I’ve recently learned a lot about happiness.
What exactly is happiness? As a child and teenager, I thought it was about having everyone like me, being good at everything, having all A’s, being pretty, wearing nice clothes, and getting to do what I want.
In hindsight, I was way off.
If that was my perspective, it’s no wonder I wasn’t “happy.”
I had lots of friends, but there were certainly people that didn’t like me.
I was very good at some things, but at others, I totally sucked. (Like team sports! Gym class was my biggest enemy.)
All A’s. Nope, there was a B here and there, and once a C. (Gasp! I was mad at myself for years over that. Perfectionist, much?)
Pretty? I was ok. But I felt overlooked. I thought the pretty girls had it made. Comparing myself to them gave me a feeling of inadequacy that lasted for years.
Nice clothes… well I never had much fashion sense. I used to think as long as the colors matched, it’s whatever. Everything else was just too much to keep up with. I couldn’t understand why people cared about this stuff.
And doing what I want? My mom put her foot down when she needed to. I thought it was unreasonable beyond words. In retrospect, she’s always done her best as a mom.
I always felt that I was falling just a bit short, in regards to almost everything. So therefore, even happiness was just out of reach. It was always looming in front of me, taunting me, teasing me. All the things I wanted but couldn’t have. I could see them in the distance. But my feet were planted firmly in place, refusing to move.
Low and behold, I finally realized that this mindset would keep happiness just out of reach forever if I let it continue.
It was more than just day late or dollar short or second place or runner up.
It was basically focusing on failure instead of success.
Improper focus on all the “coulda, shoulda, woulda.” I now see that all of that is garbage. It’s disgusting “thought-sludge” that holds you back from all that life has to offer.
There is no happiness when you look around at all of that… crap.
It makes up just a few layers. A few that you can peel off, dig up, whatever you need to do, to unleash what is beyond.
Happiness really is a conscious choice. It’s a choice to get rid of all the false perceptions, expectations, assumptions, and lame BS that you tell yourself, and what you let the world tell you.
For years I allowed myself to play the victim in a story…
A sad tale where the protagonist always felt a page behind the storyline… where the light wasn’t shining bright enough… where the words just didn’t rhyme when they were supposed to.
Now I look at life with a tear in my eye,
a smile on my face, and a giggle and a sigh.
There’s the rhyme that was always “supposed” to be.
I’m on the right page. I always have been. More than likely, you are too.
Perhaps the words were blurred. Or my vision on life wasn’t where it needed to be yet. Or the lighting was too dim. Now the light allows itself to shine and the words find their way to rhyme.
Yes, as a child, I thought it was about having everyone like me, but now I see that it’s about liking and loving yourself, and having certain people love and appreciate you for you, for everything you are and even what you are not.
I thought it was about being good at everything, now I see it’s about being good at a few things that fuel your heart, mind, and soul… and putting your wholehearted efforts into what ignites your fires and focusing and dedicating to becoming a professional at your craft.
I thought it was about all A’s. Accepting nothing less than perfection. Now I believe that we are meant to excel at some things and need to accept it is unhealthy to strive for perfection. Greatness, sure. But not perfection. We are each meant for something different. And that’s a blessing.
I thought it was about being pretty. I later learned that feeling beautiful is what matters. Being a good person, being YOU, taking care of yourself, that is what makes you feel beautiful. The really pretty girls don’t have it all just because they are pretty.
I thought it was about wearing nice clothes. Now, after years of watching the trends change, I laugh about it. Now, in my mind, “nice” clothes are whatever makes me feel good. It’s not about the brand, or trend, or what people think. It’s what about suits my personality or even my mood, at the time.
I thought happiness was about getting to do what I want, making my own choices. As a child of course, it was an unrealistic expectation. Doing what you want as a child has its limits.
But now as an adult… I realize it honesty is about doing what you truly want.
Happiness is about getting to make choices.
It’s choosing to be happy.
It’s choosing who and what we allow to have an effect on us. And it’s choosing which moments we embrace. Which endeavors we focus on. Which beliefs we hold and which we disregard.
It’s all about what we want to do. To accomplish. To enjoy. To impact. To be.
Be what you WANT to be. Be HAPPY if that is what you WANT.
The World, the Universe, the You of the past will high five you for it! And honestly, I will too!