Most babies are little bundles of joy. Happy. Silly. Playful. I know mine were.
Think about it…they come into this world and their needs are so simple and basic. Food. Attention. Love. Affection. Sleep. (ok, and yes, a good poop:) And most of all, babies seek companionship and give unconditional love. They want someone to connect and play with. They want the most basic of things, and none of them are material, nor very complicated.
Think about how often a baby (most, but not all) will take to a complete stranger if they make them laugh or offer a warm, sweet cuddle. Think about how little it takes to make a baby smile. So simple. So honest.
What happens over time to babies though? Life does. We become grown ups. And at some point everything changes. As we grow up, we allow our needs to become more complex. We need more…more stuff, more affirmation, we have more expectations of others, we desire more of everything. And unfortunately, along the way, we become less happy. And as a result we are always searching.
I think it’s because we get so far away from our most basic needs. We overcomplicate our lives. We think that the answers to our happiness lie outside of us in the material. We get distracted by the bombardment of advertisements telling us that if we have THAT car, or THAT piece of clothing, or THAT gadget, we will be happy and fulfilled.
We fill our lives with envy too. Envy of others. But it’s all a false narrative. It’s all bullshit.
The more we crave, the more we desire, the more we attach ourselves to things and expectations, the more unhappy we become. It’s a never ending journey to satisfy an insatiable appetite for things. Things to make us feel better about ourselves.
It’s one of the reasons I believe that social media has become so paramount in our lives. The majority of social media is used by us to show our best selves to those who we want to impress. It’s no wonder the most successful companies in the world now produce cameras and filters enabling us to create the best photos of our lives for all to see. Add a filter. Include a great hashtag. And boom, everything looks great to everyone we want to impress.
I have nothing against social media and I believe it can be a source of good. But if you spend more time thinking about how to show people how perfect your life is in a photo than actually working on your spiritual self, than what does that say about your own internal truth? Truly happy people don’t feel the need to show other people how happy they are. They simply are…happy.
All this time spent on these external influences only gets us further and further away from our most basic of needs and that only contributes to our general feeling of unhappiness. And lack of purpose and fulfillment in life.
Return to the baby narrative. Return to your most basic, primal needs. What makes babies the happiest is typically when someone makes them laugh. Or when someone cuddles with them and provides a nurturing sense of love. Human connection. Raw. Basic. Unfiltered. Unconditional love.
Babies are content sometimes just playing with the simplest of things.
Babies want your attention and when they don’t get it, they express their unhappiness.
Babies love to laugh.
Babies smile often.
Babies don’t set expectations nor do they have conditions on their love.
Babies show their true feelings without regard for someone else’s judgment.
Babies crave unconditional love and also give unconditional love in return. Without strings attached or expectations that need to be met.
So what can we learn about the way a child loves?
- That giving someone you love your undivided attention is the most important thing you can do.
- That you should pursue loving relationships, not material things.
- That you should remove all expectations in the world and simply “be” as you are without thinking so much about what others may think.
- That the key to your happiness lies inside you.
- That life is simple.
So, maybe re-examine what your requirements for happiness are. How simple are they? How much are they tethered to what you think society or other people will think? How much are they tied to a material thing? And when doing so, perhaps return to the baby narrative. And remember your own kids or when you were a kid. And how happy and simple your needs were.
There is no reason why you can’t return to that life state. There is no reason for you to NOT be happy, for if you give love unconditionally, and you accept others unconditionally, you will find peace and harmony inside you. It was always there when you entered this world, you just traveled too far away from it.