Happy Is Not a Destination

You have all heard the expression, “Enjoy the journey”, right?  Well, what does that mean exactly?  And how does one “enjoy the journey” when it sucks.  And is hard.  And painful.  And icky.  How on earth can someone enjoy that?  Some level of yuck is part of every journey.  It’s something that we as humans simply cannot escape.

Here’s the deal. Happy is not a place you get to. You don’t find “happy” and then suddenly get to stand on the mountaintop and scream “I’M HERE!  I’M HAPPY!  AND HERE I WILL STAY!”  Nope. That’s just not how it works.  I hear people say, “I’ll be happy when…

–     I graduate from school

–     I get into college

–   I move out of my parents’ house

–  I find a partner

–  I graduate from college

– I get a good job

– I get married

– I buy a house

– I have a baby

– I get a puppy

– I have another baby

– We buy a bigger house

– I get a new car

– My kids go to college

– I get to retire

– And on and on and on….

The idea of being happy “when” is silly.  All of the things that people say will make them happy are fleeting, they are temporary, and they come from outside of us.  Happy doesn’t come from out.  Happy comes from within.  It is a choice.  It is a choice every second of every day.

Another way to look at it is like this…lets say you decide you want to get into shape.  So you start
going to the gym.  You change your diet.  You start drinking water.  You cut out sugar and carbs.  You start taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  You park your car deep in the parking lot.  You make changes to your
daily living routines.  Then one day, you step on the scale and the number makes you happy!  You are in the size of clothes you’d like to be!  And you feel good in your body!  YAY!

So now that you are in the pant size you’ve always wanted to be in, does this mean that you get to stop working out?  That you get to start drinking soda again?  That you start eating sugar and
carbs?  You take the elevator?  You park as close to the entrance as you can?  NO!
No way!  This is not how one sustains a healthy body!  Health is a process, it is a journey, and it something that needs to be worked on daily.  It is something that should be part of your every decision.

The same holds true for happiness.  It is a decision.  It is practice.  It is rehearsal.  When something yucky happens, it is up to you to find the value in it and be grateful for the lesson and not bitter that you
didn’t get your way.

Choose happy.  Choose happy every day, as often as you can.
Because you, yes YOU deserve to be happy!

A Testimonial From a Previous HTW Client

I was on a run, thinking vaguely about the self-talk email, and then my mind wandered over to something negative, and I realized that so much of the stuff I’d felt since early childhood – feeling inferior, ugly, unwanted, of no worth, ashamed, etc…  – originated from me. I was telling myself that!

I definitely think that a lot of my emotional baggage comes from my relationship with my parents, but it was super enlightening to realize that so much of those bad, empty, awful feelings weren’t happening because it was true that I had no value.

I think it was me trying to make sense of things – using those feelings as a defense mechanism to keep from being vulnerable. And since I started doing that at a really young age, it was such a part of me that I just sank into it.

Of course it’s very painful to realize this as well – I wish I could go back to my young self and wrap her up in a huge hug. But I think insight like this is part of the healing process.