Okay, I put it off for as long as I could – but we all knew it was coming: the quintessential birthday blog. You know, the one where I reflect on my whole life and what I’ve learned in the last year as May 10th approaches. Then I feel the need to find some morsel of enlightenment to share. At first, I thought I had nothing to say this year. But then, as I sat at the swim up bar in Jamaica celebrating with my boyfriend, the message hit me. I was telling him I wished we had more time to stay on vacation. “If only we could stay one extra day…”, I whined. He stopped sipping his zombie and said, “Geez, you are never satisfied, huh? Why don’t you just be happy for the time you do have here”. POW! That hit me right in the kisser. Was this true – not only in this instance, but in other areas of my life? Was I never satisfied?
They say relationships are mirrors, they will show you who you are, even parts you don’t want to see. And here this man that has known me not even a full year continues to do just that – show me all my patterns and all my crap. He was absolutely right though, I am never satisfied! It is the script of my whole entire life! If only I finish college and got a good paying job, then I would be happy. If only I made more money, then I would be happy. If only, if only, well you get the idea. I never stopped and took stock of where I was in the moment and accepted it. I could never appreciate what I had in my life instead I focused on what I thought was missing. I focused energy on what more I could possibly attain, thinking I needed it to prove my worth to the world, and to myself.
Here’s the secret – happiness is a choice. We all deserve to be happy just like we all deserve to be loved. All we have to do is show up. There is no “proving” anything. It is not something you suddenly obtain after paying a certain amount of dues. It is birthright! Only, I could not see that for the last um 32 years. I can be happy right now! It’s that simple. Just be grateful for all that I have and that I am in this moment, for that is enough. I don’t need a reason to be “happy” or content, I can just be. Do you know how freeing that discovery is? I can be happy right here and right now for my health, my safety, my job, the roof over my head and for the fact that I have a passion in my life and can exercise it whenever I want, like right now in this blog post. Be happy that I am loved. Be happy for the person I am and the person I am learning to be.
If I base my happiness on outer, external circumstances the only guarantee is that those circumstances will constantly change. And with every change of my surroundings, my feelings for myself and happiness change with it. That is just a recipe for disaster. It is chaos, and although it is what I am used to, I know now it is no longer what I want. I have a choice! I can choose to find happiness within myself and with it find peace of mind knowing that those circumstances aren’t going to change abruptly. When we can learn to love ourselves flaws and all, the charge goes away. The self-judgment goes away. We step into self-acceptance and from that place of self-acceptance we then have the inner conviction to create any kind of outer world we desire. We are undefined by the outer world, and rather defined by inner conviction.
This is how we connect with the unchanging. No longer defined by outer circumstances, our deep love of ourselves right where we are is solid ground to from which to live life. And as I did the math it definitely made more sense to celebrate having 5 days in Jamaica instead of worrying about the one day I thought I was missing. Cheers, I thought, as I sipped on my Jamaican Delight cocktail.