Happiness is an inside job.
I love that quote.
For as long as I can remember, whenever it came time for me to make a wish, whether it be seeing a shooting star, or noticing 11:11 on the clock, or just contemplating what I wanted out of life, my wish would always remain the same.
I wish to be happy.
I never realized at the time that my vague wish for happiness was really me trusting in the universe to deliver whatever it was that that meant, to be honest, I just didn’t ever feel like I could think of just one wish for one specific thing and have it create the joy I was longing for. So I just kept throwing it out there. I wish to be happy, however that looked.
On the same hand, I also definitely used to be one of those people who suffered from destination addiction. You know what I mean, constantly thinking that, “once this happens THEN I’ll be happy” as if it was something outside of me what would create that. My wishing world was trusting and whimsical, but my waking world was a little more rigid and closed off.
I suffered from destination addiction for so long and was continuously on the hamster wheel of trying to add more things to my life in an effort to fill that void that was always leaving me feeling so empty.
Once we get married, then I’ll trust him more
Once we get this paid off, then I can relax
Once the kids are more independent, then we will make time
Once I lose the weight then I will feel confident.
It was constant and the thing about destination addiction is that you never actually arrive. You are constantly setting new bars and putting significance on more things outside of you to be responsible for your happiness.
Spoiler alert, the void never gets filled.
We never reach our destination because as soon as we get close, we throw out a new reason that is blocking us from living our joy and set up a new destination to work towards in hopes of finally achieving real happiness.
I laugh at the idea that I actually thought at one point that getting married would make me feel more secure in my relationship, and when it didn’t, I came up with new ideas that might help, none of which included working together with my husband on creating a stronger bond.
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have goals, I think it’s important for all of us to set an intention and work towards something greater that you might desire. What I’m trying to say is that your happiness should not be postponed until achieving such goals. That holding out on feeling happiness until your goals are reached is not going to get you closer to joy, nor will it help you even reach your goals in the first place.
Looking back on my life at a time where I was at my lowest, I realize that a huge part of my destination addiction was due to my own self judgement and lack of confidence. I was relying on the people and the things around me to be the main source of my happiness. The problem with that is, we have no control of other peoples behavior, meaning, every argument, disagreement or bad day with these people often spiraled me into a space of fear and panic that left me feeling like I was nothing without them. Sounds extreme right?? I know, it’s sad but true. I felt as if my husband, or my job, or my kids defined me as a person, and as long as those were all fine I was fine too. But I wasn’t fine. I was a lost little girl who had no idea who she was and didn’t know where to even start in an attempt to find her. So I just kept wishing.
I wish to be happy.
I don’t think I ever really realized how lost I was until I found myself. I honestly didn’t think I was as insecure as I was until I started looking back on who I used to be. Hindsight is a funny thing that way. It took me finding my own path, living my own life and following my own dreams to realize I had everything I needed this whole time already inside of me.
For me it was finding energy healing, it was discovering this whole woo woo world of healing and magic that sparked my new found confidence, but to be honest, it is not relevant what it was, what is important was that for the first time in my life I realized that my happiness depended solely on me choosing my happiness. For you it might be something different. Perhaps the spiritual world doesn’t light you up the same way it does me, for you it might be singing or dancing or yoga or anything at all that lights your soul in a way that makes you feel whole heartedly you. Whatever it is, the point is that you choose it for you.
Embarking on my spiritual journey has been the most life changing path I could have ever taken. It was like I had finally found a part of me the had been there all along, I just needed to start embracing her.
It was one of the first things that I had chosen completely 100% just for me. Not something to do as a couple, or a family, or because all my friends were doing it. It was me, filling my soul with what brought me joy. No excuses. No explanations.
That was a game changer for me, and in fact, a game changer for my husband too. I had always done what he wanted to do. I wanted to be easy going and that “go with the flow” kind of girl that I thought made me an awesome wife. And although that made things very simple, it didn’t really make me awesome. He could always tell deep down when I wasn’t being totally authentic which in turn, reflected on his enjoyment too.
As women, we spend far too much time and put far too much significance on outside things and making other people happy as a way to create our own joy, and we completely overlook what it is that we really desire. We put up, shut up, and totally make ourselves miserable just so we can look a certain part or present ourselves in a certain way so that people can perceive our happiness even if it doesn’t actually exist.
We think that if we have everything together on the outside then maybe, just maybe, we will feel like we have it all together on the inside and it is just so ass backwards.
Taking that first step in following my own dreams was the first of many I would take towards drastically changing my life and building my happiness from the inside out. It was the beginning of me stepping in to who I really was and out of fear of being judged for how that might be perceived.
It was the first step in me choosing me. It meant embracing the less then perfect parts of my life rather than judging them, it meant changing the things I didn’t love because I knew I wanted better, not beating myself up and shaming myself for not getting them sooner. It meant taking full responsibility for exactly where my life was and not relying on anything or anyone other than myself to find real happiness.
It took loving myself in my lowest points for life to get better. If I waited for everything to be perfect before I could let myself be happy I would still be stuck in that perpetual loop of finding the next best thing to fulfill me all while never actually feeling fulfilled.
It didn’t happen overnight and I certainly didn’t get there by myself. It took work, and commitment, and some serious soul searching, but I get it now. Happiness really is an inside job.