Getting Honest About Happiness
When I graduated from high school, it seemed like I was determined to look for my happiness in all the wrong places. I spent too many years doing what I thought I was supposed to do, going where was cool, hanging with people that were supposed to make my life better. Then I realized I was living a life built by the standards and opinions of others. I wasn’t those people. I was me and it was time to return to the person I was born to be. A few years ago, I dusted off my old notebooks, bought a new pack of pens and haven’t looked back.
Generations have been taught that you grow up, go to school, go to work, retire, and then travel the world, or do whatever it is you’ve always dreamed of. You’ve put in your time, made your contribution to society, created a name for yourself. You’ve given most of your life to raising children. You’ve given most of your time to your bosses. In grade school they used to encourage us to fantasize about our dreams and to create an image of our perfect life as adults. Then years later, somehow, it gets tugged away from you and crushed under the fists of adulthood. When have you stopped to imagine that perfect life as an adult? When was the last time you genuinely asked yourself about the things that make you happy? Maybe you don’t want to be an astronaut anymore, but do you know what you want?
It’s a collective trend to think that happiness is some far off coveted land where perfection resides. We can find it if we work an hour longer, stick it out at a stupid job another year, get into a relationship with that certain person. The “if only” seems to construct our ladder towards happiness. It becomes an object we find from outside source. Perhaps that is the problem. Happiness is birthed within you, in that part of your heart that no one else sees. Happiness is the little voice that never lies, never judges, and never asks us to be anything but who we are, and who you are is perfect. Now, today, always. Everyday brings an opportunity to recognize the abundance and wealth swirling and building a long life for itself within you.
You see, you can hope for happiness with the “if only” of the future, or you can pine for it with the “should have” of the past, but you can only have it in the moment of now. You can feel it in the knowing that you are exactly where you are meant to be at this moment. You can grow it in your faith that happiness stretches far beyond your imagination and eternally into the future. It is not something to attain, but to experience.
You have a choice when you wake up every morning. Choose gratefulness. Choose not to be content, but to know that what is now is also building what will be. Take the foundations of today and mould them into the structure of your own happiness. Even your darkness is teaching you a lesson, preparing you for something far bigger and more beautiful. Look for gratitude and beauty in every detail of your life. Check in with yourself often, grow confidence that your actions support your purpose. Know you who are, and love it. You are the only you, after all, and that is something to be unbelievably happy about.