If you can’t find happiness where you are, it will never be where you are going.
I can’t tell you where I heard this quote. I can’t tell you when. But I know that when I did hear it, I knew I was supposed to hear it. It had my name written all over it. It was as if God said “You know what? Listening to me isn’t on your agenda. So let me get this message to you another way.” and BAM. Right there, I found something.
For years, I had always been on the chase for “better”. I had no problem finding satisfaction; happiness, however, seemed to always escape me. I figured that it had everything to do with my surroundings. Obviously, I was missing something. I didn’t have enough things, or maybe I was always in the wrong situation. Was my job not the right one? Or maybe I needed another friend? I always questioned why I wasn’t happy and tried to interchange things in my life to create the perfect order, as if you can align things in a way to create enough space for happiness to peak in.
It sounded simple. “If you weren’t happy, get something different.” Get something else. Move around. CHANGE something. So for years, I changed and did so much in order to be happy. I changed my wardrobe. I changed my hair from red, to orange, to brown, to black. I grew my hair out, and then cut it all off. I changed my major. I changed my living arrangements. I changed my relationship status to taken, then single, then complicated and then things that Facebook just did not have room for. If I changed something and still wasn’t happy, I changed it again. And again.
But I never ended up happy. Not a single drop of happiness came from my variations. What I did end up as, was tired. Exhausted. Often embarrassed. Sometimes, I was angry. But every time, I was frustrated. “Why is this not working? Why is it that nothing that I am doing makes me happy? What am I missing?“
I didn’t get my answer until I realized the common denominator in my situation was, literally, myself. I was trying so hard to be happy amongst my situation that I forgot to think about being happy with myself. And beyond being happy with myself, I hadn’t tried to be deeply in love with myself. The things that I placed in my life would always change; I was the only thing that wouldn’t.
For me, I learned that happiness is an internal thing. If happiness is in you, you won’t have to worry about having to have another things around you to get yourself some. I had to sit and recall some of the lowest points in my life where I literally had nothing that was material, but I could still smile. Why? Because I was so happy with myself and what I was doing, that what I did not have did not matter. So what that I didn’t have the best clothes? Or the great boyfriend and the constant attention? I had myself, and I was so happy about that that nothing else mattered.
I am working to get to that place. One thing that I’m starting to do is self-reflect every time I want to add something into my life that I think might improve it. Be it a friend, a man or a new job opportunity, I always ask myself “Am I doing this to make me happy, or to be in addition to my happiness?” If the answer is the latter of the two, then I allow it. If it is the former, I decline it until it is no longer a dependency.
I am not just working to be happy; I’m working to no longer have to search for happiness. I want to provide my joy. I want to self-supply goodness without it being a job.