Counselor's Corner: Happiness in the present moment


Fred Cavaiani

Happiness is defined as “an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment and fulfillment. It especially includes positive emotions and life satisfaction.” Happiness is what everyone seeks. It is a destination every one is wanting to arrive at. 

The biggest struggle in life comes from believing that happiness comes from how people treat us. We often believe that if we are loved enough by someone, we will find happiness. If I have enough money, I will be happy. If there is no pain in my life, I will be happy. If my candidates are elected, I will find happiness. If there is no war, I will be happy. If other people change for the better, I will be happy. 

The feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, positive emotions and life satisfaction are not the result of how the world or other people will be. Nothing in the world has to change for me to be happy. No one in my life needs to change for me to be happy. Often, we live life with this fantasy that happiness is dependent upon how other people treat me or how the world should be more loving and kind.

Happiness is dependent upon how I treat other people. If I am loving and kind to others, I will feel joy. Happiness is dependent upon how I embrace the present moment and gently and slowly experience this present moment. This means that I become aware of the presence of God in whatever I see and in whomever I see. Happiness is dependent upon how well I will choose to remain positive and loving in this moment. Each moment of life is a gift. Happiness comes from being aware of this and being grateful in this moment.

Happiness is never the result of what will happen next or what happened in the past. Joy and fulfillment depend upon how I embrace this moment. If someone becomes upset with me, this does not have to block my happiness. If there is tension in the world, this should not stop me from feeling joy and contentment. Happiness evolves from the embrace of this moment and the awareness of gratitude and goodness in this moment. Happiness results when I spend much quiet time listening to the gentle inspirations that will come to me from a deep relationship with the source of everything. When I do this every day, I walk slowly through the day and do not rush to the next moment. I become aware that peace comes from the gentle embrace and awareness of this moment.

When I gently and slowly embrace this moment, something peaceful and profound happens to me. It is the result of a positive awareness and experience of this moment even if the moment is painful. Every moment of life is meant to be a divine experience of wisdom and love. But I must pay gentle attention to this present moment. 

It becomes easy to think that happiness is just around the corner or what might happen next. This is an unhealthy fantasy. Happiness is how I am embracing and experiencing this present moment. The more love and gratitude I bring to this present moment, the deeper my joy and satisfaction. I do not have to control this moment. I need to gently experience this moment.

Happiness is not the result of how other people treat me. It is the result of how loving I treat other people. If someone says something unkind or negative to me, this should not stifle my happiness because I can still choose to be loving and kind. 

I must always remember that nothing and no one has to change for me to experience happiness. Happiness will always be the result of how loving I will be, how grateful I will be and how I will experience God in this loving and gentle embrace of this present moment.

The present moment is the doorway to deeper joy, contentment and satisfaction. It is the doorway to happiness.

When I put energy into past moments or future moments or expect other people to make me happy, I am in the wrong place. Happiness is discovered in my gentle embrace, acceptance and reflective awareness of this present moment. I am refreshingly appreciative of how well this works. 

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