Valerio strolled into the kitchen and said "How is it possibile? I mean life is so hard, people are so stressed, there's no justice in the world, but despite this...despite this, life is wonderful. How can that be?!"
I think the answer has to be that your happiness does not depend on outside circumstance and context. Having a roof over our head and and enough money to pay the bills and afford a comfortable standard of living does of course help, but it goes no further than this. Happiness, or "santosha" in yogic terms, is something that comes from the inside. Which is just as well considering that Valerio is, being the only male in the house, a definite minority ; he lives with four females (including an aging disabled three-legged cat) all of whom clamor for his attention constantly - our household with two small demanding daughters (and an even more demanding wife) is not exactly relaxing to say the least. Yes, contentment comes from within which is the only thing I suspect, keeping him from packing his suitcase and running away to a log cabin in the mountains.
(In case it's not clear - Valerio is infact my husband.)
For your homework this week I suggest you observe your wishes for the future. Do you find yourself saying - " I can't wait until.....
I lose three kilos/
I buy a BMW/
The summer holidays/
My daughter will eat something other than "pasta in bianco"/
I pass my exam/
I find the man of my dreams"
As if somehow obtaining these things or reaching these goals (I have nothing against goals! We need them - not to reach but to work towards) will almost magically secure you happiness?
Well, relax. The good news is you don't need any of these things to happen to feel happy.
The point is this; YOU DON'T NEED ANYTHING.
Liberating isn't it?