Happiness – it’s easier than you think

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately.

A lot.

For the first time in a very, very, VERY long time…I am happy. Sure, I’ve experienced some bumps in the road along the way. And no, my life certainly isn’t perfect.  But even with the bumps and the imperfections, I am completely and totally, right-down-to-my-very-bones happy.

I dare say, it could very well be that I am the happiest that I have ever been.

Some days I still feel slightly mistrustful of it….though that is a blog post for another day. This one is about happiness…and how to find it.

Most of my life I was convinced that one thing or another would make me happy. When I was deep in my disordered eating days, I believed that having the perfect body would make me happy. I used to think that finding the right romantic partner would make me happy. Then I thought that having children would make me happy. Hell, I even thought that running a marathon would make me happy.

I always focused on that one thing, that one source of happiness. And here’s what I learned. Losing weight didn’t make me happy. My ex husband didn’t make me happy. Having children didn’t make me happy. Running that marathon didn’t make me happy. None of those things were able to make me happy. Each time I achieved those things I found myself feeling empty. I felt worthless.  I was flawed. I wallowed in those negative feelings until I found the next thing to focus on…the next thing that would make me happy.

The danger of investing all of your happiness in a single person or a single thing or a single event is that it never delivers. The flaws are always glaringly obvious – because a person, thing or event can never be perfect. And if that’s the thing that you’re expecting to bring you all the happiness you ever wanted, the only thing you’re going to be able to see are the flaws.

But these days? I feel like I’ve suddenly opened my eyes to where true happiness in life resides.

It resides in me.

Cheesy, huh? I know. I’m rolling my eyes at myself here, people. But it’s true.

There is happiness to be found in everything in life…not in one single thing. It’s unfair (not to mention completely unrealistic) to place all your hopes for happiness in a single thing…because it will always fail you in one way or another. Happiness can be found in every interaction with others. Happiness can be found in a breath of crisp morning air. Happiness can be found in a hug from your child. Or in a spoonful of icecream. Or a kiss from your lover. Happiness everywhere.

The key is that I had to learn how to open my eyes and see it…and then open my heart and let it in.

These days I’m not afraid of happiness slipping away from me. Sure, I’ll have a shitty day here and there I know. But that deep-down happiness isn’t just going to pack up it’s bags and leave. How can it? It’s not just in a single thing…there is happiness in every part of my life…even the parts that aren’t so perfect right now.

I have learned to spread my happiness expectations over many things. I have so much in my life, so many sources of happiness. I have my kids, I have CBG, I have wonderful friends, I have my job, I have my family, I have my health, I have my blog, I have my home….hell, I’ve even got a pretty awesome cat. All of these things help to build me a web of happiness. Together these components all work together make a pretty happy life indeed. If it so happens that I’m not particularly content with my kids or my friends or my job, I’ve still got many other sources of joy that I can turn to….no one thing in my life has the ability to tear away everything that I’ve worked for.

I’m not going to lie to anyone here. Happiness takes work … some days more than others. But you know what? Coming from someone who has seen absolute rock-bottom, I can say without a doubt that it’s worth every bit of effort you will ever put into it.

8 Responses

  1. Amen! I do have to agree that there are those days where it seems so far away still.. even though it’s right there staring us in the face.

  2. Hells to the yeah!

    I wish my sister could read this post. I guess all of us have to figure this out on our own, huh?

    Greatness! Love this post!

  3. Happiness DOES take work and doesn’t just happen on it’s own. Great post and so happy you are uh, happy 🙂 That’s just awesome.

  4. […] but reading this post (and the aforementioned from Nicki, as well as Sunshine’s happiness post!) made me realize – yet again – that he is out there, and that this s the […]

  5. Okay. I’m going to say something here, and I want you to know I say this with all the love in my heart and soul and other parts that are full of bacon.

    IT’S ABOUT GOD DAMNED TIME!!

    GOOD FOR YOU Sunshine!

  6. For some reason the negative is so much easier to wallow in than the happiness. Why is that?

    With all the horrible, scary, life changing things I have gone through this year I hope someday to get to the place where I remember to work on happiness.

    Right now it’s a lot about survival, but I have faith that happiness is right around the corner. I’m waiting for it, I’m open to it… Bring it on! 😛

  7. […] used to think that this was what relationships were about. I wanted a partner who made me happy in all areas of my life. I wanted someone who completed me and made me whole….because I wasn’t whole on my own. […]

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