Instead of Chasing Happiness, Search the Darkness

Your agony, your uncertainty, your feelings of unease and shadows of your past are the pathway towards your freedom. In the spider webs of thoughts, the muddled terrain of emotions, the volcano of your most profound agony, is the answer to all that you’ve been searching for.

We somehow fail to comprehend that the only path OUT of pain is THROUGH pain. Our deep-rooted conditioning whispers in our ear that happiness can be found by avoiding pain, by escaping it. We assume that we become happy when we improve this bit of ourselves, change that individual, move to this place, land that job, achieve this at a certain age, get that degree … without any end in sight, ceaselessly we lie to ourselves that the way out of suffering is by chasing happiness.

Also, there is a sure addictive quality to playing the happiness game. There’s always another excitement to seek after, another show to play out, another thing to acquire. Simply, the quest for happiness gives you something to do, so it makes you have a predisposition that you’re investing your energy purposefully.

Indeed, the greater part of our conduct is driven by the pursuit of happiness. We pursue the “perfect” relationship since we feel it will heal us. We pursue higher paying jobs and more possessions since we assume it will bring us more solace and security.

However, once we reach or get what we’ve been seeking after, what happens? To what extent do we stay upbeat? Once in a while we feel upbeat for a week, a month, or even a solitary minute. Then the inclination passes, and we’re on the treadmill once more, hawking quickly for the following “source” of joy.

Yes, the hunt of happiness is the most well-known and obsessive dependence we as a whole share, since the birth of civilization.


The biggest pain that I battle with isn’t outrage or misery; it’s fear. I put it down to different social, acquired, neurological, hormonal, and mental variables. Yet, the truth is that it’s there. I’ve attempted to escape it for my whole life, consistently. For whatever length of time that I can recall, Fear has been a part of my life. Fear of God, fear of my folks, fear of my school, fear of other individual’s opinion, and at last, fear of myself.

I have attempted unlimited practices to manage this. I’ve attempted reflection, music, cognitive behavioral treatment, NLP, trance, affirmations, unending self- help guides, and a great deal more. Though I sought these outlets in the chase of the holy grail of permanent peace and happiness, I was taken by surprise. Because each of these practices took me one step closer to my darkness; These practices helped me deal with my predicament, they narrowed my escape routes to stay away from, minimize or control what I was feeling- Instead I found myself dealing with my feelings head-on.

In the long run, I found that regardless of the fact that you keep running from pain or imagine that it isn’t there, it generally lurks near your feet like a shadow.

What does this mean?

As Sufi Master Rumi so expressively brought up, ‘suffering offers the very path to recovery. Your pain is a delegate, a sign, and a chance to come back to Wholeness once more’.

Pain is basically a slap on the face that yells “Hello! Wake up! You’re resisting or sticking to something here.”

The truth is that we can’t control the feelings and emotions arising and ceasing within us. Observing the fundamental impersonal nature of thoughts and feelings helps us to become observers rather than pawns of our emotional panoramas. Understanding that you have no control over thoughts is not about living in renunciation, but taking responsibility for your happiness by learning how to create more inner space.

Here are some steps to help you overcome chronic suffering:

1. Be willing to face your “Darkscape”

2. Learn to become aware of triggers and pain as it arises

3. When pain arises, allow it and hold it in awareness

4. Realize that thoughts and feelings are not “you”

Search your darkness, and you will discover your light again. Search your darkness, allow it, and hold it in awareness, pay respect to your feelings by paying attention to the message that pain brings along- it could be a harsh word from a loved one or it could be disappointment- no matter what, just pay attention. And you will see that pain isn’t the problem, resisting and reacting to it, is.


“I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain”. — F. Herbert