".... happiness is an inside job," a nice, oft-quoted, aphorism, a pointer if you will. I remind myself that every pointer has two ends. Maybe not two pointy ends and maybe not so clearly delineated in direction, inner or outer, self or other. What comes with seeking happiness inwardly is that there most assuredly will be a bumping up against that which, in a dualistic way of thinking, would be called not-happiness. We may have discovered that striving for happiness outside self may manifest as an addiction to approval, praise, drugs (add your own) or getting bigger, better faster stuff. But alas, still none of this provides ever-lasting happiness.
In walking the middle way, we begin to become friendly with the nature of impermanence. Realizing that everything comes and everything goes, we experience no thing is permanent. When we open our eyes to what is, tangible and experiential evidence presents every day in every way. Outwardly, we see and feel how our bodies change, inwardly we know how happiness 24/7 is just not the truth. Yet, and this is a big yet, at any given time there exists the possibility for any truth absolute and relative to co-exist.
Perhaps in co-existing with both shadow and light we can cultivate a practice that supports "the investigation of the fundamental activity of self." And then we can heartily and honestly proclaim gratitude and exclaim. "Thanks for all this."
A short story:
One day I was walking in downtown Prince Rupert. Ahead of me was a child of young age, say 4 or 5, with her Mom. I don't know what they were talking about or what prompted the child's reaching her arms skyward with a jubilant exclamation, "Look at me God, I'm alive."