What is meant by “outside happiness?”
We seem to have this need to depend on some outside source (person, thing) to bring us happiness. Yes, that happens, but it is quickly dissolved. It is more like a conquest, only to desire more.
I remember telling a friend many years ago when he saw me pull up in a BMW he would know I had “made it.” I would be complete, having acquired everything in my life I needed to be happy. I would be walking around with an eternal smile on my face. Yep, I would be a happy girl!
I think about that day and I laugh. Life has offered me many opportunities for “things” to make me happy. I used to think if I dressed like everyone else, I would be happy (people would accept me), if I laughed at their off-color jokes, I would be part of the crowd, that would surely make me happy (I would be accepted as “one of them”), or how about if I bought an expensive car, everyone would respect and admire me! Yes, I surely would have made it and would experience eternal bliss.
Do you see the irony of it all? The paragraph above talks about my happiness being dependent on what other’s values are and what they think of me; certainly more about them than me.
Today at a meeting, I was talking to Curtis. A nice entrepreneur with kind eyes. As we were talking, he complimented me on my smile. I told him, thank you and could guarantee him my smile is authentic because I am truly happy. We got to talking and I shared a bit about my personal journey to happiness. I explained, that for many years, I would show up the way I perceived the expectations of me were. It eventually became daunting. It worked until it didn’t work. I got tired of smiling all the while feeling like a fraud.
Curtis leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I don’t don’t give a $*#% what others think of me. Never have. I like me for me. Doesn’t make me any difference what other people think.”
I laughed at the way he said it to me and then told him I could not agree more! Although it wasn’t always that way for me. I now knew that the most important person to make me happy is myself. When I smile, I told him, he can be sure he is receiving an authentic, life-is-awesome-kind –of a smile. I no longer want or need the stamp of approval from others to find happiness. To be truly happy it must come from within, it is my connection to my true being.
As I began to seek “inside” happiness, learning and growing from my experiences, gaining wisdom and insight into who I am and whom I am choosing to be, I know that I am much happier than those fleeting moments of a cute outfit, thoughts of driving the “car,” or hanging out with the “cool” peeps. I actually find that amusing now.
Am I happy when I have my family gathered around the table for Thanksgiving or even a Sunday dinner? YOU BET!
Am I happy when I get to travel to see my family in Texas or Washington State? WITHOUT A DOUBT!
Did I laugh and have a full heart hanging out with my husband and friends in Arizona a couple of weeks ago? YES! WHEN CAN I DO IT AGAIN!?
All of these make me happy, bring joy to my heart, and create wonderful memories. I participate fully and completely in them, that is why it brings me happiness. It is me. My choice to participate in these moments; life offering itself, not to be missed!
Your happiness cannot come from outside sources or material things. Happiness is there, inside you. Acknowledge it! Once you realize you are the source of your happiness, you will feel a new-found freedom.
Does this mean you will be floating through every day on a cloud? No, definitely not. What will happen - is you realize you are the master of your happiness. You no longer depend on outside sources, you are complete, and you find happiness and understanding that no person or material thing holds power over you.
Keep writing your story, friends. With God by our side, imagine the possibilities!