I love potato chips.
I particularly love Old Dutch Rip-L, Ketchup, and BBQ and plain Ruffles. Lay's regular are good too.
But no matter what flavour I’m munching on (okay, I’ll be honest, it’s more like snarfing), there is one thing I really enjoy…big chips. When I am eating a bowl of chips, I strategically leave the big ones for last.
When I purchase my bags of chips, I am careful to lay them in the cart gently, lay them on the checkout belt gently, and in my pantry gently. I handle them with care. (Isn’t that what any rational human being does?! Like, who doesn’t like big chips?)
That’s why I noticed (and was appalled by) the customer in the store who was violently squeezing multiple bags of chips. He would grab a bag, manhandle it, then put it back on the shelf. Grab another bag, shake it and squeeze it and put it back. Again and again. He was searching for a bag that contained big chips.
Paradoxically, in his attempt to find and have big chips, he was breaking all the big chips. While searching for big chips, he had no big chips.
It occurred to me: happiness is like a bag of big potato chips.
Let me explain.
The search for happiness is paradoxical. While you search for it, you lose it; you’ll never have it. The sheer act of searching for happiness means you cannot have it…because if you had it, you wouldn’t be looking for it. While searching for happiness, you have no happiness.
If you are searching for a bag of big potato chips, you’ll never find it. And the more fervently you search, the less big chips you’ll find. Just like if you are searching for happiness, you’ll never find it. And the more fervently you search, the further you are from finding it.
So how do you find happiness if you can’t search for it?
You allow happiness to be. To find happiness, stop searching for it. Stop believing it is something to be achieved or accomplished or earned or received or found. The belief that you must strive for happiness leads to unhappiness. Stop being unhappy, and happiness will begin to arise.
Happiness is your natural state, you simply have to allow it to be.
PS. When you better understand yourself, you stop searching for happiness and learn to allow happiness to be. Discover your unconscious patterns and understand yourself with an Enneagram Typing Session. (Watch the video, here)
Here’s to conquering stress.
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