Happiness is an inside job



We all like to have a view from our window, our balcony, our porch. 

Spaciousness is good for the soul, I believe.

To grow mentally and emotionally, we need to open our mind. “Broaden your view, extend your horizon”, they say, when someone seems stuck in life.

This is much easier when you have a good view than when you’re staring into a dead-end alley or up to a blind wall.

It might be one of the reasons why people love watching sunsets or sunrises, since it always involves wider horizons, offering a broader perspective.

So when I was confronted with a newly constructed blank wall without a single window right in for of my little house, I felt my mind narrowing, my heart closing.

I had a hard time not feeling a little depressed and invaded.

There is something about walls without windows, that makes them extra imposing, almost unfriendly. Nothing inviting about a blank wall, right?

It was just a big empty wall. Lifeless.

Then a friend suggested painting a big mural on it, with lots of colour. Something fun to look at. Now there was a great plan. Even better: she’s an artist, and said she would love to paint that mural for me (I am not a painter, so I would need her to do the job for me, I thought then).


Yay! I bought the paints and brushes, looked online for some inspiration, and got really excited about the whole plan. It was going to be a huge, colourful mandala against a backdrop of plants and flowers. That wall would come alive!

My friend was looking forward to start soon.

The big wall that made me so unhappy was going to look awesome and actually add to my happiness!

Then she had to move to a different country quite suddenly, not to come back anytime soon.

Was I going to wait for her to return to paint my mural? Was I going to let that wall make me unhappy for a year?

Should I let my happiness depend on her?

No, of course not. I had to find another way to get the wall-painting done. As in: do it myself.

We cannot let our happiness be conditioned and controlled by others, or by circumstances outside of us. We can’t wait for other people to make us happy. If we have to wait for every person and every situation to be perfect to make us happy, we can wait till we die.

It ain’t gonna happen, baby.

This was the first lesson that my mandala-painting pointed out to me: I am the only person that can make me happy. I am in charge and in control of my happiness. I cannot control other people and circumstances and therefore they are not meant to be in charge of my happiness.

Happiness? Gotta do it myself.

Many Mandala-induced lessons would follow, and still more are coming up, every time I climb up the scaffolding to paint another little bit. 

Over the next few months, I’ll keep you posted about the progress of the painting, and share the little pieces of wisdom that are inspired by it.

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