Where Do I Find Happiness?
I looked for happiness in my partners. That only worked for a short amount of time. Over and over again I was disappointed by their inability to make me happy. So I would move on. Again and again. Til my first marriage. Where I wasn't even happy on our wedding day. I tried so hard to find happiness with my first husband. Our marriage ended in divorce, and happiness was no where to be found.
I looked for happiness in my travels. After University I travelled overseas with my best friend. I found happiness in many cities and then I blamed my travelling partner when I was unhappy. I didn't think I was responsible for my own travel experiences and decided it was because of her that things weren't going as planned. It almost cost me our friendship.
I looked for happiness in my work. I ended up so miserable in my first career that I would cry every day on the way to work. Eventually I found work that brought me joy - conditionally though. Whenever something difficult came up at work, I'd be searching for a new job or role within hours. I thought I could find happiness by switching jobs or companies. I was wrong and it cost me relationships when I left.
I looked for happiness in my family. By creating that kind of expectation and pressure for those who are closest to me was definitely not a recipe for happiness. It put a strain on our relationships and made me feel like I was walking on eggshells when we were together. Especially when they weren't happy either.
I looked for happiness in my child. When she was in a good mood, doing well and listening - I was happy. When she was not listening or being stubborn or having a meltdown - I was unhappy. My anxiety made her even more anxious.
Til one day I truly understood that there is only one person and one place where happiness and joy live. And that's within my own heart.
The only place to look when I'm feeling down is in the mirror. It's up to me to decide to be happy in this moment. Gratitude is what helps me to do this more often. It's impossible to be unhappy and truly grateful at the same time. Once we are focused on gratitude in the present moment, ours feelings shift.
That my friends is the real key to happiness. Choosing gratitude FIRST and then reminding ourselves that there's only one person responsible for our happiness. ME.
Like most things in life, this is a work in progress. I'm not happy all the time and I get frustrated and angry too. What I've found is that I'm getting better at feeling and releasing my emotions as I become more and more responsible for my own happiness.
P.S. this also means that by default, we aren't responsible for anyone else's happiness. Read that sentence twice.
I love you. I'm proud of you. And I know that you'll find happiness as soon as you choose too.