Well I'm coming to the end of the month and the end of my series on being happy again. Winding it down to the final conclusion I came to - and that is...... ultimately you can't expect life, or other people, or money, or "stuff", or events to make you happy. You have to find your happiness within yourself and from your own self worth. If you don't value who you are at heart, and you don't feel worthwhile, then you will never be truly happy.
All my life I looked to others for my sense of self - if they were happy, then I was happy. I think that's why I was a people pleaser and why I was always worrying. The trouble is that you can't please all of the people all of the time, and you can't stop life from happening in all it's grittiness by worrying and over-thinking.
I can't believe it took fifty years and a Series of Unfortunate Events for me to discover this! How could I have gone along for so long without realizing that I could create my own happiness and that being happy could be independent of external factors?
Money can buy happiness to a certain degree, but there are a lot of very happy people out there who don't have much and yet they are joyful. Too often we think "if only...." or "one day when...." or some other proviso that will be the onset of our happiness. Now I know that money, and "what ifs" and "if onlys" are not what is important - no, what it all boils down to is "this is my life, this is my time, this is my responsibility - what am I doing about it?" And it is kind of nice to know I have that much say in things!
What makes you happy is a really personal thing and it does tie in with relationships, and celebrations and what you do to fill your day. You can't divorce yourself from all of these things, but you can decide that they won't dictate to you. A falling out in a relationship, a bad day at work, a gift that wasn't appreciated - these are all downers, but they shouldn't determine our core sense of happiness - because we shouldn't be depending on them.
The more I think about it, the more I appreciate the sheer freedom and joy in being separate from life's ups and downs. To be able to experience life and not be battered by it is a wonderful gift. The contentment and calmness that come from a life lived in quiet confidence is amazing. I refuse now to be sucked into other people's drama and to be influenced by situations that aren't of my choice or my making.
IT'S UP TO ME TO CHOOSE
Miserable things happen, life sucks at times, happiness isn't a guarantee, there will be times of sadness and anger and irritation. But what I'm learning is that I can have some sense of calm within the storm if I separate myself from events I can't control. I can choose what I allow to influence me and I can choose how I respond. I feel a sense of inner peace now that was lacking before and (as it says in the picture above) "I'm finally smiling for me again" and that is what I would wish for everyone who reads this. May you find your inner "you", celebrate her, let her define you, and bring you happiness.
JUST A LAST NOTE
Part of taking responsibility for your own happiness can mean admitting you are so far off track that you have no idea how to find your way back to being content and at peace and happy within yourself. If you feel like you are mired in life's awfulness and can't find a way out, then maybe it's time to seek help from a professional - a counselor or a doctor. Sometimes therapy and medication are what we need to kick start the journey to happiness. I know it helped me at a particularly awful time to stop weeping and start living again.
12 QUOTES I FOUND HELPFUL
2 I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. - Martha Washington
3 If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can't just wait to see what kind of day you'll have. You have to decide what kind of day you'll have. — Joel Osteen
4 “People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you're fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
5 If you're not careful your whole life could be “I’ll be happy when” - Rachel Wolchin
6 Being happy is a very personal thing and it has nothing to do with anyone else.
7 We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. - Carlos Castaneda
8 Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy.Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you. - Ralph Marston
9 The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day.
10 Self-worth is so vital to your happiness. If you don't feel good about YOU, it's hard to feel good about anything else. - Mandy Hale.
11 Happiness is not a goal...it's a by-product of a life well lived. - Eleanor Roosevelt
12 It is up to you and only you to create the life you want, and to live each day surrounded by that which brings you happiness