We start to understand the nature of happiness. When we come into contact with other people or situations that make us feel happy, because of a faulty program we think that it is that person or that situation that is making us happy. But the person is a medium only. Somehow the feeling or state of happiness has been triggered off inside us through that contact or situation. When we understand this, we can start to try and find the lasting happiness inherent in the true Self.
Most of us demand happiness from other people. However, this is not correct. We have to first find the happiness within and then relate it to others. We rely on external things to make us happy. We look for security in money, in relationships, through positions of power or authority, and through love. But real security comes from within, and real love comes from within ourselves. When we rely on our Self, we are really secure. We also discover that when we can love ourselves, then we are in a position to love others.
In certain stages of our growth, it is definitely necessary to be appreciated and recognised. This makes us feel good about ourselves, which strengthens the ego. However, it causes a feeling of separation between ourselves and others through competition, insecurity and power play. Once the ego is strong, it can be trimmed so that this sense of separation is reduced and a feeling of oneness with others develops. This unity is part of the process of yoga, and part of the effect of living an ashram lifestyle. With this sense of oneness we are more content and able to love ourselves more. We have a deeper sense of peace and acceptance of both our strengths and our limitations.