Question: Happiness is elusive! How do I let go of an ever-present feeling of being discontented? If there is one weed in a field of roses, you can bet the weed is what I will see.
Answer: When it comes to discontentment or any other unhappiness, we are making a similar painful mistake that is taking us further and further away from real rescue. We believe that the inner voices within us, that so readily point out the discontentment in our lives, are doing this pointing from some safe harbor of contentment that we can reach only by following their directions. But a harbor wouldn't even be necessary if these same thoughts and feelings hadn't whipped up a storm in the first place! The false self is trying endlessly to get your attention in order to point out to you that there is something missing in your life. Your feelings of discontentment are the very nature of the false self with which you have unknowingly identified. This is why you must never do anything about your discontentment because it is not your discontentment. Don't be afraid of not having something to do. Try to remember that what you really want isn't just to feel different, but to be different. Let the feelings fade and disappear, and with them the false self.
Question: Is real happiness actually effortless? The inner work I know is needed seems to be a constant struggle.
Answer: Don't confuse the work to cultivate the soil with the garden that grows in the prepared soil. Real happiness is indeed effortless, once the causes of unhappiness are weeded out. In a way, you already know this truth through the experience of those moments where your joy is independent of the "you" that suddenly realizes it is having a happy time. This physical example can be applied to our spiritual life when we come to the new contentment born out of seeing that our former discontentment was rooted in a lie. Don't struggle to make yourself happy. Persist instead with your efforts to be free of the illusion that you must somehow struggle with unhappy thoughts or feelings. See these dark states as passing clouds. As you do this, you will know that behind them sits the sun.
Excerpted from Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom