I think the one thing we all strive for in life is to be happy. As parents we hope our kids grow up to be happy, as friends, sisters/brothers, sons/daughters we want the people we care about to just live happy and fulfilled lives. So why is this so hard to achieve. What is it about being happy that feels impossible to gain?
In talking to, counseling, and observing people I have learned that WE are our biggest obstacle when it comes to our own happiness. Like the quote tells us, we truly DO hold the key to our own well being. There is no one on earth that can make us happy, turn a switch and make our trials go away, or wave a magic wand so that we smile the rest of our lives. While that sounds depressing to some, I think it’s terribly freeing. We aren’t under someone elses control or mercy. We have the magic wand and the key to that switch. We hold ALL the power to our future. I think that’s the most awesome of powers!
So knowing this, why do so many of us stand in our own way? Why do we settle for a life that brings us nothing but stress, exhaustion and a small amount of joy? When did we as people become okay with settling for the mediocre and decide it’s okay to be miserable? Yes, we have to operate under rules and regulations and we will always have to work hard for our money and yada yada but why can’t we do that and still be happy?
Honestly, I think so much of this comes back to our self worth. Most of us have too little of it and we allow others to walk over us, disrespect us, and take everything we have. People accept this because they are too afraid to be alone, or they feel undeserving of love, or they are too scared to speak up and face the consequences. So human beings live everyday sad and depressed and without life. They pretend to be happy when in reality they live under a dark cloud.
Many individuals let the fear of failure keep them from being happy. Everyone is afraid of failure but I think failure is sometimes the greatest thing that can happen to us. There is no better way to learn and grow than from failure. There is no way to achieve ultimate happiness if you don’t know what it’s like to fail at something. We should embrace failure and realize that even the strongest of people fail. Even the alpha male will fail his pack someday. It’s how nature is designed, it’s how life is mapped out, and it’s an inevitablitiy that we can not avoid. If we, as a human race, allowed ourselves to fail a little more and stopped putting so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and ‘have it all’ we would be more successful, have happier children, and feel better about ourselves.
It takes a lot of COURAGE to be happy. It’s hard to look out for our wants and needs sometimes. Many of us feel it is selfish to concentrate on ourselves and not everybody else. As a parent it can be hard to put yourself before your children. We let our health go because we don’t have time to exercise or cook healthy meals, we let our hobbies go because life is suddenly all about the children, and many stop working on their marriages because they are too busy with soccer practices and PTA meetings. Do our kids make us happy….Absolutely! Are they the only things we need to live a full and happy life…..Probably not! The funny thing about children is they grow up and they leave the nest and they become their own people. Nothing will ever bring us the joy that being a parent brings but we have to have something left over for ourselves when our kids go out into the world. If we have no marriage, no health and no hobbies how are we going to be happy when we are all alone. Nobody wants to be alone yet this is what many set themselves up for.
It’s easier to not focus on ourselves……
It takes COUARGE to stand up for ourselves and say ‘mommy (or daddy) needs one hour to relax and focus on me.’
It takes COURAGE to tell a boyfriend/girlfriend that it’s over when you know you’ll be alone.
It takes COURAGE to end a 15 year marriage when you have 3 children because you have both fallen out of love with each other.
It takes COURAGE to walk away from a steady paycheck because it makes you unhappy and you have lost your drive and passion for your career.
It takes COURAGE to stand up to your parents and ask for respect for the adult that you have become and the life that you choose to lead.
It takes COURAGE to instill these principles into your children so that they themselves can live full and productive lives.
It takes COURAGE to stop caring about what society or the world thinks of us and only worry about how WE feel when we look in the mirror.
IT TAKES COURAGE TO BE HAPPY!!
Don’t ever be afraid to do what is best for you because in the end what is best for yourself is usually best for everyone. For many getting a divorce brings happiness to their kids because it has brought happiness back to their parents. For others ending a relationship has brought the freedom back to rediscover themselves and figure out what they loved about life in the first place. For some taking that hour a day to exercise and eat healthy has renewed their self esteem, made them more actively engaged in their marriages and child’s life and has brought them ultimate happiness. Finally standing up to their parents has allowed for a deeper and better bond between some adult children and their mom and dad.
These are the things that make us happy…..so don’t ignore them and let fear stand in your way. Remember, YOU hold the power…..not fear.
Sending you lots of COURAGE on your own personal journey to happiness…..