I FIRST MET SUSAN in a mental-health hospital in London. Susan was a lawyer, 30-something, tall, with dark hair and olive skin, attractive, witty, intelligent, and very depressed. This was her fourth time as an inpatient. She was diagnosed with chronic, treatment-resistant depression.
Susan was sitting in the patients’ lounge. She was playing with a jigsaw puzzle. I said “Hello” and asked her how she was getting on.
“Okay,” she said.
“It looks like you have nearly finished the puzzle,” I said.
“Yeah, but I probably won’t get to finish it,” replied Susan.
“Well, I suspect there may be a piece missing.”
I saw Susan again at the end of my visit. She was reading a magazine.
“Did you finish the puzzle?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she replied.
“What about the missing piece?” I asked.
“Everything was already here,” she smiled.
“Yeah, I always think there must be a piece missing. It’s the story of my life,” she said. We both smiled because we both knew what she was really talking about.
Do You Feel Depressed Because Something is Missing?
The fear that something is missing somewhere in you or in your life is the greatest illusion of all. It is a rogue thought that can wreak havoc with perception, creating much self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-attack. It is a dastardly magician that conjures up mental tricks of lack, loss, isolation, neediness, dependency, and much pain.
The fear that something is missing in you is what leads you to search somewhere else for happiness. You overlook what is already “here” as you chase after “there”; you miss the “sacred now” as you ponder your “next step”; you forget to be grateful for what “is” as you prey after “more.” You search, struggle, and strive, but you never arrive because you can’t get past the thought that something is missing. If this sounds like you, I recommend reading my book, Be Happy, for a proven step by step guide to help you stop chasing happiness and start enjoying your life as it happens instead.
The True Source of Happiness
Can you see that all your pain comes from the belief that your source of happiness is outside you? This single misperception—this little fear—is what feeds your mental junk, your learned unworthiness, and your “not good enough” stuff. Notice how all your thoughts of fear and lack are reversed the moment you accept that every piece of universal joy rests already in your heart. Feel this, now.
Every culture has its sacred sites and holy meeting grounds. Thousands of people every day travel in pilgrimage to far off places like Lourdes, the Great Pyramids, Ayers Rock, the Grand Canyon, Mount Shasta, Stonehenge, Mount Athos, the Himalayas. These places hold sacred energy, they say. And yet, nowhere is more sacred than the human heart—home of your Unconditioned Self. You are sacred ground.
Do you see this?
Imagine That You Already Have What You Seek
Your two physical eyes see bits of things. They see bits of the color spectrum, bits of the landscape, bits of the ocean, bits of the sky. They see bits of you and bits of me. But they do not see the big picture. It is only when you look with the heart that you can begin to comprehend the possibility of true wholeness, true beauty, and true oneness.
It is my experience that the most amazing people act as if everything is already here. Great artists tune in to something universal when they create. Great thinkers trust in a solution for every problem. Great leaders lend themselves to guidance and inspiration. Great healers see people’s wholeness long before any cure arrives.
Imagine that! Imagine whatever you want is here right now. What do you want? Wisdom? It’s already here. Peace? It’s already here.
Inspiration? It’s here already. It’s all here, because you are. This is the big picture. This is what your Unconditioned Self sees.
You are what you seek. This means that whatever joy you hoped “to get” after you found your true partner, got the dream job, bought the ideal home, and earned the right money is already in you! When you search for love, joy, power, money, Heaven, and God; you are really searching for the experience of your Unconditioned Self that is unencumbered by fear, separation, and lack.
You are not here to find happiness; you are here to extend it. You are inspiration-packed, wisdom-infused, made with love, and blessed with joy. And so is everyone else. To be free all you have to do is make yourself wholly available to what is already inside you. Real healing is giving up your resistance to your Unconditioned Self.
Here is some graffiti for the soul. “I am what I seek.” Write it up and stick it in your wallet. Truth is here, inspiration is here, love is here, peace is here, help is here, God is here, because you are here. Truth is a pathless land, and happiness is a journey without distance.
Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of You Are What You Seek
Robert Holden, Ph.D., is the Director of The Happiness Project and Success Intelligence. Robert coaches leaders in business, education, politics and healthcare.