Call off the search for happiness!
You cannot find it because YOU are already it—you have just forgotten your original nature.
You must realize the inherent unreality of all things before you realize your Self as being the source of all happiness. And this is the challenge of awakening to one's inner truth—you must first see all that is false within you.
You must expose all of the untruths you believe about yourself, which is a painful experience, one that might seem to overturn your entire world—but it's necessary.
You must be empty of all previously held beliefs and opinions, as these are the very things you suffer. This purging clears the way for Self-Realization to arise naturally within you.
It is only imagination creating an appearance of separation between you and happiness. Outside of the mind, happiness is ever-present—it is Reality itself, and you are That.
You are That which is beyond mind.
In other words, when you falsely identify yourself with the movements of mind, you suffer. Freedom is when you realize your Self as the invisible selfless presence that is aware of the mind.
As long as you believe in how something appears (such as happiness or success), then you will forever be lost within the idea of that thing's surface appearance and unreality, and your delusion will continue to confound you.
In truth, nothing that you seek—no possession, no attainment, no experience, and no sensation—can ever deliver what you're truly yearning.
What you heart aches for is the end of desire. We call this happiness. It is the end of all wanting, which coincidentally, is also the end of the sense of lack.
Unfortunately, this is usually only realized after many failed personal attempts to find happiness, possess it, and keep it. But, this is the way realization occurs—wisdom can only blossom from ignorance. You must become completely disillusioned with your existing beliefs before you can see clearly through them.
Most people have no idea what they're trying to find in life; it's as if they're searching for darkness using a flashlight. They’re looking for something that is already there—they just need to stop.
People climb to great heights to escape themselves, under the guise of procuring attainments considered as “happiness and success". And yet, after they achieve their goal and its resulting glory begins to dim, they remain as they were—still bound by the same all-pervading sense of personal lack and still suffering the same malaise and discontent.
It is the ego “who” is searching for happiness, not you.
And satisfying the ego is impossible since it defines and sustains itself by whatever you believe yourself to be missing.
As long as you continue to search for happiness, it will continue to elude you. It is the search itself that forever keeps it at a distance.
You cannot ease your dissatisfaction by pursuing things outside yourself. You must look within to find that which is always there—your presence of awareness.
Peace, happiness, bliss, compassion, and contentment are what you already ARE; they are not things you can acquire. These are the ever-present reflections of awareness itself. They are natural attributes of the realized Self—unconditioned, undistracted Presence.
So abandon all of your efforts made on behalf of satisfying the ego's falsely created self-image.
Purge all your self-limiting beliefs, including whatever you believe yourself to be lacking or missing.
Realize that you already have everything you need. You lack nothing. Do not believe anything the mind tells you otherwise. All things pass, but you, awareness, remain. Abide in the presence of your Self, the only place where you can realize true equanimity.
Abandon any desire to be fulfilled by things outside of your Self, and realize that which is already within.