It’s funny to me that so much of what we believe, is simply the result of being bombarded with ideals and opinions that don’t necessarily match up with our authentic selves. Much of what we hear is that we need to find that special someone to spend the rest of our lives with. In fact, many times that special someone is meant to be the key to our happiness. If we find that special person, everything will be better and we will finally be happy. Seriously? If that were the case, then everyone with a partner would be dancing around in absolute bliss for the rest of their lives.
We can’t suddenly be happy just because we’ve found that special someone. Think about where happiness comes from. How do you know you’re happy? You feel happy, right? The feeling itself comes from inside of you. It only makes sense then, that true, authentic happiness is something that only we can give to ourselves.
Take Jessika for example. Jessika grew up with the Disney classics and although she knew deep down inside that she was capable of doing just about anything, there was a small but significant part of her that believed without a shadow of a doubt that her life would be better and she would be happier as soon as her prince came into her life. Jessika did eventually meet that someone and soon realized that Jimmy wasn’t doing what she had imagined he would do. She was certain that he would make her happy. Instead, she only felt more alone and upset when things didn’t go the way she had hoped.
Jessika’s story is pretty common. We start off by looking for that person who will, in a sense, complete us. Once we find them, we then put all of our hopes and dreams onto them and expect that they will be the ones to make us happy. Imagine how that person feels! That’s a whole lot of pressure. Sure enough the person isn’t able to deliver and we feel empty and hurt. Once we’ve gotten over the pain and the heartache, we start telling ourselves that that person just wasn’t the one. Again, we let society run our thoughts and we continue to seek out that one person who will be the one to make us happy.
What would it be like if you were able to find the happiness you're looking for by simply being you? I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "What is she talking about?" Bear with me, okay. How do you think a relationship might benefit if you were happy all on your own, and didn’t need that other person to make you whole?
The thing is, happiness is something that comes from within. It’s something that we can cultivate on our own and then share with others. So how do you do it? One of the first things you can do is to come up with a list of things that make you smile. It doesn’t matter how big or how silly these things are. It could even be something like eating a warm chocolate chip cookie! By identifying things that make you smile, you are gaining a deeper understanding of who you are and what you enjoy.
Another thing you can do is keep a gratitude journal. Whenever you feel moved to write, jot down some of the things you are grateful for. By building awareness of what you have, you will be more in tune with yourself and your environment. This awareness will help you by highlighting who you are, what you have, and how those things bring you happiness. If you keep looking for happiness outside of yourself you will continue down that hopeless path of disappointment. If you take a look inside though, you’ll start to notice those unique things that bring about the joy that naturally resides within you. And that happiness, well, that’s all yours. And always will be. No matter what.
Copyright © 2015 by Maggie Steele