Monday, May 25, 2009

Why Aren't I Happy When Everything Is Perfect?

"Happiness isn't out there, it's in here", she said pointing to her chest.

A profound statement. Being happy is not something we aspire to once we get our to do list completed. Happiness is not what we get when we find the one. We don't suddenly become happy when we are in the right relationship with the right partner living in the right house with the right kids and the right dog.

Happiness is an inside job. It's something we make our personal responsibility to work on every day. Some of us are more optimistic than others. We see the glass as half full. We see the silver lining in the clouds. We give people some slack. That doesn't mean that we don't have to make an effort to be happy. It just means that for us, maybe its a little easier. It may even mean that we are more willing to do what it takes to see the better side of life. We are more willing to be ahead of the weather rather than under the weather.

Much of the way we see life comes from our family of origin. We learn from our caretakers by watching how they deal with adversity. When our caretakers have the ability to rebound from setbacks and keep on keepin' on, we learn that lesson. We learn to use our struggle muscle.

We all have setbacks and disappointments in life. Our ability to bounce back and regain our balance is of prime importance in our ability to be happy. When we can take a trial in stride and either try again or learn from it, our self esteem increases. We see ourselves in a positive light, as triumphant. We all get knocked down on occasion. Our ability to get back up and keep on our path is key to our sense of value and our happiness.

When we are living our lives in sync with our personal values and goals we will feel our best. We may have setbacks and disappointments along the road, but if we are happy within ourselves we will be able to regain our balance and continue along our chosen path. We practice self care in our daily lives to increase our self esteem and improve our ability to bounce back from setbacks. As we use our tools and move along our chosen path, we have faith that we are not alone. We walk with may others who use the same tools. In this way our efforts yield us our ultimate gift, happiness.

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