I appreciate the author's question of "What do I really need to be happy?" It's an important one. What I need is to love, which I think includes connection and kindness. When I love I am connected and kind. I emphasize that what I need to be happy is to love, not to be loved. I have loved and had times of abiding in love, and have experienced being happy during those times. I have been loved, and that's a positive experience, but I'm not necessarily happy in receiving it or as a result of receiving it. There have been many times when I have been loved when I have not been happy. It is clear to me that I can be loved without my being happy or it generating my being happy. I don't think I can love without being happy -- I never have. Loving generates happiness. To love is to be happy. The ultimate is to love and be loved, but to love is the sine qua non. I think you know you are looking for happiness in the right places and right ways if you feel happiness that feels true and is abiding.