What do we do when some big stuff in life doesn’t go the way we would have liked it to go? Of course, it is the dark ignorance we carry and in which we are steeped that makes us assume that we somehow have this right to expect that things in life and world would go the way we want them to go!
So what do we do when things go haywire, or at least don’t go the way we had expected them to go? We cry. We shout. We agitate. We yell. We cry some more. Why, why, o why? Why is the world so harsh on me? Why is the world so unfair? Why can’t I get my own way?
What else do we do? We become sad. We become gloomy. We become depressed. We become bitter.
Or we start blaming circumstances, life, everyone. Even ourselves. Or some or all of them in any combination.
Basically we become unhappy.
Unhappiness weakens the strength and lays one more open to the causes of unhappiness. (Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 279)
It is then that we must remember to find happiness in small things. Yes, there are many more profound ways to regain our inner balance, our inner poise. And we must work with those, as sincerely as we can.
But there is also this simple way of becoming open to and observant of happy beauty in little things. No, I am not speaking of ‘reliving’ happy memories or ‘buying’ happiness from malls – though for some people that can work too. It may be argued that all such ways and means to find little happiness could only have temporary result, but then isn’t happiness itself transitory in some sense? And yet we continue to seek happiness because perhaps in a thickly veiled way it is representative of our seeking for a deeper, inner, more lasting Ananda, Bliss and Joy.
In any case, today I am speaking of finding moments of happiness in small beautiful things (literally) around us, in our living spaces. These may be anything. As long as we feel happy seeing them, I mean really ‘seeing’ them in a way that reveals to us their beauty, their happy state of existence.
The other day, these are the objects that gave me this experience of observing happy little things around me. And today I take the opportunity to share them here.
There is a consciousness in each physical thing with which one can communicate. Everything has an individuality of a certain kind, houses, cars, furniture etc. The ancient peoples knew that and so they saw a spirit or “genius” in every physical thing. (Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, CWSA, Vol. 29, p. 288)
So how or why did these beautiful little things made me happy that day? Well, does the ‘how’ or ‘why’ really matter? What matters most is to recall that I was grateful for that little dose of happiness and cheerfulness.
And what kind of happiness do I feel now writing about that experience? A sense of happiness that comes with a feeling of gratitude. Gratitude for that experience, for being around these beautiful little things of happiness, for once again remembering that happiness can sometimes indeed literally be found in little things around us. If only we know how to see them. And more importantly, if we know how to experience through them some moments of happy beauty.
Such moments, small though they may be, help us walk cheerfully toward a greater self-control of our emotional reactions, help us slowly prepare for the vicissitudes of life.
One can be quiet, happy, cheerful without being all that in a light or shallow way—and the happiness need not bring any vital reaction. All that you need to do is to be observant and vigilant,—watchful so that you may not give assent to wrong movements or the return of the old feelings, darkness, confusion, etc. If you remain vigilant, then with the increase of the Force upholding you, a power of self-control will come, a power to see and reject the wrong turn or the wrong reaction when it comes. (Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 279)
Linking with ABC Wednesday, L: L is for Little
Linking up with Vidya Sury’s Gratitude Circle: September 2016