Happijess...?


Starting this blog took a lot of courage but giving it a title that played on the word happiness was more courageous. It feels as though I’ve made the bold implication that I know more about that word than you do, and it leaves me with the responsibility of sharing that.

Unfortunately as I’ve stated before, after ten years of counseling and countless self-help books life still requires my maximum effort, and so does happiness. For the past three years, life has granted me a valuable lesson in happiness. That lesson came in the form of acceptance and devastation.


I learned acceptance in the 6-8 months of unemployment that followed my abrupt decision to quit my job in 2017. Struggling to understand how it was that I changed everything on the outside yet it changed nothing on the inside, taught me that I had blamed my unhappiness on a job rather than accepting the truth: me... -I was the reason for my unhappiness.  

I found myself saying things like "I wasn't happy there," and all of my reasoning tied to that excuse was so irrelevant to the word happy. The truth wasn't that I wasn't happy there, it was that -I was not happy.

Imagining what that job would have been like had I accepted the commute, the long hours, etc., -I wondered, could I have been happy there? The answer was yes. So, why would any of those things -whether my preference or not, change me to my core, affecting my spirit and my happiness? The answer was they shouldn't

The truth is our unhappiness is never our job, traffic, our husband, friend or coworker; it is us. We are our unhappiness. When I accepted that, almost immediately, I felt a lighter air about myself and a lesser level of stress and unhappiness regarding things or undesired circumstances.

Acceptance led me to understand a huge component to happiness: everyday happiness. Everyday happiness is living each day with the acceptance of what that day brings. It is accepting all things of that day, whether desired or not, planned or unplanned. Doing that every day you begin to occupy less of your mind and energy on the things you dislike or that upset you, and organically, your mind and energy redirect to sustaining a positive mindset which breeds happiness.   

Everyday happiness is the teacher of true happiness. True happiness is a constant state of happiness that you exist within, unaltered.

-Devastation taught me that.
  
Heavy on my heart beginning 2018 was a truth I was unwilling to accept: infertility. My husband and I struggled to accept that we needed help but finally seeking the right help we got what we had prayed for: our baby. Unfortunately, shortly after experiencing the joy of creating life, we miscarried and experienced the earth shattering devastation of losing life. How were we supposed to go on...?

Like before, I found reason other than myself to blame for my unhappiness. This time, I blamed God. I fell into a very deep depression and soon all of the happiness that I had worked so hard for was gone -and I existed in a constant state of sadness. Our miscarriage was an undesired and devastating circumstance. But, just as before I imagined what life would be like if I accepted the loss and the pain that came with it, -and I wondered, could I still be happy? The answer was yes. So, why was I allowing the pain of that circumstance to change me to my core, affecting my spirit and my happiness? The answer was because I wanted to. 

Because remember, the truth is -our unhappiness is never our job, traffic, our husband, friend or coworker -it is not even our devastation; it is us. We are our unhappiness. 

I was holding onto the pain of our loss because I so badly was not ready to let go of our baby. I felt validated in the pain. It was as if the more pain that I allowed myself to feel, the more I proved to God how unfair He was to me, or proved to Him how much I loved our baby, or how much I didn't deserve this loss. As if God isn't an all-knowing being who needs proof.  

Devastation made me question whether I had ever reached true happiness? If I had, why wasn't it still here -and, was I ever going to have it again? Did I even want it back? 

The hardest part of overcoming devastation was the acceptance of what happened because it required me to let go. I had to let go of feeling the pain every day, and of feeling victimized by God. Once I made peace with the acceptance of our loss, innately I was forced to find hope and gratitude despite my pain. So although short lived, I was grateful for experiencing pregnancy, for the gift of feeling Life inside of me, and for our love that created such Life; and more than that I was grateful for Hope because it was Hope that got us through our worst nightmare.  

So, no I don’t know more about happiness than you do, but I am sharing what I do know. I know that true happiness takes time, but practicing everyday happiness helps. I know that acceptance brings peace. But, I know that devastation can make you feel like you've lost all peace and happiness. But...I also know that Hope and gratitude restore happiness

And mostly, I know that pain never leaves and I know that pulling myself out of my darkness and away from blaming God, rather than accepting what God put forth was and still is, one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life.

But...it taught me a few things I strongly know. I strongly know that changing our unhappiness or pain isn't about the power to change things, it's about changing ourselves, and I more strongly know that happiness is worth that effort










Comments

  1. Happiness certainly does take time. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
    -Madi xo | http://www.everydaywithmadirae.com

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    1. xoxo thanks for the read and comment, love your site!

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  2. Such a courageous post! I do not think many people are willing to take on a self evaluation and then share it with everyone. Thanks so much!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it; years of counseling has made me a very self reflective person, all my best to you -xo jess

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  3. Wow! There is so much truth in this. You have to own your unhappiness before you can change it. We're often our own worst critics though, so that can be hard.

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  4. It’s so true that our happiness isn’t a place or a job or anything but it’s us! I hear so many people say “I’d be happier living there or I’d be happier with this job”.. and I myself thought that for a while! I love how well written this is and it makes a lot of sense! Thank you for sharing

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