"When I get __________ I'll be happy". We all think this phrase. It's easy to fill in the blank. It can be a partner, or a job, some kind of accomplishment, a particular electronics device, an article of clothing, a house, a trip somewhere, enlightenment, lose weight, recognition....any thing. We feel some level of unhappiness and we feel when we get this particular thing we will be happy. We are looking for relief and we really do believe the thing will bring it.
But when we look at our experiences we can see that it's untrue. The satisfaction is short lived. There is a spike of joy and then it's gone. We return to how we were feeling before. The dissatisfaction returns. And then we think, "Well, that didn't make me happy, but if I get ______, then I'll be happy."
I see this when I go to my clients' homes. They have lots of things that they have lost interest in, that they aren't using, or that they forgot about. When I ask them about letting it go, they resist. There's an attachment to the peace of mind and joy that they originally wanted from the thing, but never experienced. It's not their fault. We're all taught that things will make us happy. We get it through advertising. We get it through basic socialization. We're hypnotized.
The thing I do know is when my clients start to let go of these things that they brought into their lives to make them happy, they start to feel happy. It's as if there's a natural joy already present in them, and as the layers of things that weren't serving them go, their innate joy rises. They are surprised. It goes against what they were taught. They feel joy and relief and it stays with them.