Today, while seeing a beggar in the street, I had the realization that, in one way or another, we are all beggars. We may not be on the street begging for money, but we are almost continually begging for happiness.
Whether explicitly or subconsciously, we are constantly begging the world, saying “Please, make me feel good, give me something that will make me feel happier, please, please, please, give me, give me, give me…”
Even our prayers are, most of the time, no more than: “Please, God, give me something to make me happier!”. And when we do get something that we want, we pray again, but this time we say “Please, don’t let it go!”.
There are many things we beg for, like power, good looks, recognition, a good job, more money, a relationship, etc. We don’t really care for those things, but we want them because we believe that by having any of them we are going to be happier, and although it may be true on a short term, it is not in the long term. Just as an example, we can take one of the most popular things we ask for: relationships. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship, but the problem is that if we feel we need it (in the sense that we cannot be happy without it) it means we are not content with ourselves, it means that we are experiencing a sense of inner emptiness and hope that the relationship will fill it up. When we get it, our intelligence realizes that now we are very happy, but before we were not, and so we become dependant on this relationship in order to keep this happiness. And thus, we become addicted to this new thing. And we all know that if we are dependent on something, we are also afraid of losing it, and this fear will be a constant companion. We grasp very tight whatever we are afraid to lose, and there is no worst recipe for a bad relationship, or any other attempt to reach happiness, than grasping.
In order to become free from this dependence, we must find the sense of fullness not in the relationship, not in material things, not out there in the world, but in ourselves. This sounds obvious, but it is a very difficult thing to understand and this is why most people are simply not content. Or, rather, they are content as long as they have the things they want. However, everything changes and nothing lasts forever, and because consciously or unconsciously we all know that, we live in fear, and this fear is the very essence of our unhappiness. It is from this fear that greed, jealousy, stress, depression, and many other every day maladies arise from.
So, if you are to beg for something, beg for connection to yourself, for finding inner happiness – that is, for that inner sense of being, that sense of being content for no other reason than because ‘I am’. We all know that this exists, because we all experience it, at times, although in an elusive way. Sometime, somewhere, for some reason, we wake up and we feel good, and we do not know why. Nothing has changed, my problems are still there, my debts are still unpaid, my situation is still unstable, but I feel good. We know that this place exists, but we need to be reminded of it.
Out of habit, we look for relationships, we look for jobs, for money, for pleasure, because that’s what we are taught to do. But it comes a time when the search has to go inside…. As a philosopher (Epictetus) once said, “the essence of philosophy (we can call it now inner-growth) is freedom, is being independent of externals”.
In the yogilates class there is a space, a quietness that allow us to pay attention to ourselves. While we do the movements, the exercises, we can look for that part that does not need anything, not even the class. Just see what it means, look for it, stay inside of yourself and see what happens, see what comes.
It is my conviction that our real goal in life is to find the door to a fearless state of being; to our own inner peace, to our own inner happiness. And then, from there, a whole new chapter begins.