long, stressful day at work.
And the list goes on and on and on...
I could effortlessly list a million things, but the point is, happiness isn't just an isolated event in our lives, it's a bunch of things all put together. One piece of a puzzle does not a picture make. Keep taking another piece and another, eventually you will get to enjoy the elusive beauty that is happiness. As you slowly but surely piece the final picture together, you may even find yourself realising that happiness is in fact life.
Don't forget to remind yourself of that every once in a while. Remind yourself to let go, to worry less, to spend less time angry and to let go of all that troubles you. And if you can't see the silver lining, get a friend to show it to you. Believe it or not, each time the rain stops a rainbow appears, but we're usually to busy chasing the unattainable to stop and stare.