Happiness is in you

photo by Jenny Ingalls Nelson

If I had to choose one word to summarize what most of us are looking for, it would be happiness…and we look for it in a lot of places. Some of us look for it in things (fancy bags or expensive watches), some of us look for it in food, and some of us look for it by staying constantly busy. To some extent, I’ve looked in all of those places. I found some happiness, but it never seemed to last. Sure, the 2nd piece of cake tasted good, but then I felt too full and guilty. Yes, I loved the first designer bag I bought, but I soon realized I bought it just to fit in with the other women who had a similar bag. And don’t even get me started on the glorification of being busy!

The moral of the story is, while those things felt good for a little while, the happiness soon wore off and I was left looking for it again. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with those things. I’m talking about my motivation behind them. I wanted a certain feeling from them. I looked outside for happiness.

At a certain point, I slowed down. I’m very lucky and there was no traumatic event in my life that forced the slow down, but I think my spirit had enough. I had enough of chasing the things and being constantly on the go. I always had to have something that I could look forward to – the next vacation, the next paycheck, whatever…and I was completely missing my life. Every day that I spent wishing away, so I could be closer to the next ‘good’ thing, is a day I’ll never get back.

With the decision to slow down, fear immediately kicked in. What if there’s nothing underneath all the over-scheduling and stuff-buying? After all, isn’t this what I’m supposed to want?

I bought into that for a long time. My typical answer to the question, “How are you?” was “busy but good!”. I always got an understanding nod, or a “me, too”. This was the language everyone spoke. It was comfortable, but it didn’t make me happy.

These days, I’ve almost completely eliminated the word busy from my vocabulary. I’ve learned how to prioritize what’s important to me, and to put myself at the top of that list. When people ask how I am and I say, “good”, it’s true. I’ve learned how to manage overwhelm and not let myself get sucked into it. (Join Kate Courageous & me on 9/15 for some free tips on that – for Love Letters subscribers only!)

I’ve sold some of the designer bags and I no longer need to have something in the future to look forward to; I find something to enjoy each day. It’s a very intentional way of living and it’s filled with more happiness than all of the old mindless purchasing, eating and scheduling ever was. I still accomplish a lot every day, and every single thing is valuable to me. I take care of myself with sleep and nourishing food. I respect my physical and emotional limits and practice setting boundaries.

All of these tools are inside me, and you. We all have the capacity to find what we’re looking for. We just have to look in the right place.

Thanks for being on this journey with me.



CLICK TO TWEET: What we’re looking for is inside us.

Related Posts

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy these