Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness, on mudita, “sympathetic joy,” or joy for others’ happiness, and one of the four brahma-viharas:
“Mudita depends on rapture, on our capacity to take active delight in things- and this depends upon our ability to actually let ourselves feel joy. We have to let go of feeling guilty about our own happiness or feeling threatened that it will be taken from us.”
When we can allow true happiness into our lives we can genuinely rejoice when other people are as well. Sometimes I think it has been easier for me to be happy for others, because I believed I needed too much to be happy for it ever to be true.
I was pursuing the wrong happiness for myself while at the same time experiencing real happiness for others. But as a grabbing, attachment-making person, I then came to believe making people happy was the way to my happiness. This is also not the way.
My true happiness is beckoning me to drop my needs, let go of my attachments, come the other direction. Happiness comes the stillness and openness of our being. Happiness is easy now.