I have been thinking a lot lately ... actually, who am I kidding, I'm always thinking about something! It seems that so many people talk about being happy, or the search for happiness. I see quotes & posts on Facebook all the time that relate to happiness. Sometimes it seems like it's this elusive thing that we all search for in life ... so why is it that some people seem to have it & others do not? Is it personality, life experience, is it just not meant to be for some or is it a choice?
I have to be honest ... I have been one of those people who have sought it at different times & it has just seemed to be out of my reach ... or at least that was my perspective. In many ways I put my happiness in the hands of my husband or my kids and when they did not meet my expectation & fill that need then I became even more miserable ... I think you can get the picture! Sometimes I just plain felt hard done by.
Now what I known to be true, logic, & what I have felt to be true, emotion, have sometimes been on opposite ends of the spectrum. Of course I know no one can make me happy, yet I've waited for others to make me happy ... why ... well the answer is simple. I believe it is because it's easy. It is easier to put the responsibility on another then to make the necessary changes in ones own life & make it happen for yourself. After all if it doesn't happen it is easier to blame someone else then to have to admit we have let ourselves down ... isn't it?
So what are the things that happy people do to stay happy ... Of course they live with things like gratitude, acceptance & forgiveness, just to name a few. But here is my thought ... In life there is a thing called an integrity gap ... my stated values/beliefs vs my lived out values/beliefs, what I say is important to me vs where I spend my time & my actions. How big the gap is between those two things, I believe, is directly linked to how happy a person is in their life.
If I talk about the fact that my family is most important to me, yet I treat the stranger on the street more kindly then I do them ... I have an integrity gap. If I say health & wellness is important to me, yet I chose to live in an unhealthy manor ... I have an integrity gap. If I say being honest is important to me, yet I lie ... I have an integrity gap. If I say trust is important to me, yet I am not trust worthy ... then I have an integrity gap. If I say God is important in my life, yet I make no time for Him ... then I have an integrity gap.
When we chose to live in this manor we live a lie ... not only can others around us see it, but ultimately we know it to be true. How could one ever be happy when you know you are living a lie? I am not saying that there has to be perfection in ones life ... but just be honest with where you really are. Accept the fact that you may want your family to be the most important thing in your life but currently they aren't & then start to work on it. Accept the fact that honesty may be your struggle & then work from that place. I don't know what your things are ... the reality of it is, for me, some of those things have very hard to admit ... some of them I still struggle with ... after all it's embarrassing to admit. It's embarrassing to admit some of these things to yourself because often, I have found, it would sound horrible & if people knew they would judge me. The reality of it is, the sooner you or I can be OK with the place that we are at it is the sooner we can grow into becoming more of who we want to be. Ultimately as the integrity gap closes & we accept where we are at that is when, I believe, true happiness is found!
"There is no way to happiness ... happiness is the only way."