Looking for your HAPPY?
FIRST “…you need to start with you. True happiness comes from within and no other person on earth can make you happy if you have not searched your heart and decided that is who you are. Sure, there are situations that make you happy or unhappy, but true happiness is a state of being and not determined by a specific situation…”.
*** Quoted from Lisa Balthaser’s post “You do not Need a Man to Make You Happy” http://lisabalthaser.com/2013/08/20/you-do-not-need-a-man-to-be-happy/
For many years I looked to other people or events to bring happiness and fulfillment to my days. It was always “when he does XYZ I’ll be happy”, OR
“When I get that job”, “When I find someone to marry”, and so on.
I was not yet aware that I myself am the one in charge of making me happy.
I didn’t know I had to find my Happy without the aid of another person or external condition.
When I grew up women were expected to finish school, get married, have babies, do everything possible to ensure her man was happy, and then live happily ever after. Other people seemed to be happy. I wanted what they had. I wanted to find my own Happy.
We watched television shows like Leave it Beaver and Father Knows Best. In those ideal households the happy little homemaker was happy because she was living the All-American dream of family and home and selfless devotion to keeping it all running smoothly. It was subtle brain-washing. We believed the true road to personal happiness was reliant on external things.
The years brought along hippies and Women’s Lib and women expecting equal pay for equal work – we began our journey to personal freedom – all for the sake of attaining happiness. None of that caused me to re-think my ideas about what would make me happy. It only made me consider when and where I really needed to wear a bra! (Bras continue to annoy me without exception)
I was still looking outward for my Happy. I was not finding it.
In my ongoing quest I fell in love several times, maintained spotless homes, grew my own vegetables and herbs, prepared what seemed like gourmet meals at the time, learned to bake bread and cakes from scratch – heck, I worked like crazy in search of my Happy.
I sought happiness with Prozac. I sought happiness by working longer and harder than my co-workers. I even sought happiness by shopping. Nope, while the external smile was there the internal smile was missing.
I still sought my happiness externally.
When I got to my early fifties I started all over, free to design my new life according to my wishes. I had to find a way to support myself, but most of all I wanted to find my Happy. I read books and observed people around me. I went on long walks, pondering the Happy that had eluded me. Then I found it! The Ah-hah realization landed and took root. Being forced to rely on my own self for anything and everything somehow got me to see that I could only look to myself to create my happiness as well as my own financial security. It was life-changing. Transformational. All parts of me adopted a mostly permanent smile.
I found my Happy right here inside of me. I created it with daily awareness and appreciation. I am that I am.
Fast forward to now and my attempts to find true love via senior online dating.
Having done the internal work necessary to be happy with myself and the life I live, I may now be a bit hyper-sensitive about the overall issue. When I read a man’s online dating profile my antennae are tweaked to recognize which men have not yet found their own internal happiness. If they allude to “wanting a woman to make them happy” I cannot move on fast enough. It is not my job to make a man happy; he has to get there without expecting another to do it for him. There is more to it though…
I want to expand on my Happy. Joining my Happy with that of my last and only true love will provide us both with more than a double dose of Happy. Maybe it will be a triple dose!?! … math was never my favorite.
But think about it: Just as a mother always expands her heart to love more than just one of her children, we all own expandable hearts that can hold more Happy.
People who don’t yet have their Happy are hoping someone will come along to make it happen. That will not result in the expanded Happy I seek. It may possibly provide one full heart of Happy between the two people, but that is not a strong foundation. One or the other will probably end up searching elsewhere again for their Happy as time goes by. Most people long for the same thing. They want their own Happy. They need to have it first, before hooking up with another person.
It took a lot of effort and sacrifice to get to where I now am – happy with myself, and with my passion for painting and writing. Of course there is more: I value my family, friends, and have interest in many other activities. I love dark chocolate and red wine. But my primary passions are what nourish my Happy every day.
The men I find interesting have their own passions and activities. They demonstrate by words or attitude that they are happy in their skin – happy to be on the planet.
One such man recently asked how I hoped to make time for him or another man since I am so happily involved in my life as it is.
That is a great question. I pose the same back at him.
If he and I feel the spark of interest that I hope to feel, I would guess that merging our lives would be easy enough to figure out. I would take away some time from my current pursuits in order to share with him. If he is a true Mr. Possibility he would do the same for me. I remember how the love thing works and feels – that is what motivates me! I want to find it again. But this time I will be coming from a solid place of being well-adjusted and happy with life just as it is. He won’t be in the position of having to build it for me; we will jointly remodel our structures of Happy. Sturdy foundations and structures won’t break under the inevitable ups and downs of a relationship
Believe it: Hearts have unlimited capacity for more love and more Happy.
First, find your own Happy.
Then, find the partner with whom you can expand your Happy – if you wish to.