Happiness can often be temporary, and for most of us it is defined by factors such as events, friends, partners, etc. Although I absolutely agree that certain achievements make us very happy, in reality happiness is an inside job.
What do I mean by that?
It’s simple. If your happiness depended on outside circumstances and other people, then you are placing your happiness in uncertain hands. You are allowing others to have control over it. This applies to any circumstance. Let’s take love, for example.
Happy When You Find Your Guy or Gal?
Of course, it is wonderful to spend quality time with your partner, and I can only recommend it, but that time with your partner should not be the basis for feeling happy or “complete”. You should be able to feel just as happy when you are away from your partner.
Enjoy that walk around a lake while holding hands with him or her. I would feel blessed as well doing that. A nice, romantic stroll, the setting sun bathing the water in glorious colors, just feeling in love. Wonderful! I agree. Who wouldn’t love that, right? Nonetheless, don’t make it all about your boyfriend/girlfriend. In other words, do not plan your daily activities around him/her. Have your own life.
In the end, you will be doing both of you a favor. No one wants a clingy partner and if your happiness is going to depend on your husband/wife/ girl-or boyfriend, aren’t you placing a lot of pressure on him/her? It’s important to be happy with but also without.
And having your own time and not making it all about your partner can only improve your bond. It may sound ironic, but if you know how to find happiness within yourselves, you’ll have a better and stronger relationship with each other.
Find happiness within and you’ll have happiness with-out.
If you’re single and you think that you’ll only be happy in a relationship, then perhaps it is time to ask yourself a few questions. If you’re not happy now, what makes you think that a relationship will change everything? What if your long awaited goal is achieved and your spouse happens to have a life of his or her own and doesn’t see your union as the ultimate goal but rather as a part of his/her journey? What then?
Before you can be happy with someone you must learn to be happy with yourself. Before you can love someone you must learn to love yourself.
Yes, but there are certain events that will elevate our level of happiness, such as graduating from high school or university, getting a raise at work, achieving a goal you worked really hard for. Of course, you deserve celebrating those feats, they are some huge accomplishments! Just make sure that in order to get to your goals, you don’t forget to enjoy the journey 😉
Enjoy the Journey
When I was around twelve years old, a friend of my parents (and the mother of a friend of mine) died. One day she was doing her daily chores and being her usual busy self and the next day she literally dropped dead … a brain aneurysm. Her name was Denise.
I knew her well. My friend and I were born in the same hospital, just three weeks apart. Denise and her family sometimes went on vacation with my parents and me, and we had summer barbecues together. I often stayed for lunch or dinner at her house and I spent several nights there.
Denise was always busy. She worked hard … really hard … They were living in an apartment and she and her husband planned to build a house. For years and years Denise worked her butt off to save for that dream house, and on top of that she also took care of her three children and her husband. Her husband worked too, but in the 80s I still didn’t see many men helping out with house chores … her husband was usually in the living room.
Denise had little free time for herself. It was always work, work, work until late in the evening. When I stayed over at their place, I hardly ever saw her sit down and watch a movie with us at night …
She died when she was 40 … We were all shocked. Many people loved Denise, she had been such a sweet lady. Now she was gone.
I still remember my reaction when I heard the news. I was shocked and saddened … and I thought of all her hard work and sacrifice and how it had all been for nothing. Now she was dead and she could never enjoy her dream house. Although I was only 12 and I did not know much about the world, I understood that Denise had worked so hard to achieve her goal that she had forgotten to enjoy the ride; and now it was too late. I remember telling my parents that I didn’t want to end up like that, that I wanted to enjoy life as well.
I never forgot the lesson that Denise unwillingly taught me, and although there was a point in my life where I also worked hard and made many sacrifices to pay off my property, after several years I remembered what had happened to Denise, and I slowed down.
How Much do we Control?
In life, there isn’t much we have control over, but we have control over our own reactions and our happiness.
We can either focus on the bad stuff that sometimes seems to be showering or even pounding on us like a hailstorm or we can choose to pay attention to the good things we still have, show gratitude for the beauty we still find in our lives.
In times of scarce finances, I was thankful for the food in my fridge. When things didn’t go so well, I listened to the birds sing in my garden and was grateful for the beauty of their free music. As soon as you feel the beginnings of a smile on your face, that smile can’t be stopped and you will feel better instantly.
If you can still smile, not everything is lost.
When the workers on the lot across from mine still played their music for hours on end, not letting me work, and not caring about my repeated requests to lower the volume, I showed relief that at least it wasn’t as loud as it used to be 9 months ago when that whole mess started. (it has been taken care of now 🙂 )
Always find beauty in the darkest places.
This is not always easy; it´s probably incredibly hard to find beauty in hostile or menacing places, but even if you find just a tiny speck of light in darkness, you found a little hope and happiness, and then it can only grow.
If your happiness depends on outside factors it is doomed to be temporary. If your happiness comes from within, then it has a better chance of being permanent. Of course, life happens and tragedy can unfortunately not always be avoided. We need time to cry and mourn, but that time inevitably has to come to an end and then you – and only you – need to work on finding that inner happiness again.
I make it sound so simple, but I’m well aware that it is not. It can sometimes take years to make happiness an inside job, and it is an ongoing process to keep it that way.
Thank you for reading my thoughts on this. Enjoy the journey! 🙂
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below in the comment section.