Happiness is an inner state of being and is fully in our control
Happiness is our birthright. It is always available to us.
We have a tendency to think of happiness, joy, fulfillment – as something that we can get to at some point in the future: when we meet someone, or our partner will finally change, or when the children grow up, or when we have more money.
We also think that our state of peace, of fulfillment, is somehow dependent on outside factors.
That is actually not true.
Happiness – as well as any other feeling and emotion – is actually something that happens within us, in our bodies. As such it is fully in our control and is our responsibility.
So it’s not so much about what’s happening with people or circumstances in our lives, but rather a reflection of our own internal state.
Yes – there are people or circumstances that act as triggers or catalysts of our reactions. But the resulting feelings are fully our own and are our responsibility to process, understand, communicate.
But because most of us are unaware of our self-responsibility we wait, delay, pause living, pause enjoyment – that are available to us all the time.
We have more control and more choice than we think.
Yes, there are fears, limitations that hold us hostage in our own lives, mostly to do with our limiting beliefs, absorbed from family and culture that shaped us. And that’s the work: understanding what holds us back from living the lives we desire. We keep ourselves small because it’s familiar.
So any time you catch yourself saying “I’ll be happy when…” – that’s a trap.
The only time we have is the present moment. That’s the only reality. And the only time we can make empowered decisions. We cannot change the past, and the future is undecided.
Happiness is available in the present moment – if we choose it.
Thinking that other people can and should make us happy or worthy is actually what keeps us stuck. This illusion that our well-being depends on other people’s behavior is what leads to so much of our unhappiness. This is true for all relationships, including parents and children.
The first step toward happiness is understanding what that means to us. The second step is committing to doing whatever it takes to ensure our own happiness. This is where I see so many of us stumble: we feel guilty and selfish for putting ourselves first, and often fall back to resenting others for our lack of satisfaction instead.
If you do not prioritize your own happiness, you cannot expect that others will.
Feeling entitled and with a permanent eye roll, I wasted years of life expecting the change in our circumstances to come from my husband.
Even when the life I no longer wanted became quite intolerable, I still refused to take initiative for a while. Kicking and screaming, just like my mom, I wanted my husband to lead. And he was. Except, he was leading to the best of his abilities, habits, traumas, and dancing to the beat of his own default setting.
Finally, in a desperate act of survival, I took the lead in the dance of my own life—steering it slowly, but surely in the direction I actually wanted it to go.
Read: Reward & Punishment: how to break this Invisible Pattern in our Relationships.