On the search for happiness

Þórarinn Björnsson wrote, "One does not approach happiness directly, but indirectly. It is an appurtenance, like a shadow. It is silent, and its footsteps are as little heard as those of a shadow." (Rætur og vængir II, p. 266).

Is searching for happiness like chasing one's own shadow?

It is, to the extent that we imagine that we can achieve happiness once and for all. But it is not, if we recognize that we do not have any direct power over happiness but control only ourselves.

Does this mean that we can do nothing to become happy? On the contrary: we may open ourselves to happiness by concentrating on what gives value to life. And we can know what that is by taking note of what gives light and warmth to life.

Happiness is in fact the opposite of the shadows that we cast. It is like the sun that shines upon us - a sun that we do not create or control but which we may allow to bathe us in its light.

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