Ernest Hemingway once said that happiness in intelligent people is the rarest he knew.
While it is true that many of us tend to overthink, let’s challenge the idea that being more intelligent or educated might correlate with being more anxious or unhappy. Perhaps, could there be another way of using our intelligence or another type of underrrated intelligence that could lead us to a more balanced view of the world and open the door to a universal gateway to happiness. What if this way of being was more natural and instinctive and that we all unlearned it as we became adults ?
As Alan Watts said : “Life comes at you at all sides, all over everywhere at once, and the only thing you have got to deal with, that is the thing inside the skull”.
While this statement might sound overwhelming, it summarizes for me the notion that happiness is a choice about courage, empowerment and self-knowledge.
Socrates had already discovered 2400 B.C two major life lessons most of us take a lifetime to figure out :
- The first one being that happiness is what we all desire and that it is the end goal of everything we do in life.
- The second one being that happiness is not related to anything material or external, but rather on the focus and direction we give to our life and about picking and choosing to create a life purpose that has the potential to bring the best in all of us, for the benefit of all of us.
But how do we find that wisdom, this mysterious thing that will guide us towards our natural instinctive path?
I love how Sadghuru answers to a young student, during a Q&A session, who asks him how to figure out what he wants to do in life. And Sadghuru, answering with a peaceful smile : “if you want to find out what you want to do in life, do nothing for two weeks, be in silence.” His answer says it all about where to find this wisdom or instinct essential to our survival and happiness.
Mosts parts of the world inherited the European education system where you had to know a certain number of things to become someone. Since our first years of childhood, we learned to imitate our parents to become someone : don’t talk too loud, sit straight, listen to the teachers, have good grades, don’t contradict too much, stop crying or being in a bad mood, stop being scared, become what your parents want you to be and you will get there one day. But where ?! Getting THERE becomes the ultimate goal, the final destination to reach.
We all thought that we would get to this time in our life when we had it all and only then, could we finally enjoy life fully. Life has unfortunately not made it easy to find such a gem for all us.
In a way, because most kids in our world can’t become who they were meant to be, our planet is being denied some of the most precious gifts humans have to offer to our planet. And for those who were denied that basic right, unhappiness becomes a part of everyday, because we settle for convenience and comfort and keep our talents and dream aside, for maybe one day, when the time will come…but luckily, as adults, we have the power to turn that around, whatever happened in the past.
Uncovering this buried unlimited well of creativity within takes persistence, courage and compassion for ourselves. To find the light at the end of the tunnel, we need to dive in first into our darkness and pain.
It can be very painful yet necessary. That is why people tend to avoid silence at all cost, through entertainment and serial dating, to escape this place of darkness and pain, which opens back the gateway to our unlimited power and creativity which we all have and that we had since our first years of life.
From Multiple Traumas to Self-Healing
In the last three years, I went through multiple traumas including fear for my physical security, hunger, loss of friends, partners, family members, health and all my material objects, things I never imagined I would go through in my entire life. And they all happened at the same time. I survived miraculously. These events which almost made me fall apart allowed me to go on an enlightening growth journey. Because I had lost it all and had nobody around, the only way out was to look within. That is the choice I made, because life is always about choices whatever happens to you or happened in your past. These three years were the hardest of my life but at the same time, the greatest gift life could give me.
Finding the Answer Through Silence
One day, when I moved in a nice neighbourhood again, I started to spend hours outside sitting still, watching the clouds, letting thoughts pass by, without any purpose, calculation or goal.
Some people call it meditation. I call it: being! Silence became my best friend and ally. As Einstein discovered a very long time ago, the most creative concepts and solutions to every problem or issue come to you when you are not looking for them, but rather when you are doing nothing, in silence. We have to stop following a recipe, or a certain technique. From there, we need to open the door within, peel the layers and listen to what emerges: fear, anger, joy, pain, frustration, unfulfilled dreams, etc. It might actually bring back all of that. From there, if you keep listening, you will find you way back to your instinct, and this instinct will show you how to find your way back to yourself and guide you toward your life purpose. He will become your guide and best friend for the rest of your life if you allow time for him every day in silence. He was always there, within yourself, before you were told who to become and to choose a convenient and comfortable life.
Just by being there, without trying to do anything, I started to understand the meaning of being present, to develop distance from my own reactions, my thoughts and toxic patterns. I slowly found my way back to myself. Finding your way back to your authentic self, remembering who you were as kid, enjoying what is here and now, is what everybody is looking for. And this is where happiness lies. It lies in all of us and nobody can teach us how to get to that place. It has always been there, we just to hear ourselves again, breathe, laugh, feel alive, be who you were as a kid again, who you were always meant to be.
The intellectual society we live in has put aside everything that comes naturally to us: the most important one being our instinct. Some of us need to read books, articles or find others ways to accompany them through that journey. And all of us have a different way to do it. And each way is the perfect one.
Becoming a Self-Loving Warrior
Finding our inner light is the best way to prepare us to go through life hardships more smoothly, to get on the other side faster and more peacefully without feeling like a victim anymore. When you have found that place, nothing can stop you anymore. And even though I really was a victim of conditional love all my life until I found that love again I was looking for all along – outside of myself rather than within, I don’t consider myself a victim, but rather as a self-loving warrior and survivor, and I am now able to guide others to find inner light and path, because I have found love within myself first.
But let me tell you one thing, choosing happiness everyday is far from being a smooth and easy path, quite the contrary. Even if it hurts to face these scary monsters buried within, it is the greatest liberation you will ever feel in your life, like the fog has just lifted from your life. To know yourself is also to love yourself.
And that is how you change a world, by finding yourself back, who you were meant to be. In the most unexpected ways, you will slowly start to laugh every day and start enjoying all the small things. And that is where happiness lies. You will finally realize that those precious gifts you found within yourself were always there, hidden under your darkness, like the most precious gems, and that the world was waiting for you to share them again.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.” – Einstein.
Sophia Wisdom is a wisdom writer. Sophia has worked in the journalism field for the last fifteen years or so, mainly doing research for tv newsrooms and documentary productions. She has now chosen to embrace her true self and to live the life she had always dreamed of through creative writing. You can connect with her on Instagram.
Image courtesy of Clem Onojeghuo.