When you find it, let me know!
The quest for happiness has been a driving force, some say THE driving force for humankind for ever and a day.
It's what we all crave, strive for, seek out.
It's what we celebrate; Happy Birthday", we sing to celebrate the sheer miracle of someone actually being here and in our lives.
And that's what I think happiness is really; it's the connections we make with each other, the sharing of lives, of years, of moments. It's in the giving and receiving of love; in the sharing of affection; in the respect for another's humanity.
We're thrust into this world without being asked if that's what we want, and somehow have to make the best of it. The best of the trials and tribulations, the pain and the sorrow, the loneliness and the heartache that life throws at us. But also to savour the best of the love and affection, the friendship and acceptance, the joy and, yes, the sheer happiness of being connected.
So often, when people come to counselling, a large part of what troubles them turns out to be a sense of disconnection.
Sometimes there's disconnection because someone has died, sometimes a relationship has ended, sometimes life has changed and the disconnection is a result of this.
And disconnection is another word for lonely.
Loneliness makes us sad. The research is definite about that.
Without a sense of belonging we do not thrive. We cannot be happy when we are lonely.
When we are lonely we are devoid of that sense of connectedness. We are cast adrift.
We are stranded.
When we are lonely we cannot be happy.
So there's an answer. Well, my answer at least.
The secret to happiness? Each other.
Knowing you're connected, even though you may be alone, even though you may enjoy your solitude, knowing you're connected makes the world bearable.
Because without it we'd be lost, alone in the emptiness.