When I was a little girl, I dreamt of what my life would look like when I got older. Having my own place to live, marrying the man of my dreams, pursuing art and social justice, becoming President. And while not all of those things have come true (I’m not old enough to be President, but if Trump can get elected, so can I!) much of what I ever wanted has come to be. So why am I not happy all the time?
I have the car, that’s paid off; the apartment, almost perfectly decorated; I’m recently married, with a job that I enjoy. So why do I still not feel fulfilled? Why am I always craving more?
A few weeks ago I realized how much anger I had built up inside of me. I would break at the drop of a hat, taking anyone around me down with me, my finance, Clayton, getting the worst of it. I had no idea what why I was so angry all the time, only that I was. The stress of the job, of bills, of the wedding, coming up, everything building up on top of each other was becoming too much for me.
Coming from a home with a mother who is a therapist I knew the tools I needed to use, it just came down to making time for them (because I didn’t have enough of that either).
I started with meditation. 10 minutes every morning before going to the office where stress would be high. In only three weeks 90% of the anger was gone. And in those three weeks, some other realizations came to pass.
With the mindset I currently possess, and the ideals I’ve developed from the “American Dream,” enough will never be enough. There will never be enough stuff, enough house, enough money, enough time, enough sleep, enough anything. Enough will never exist, and to that, I say enough!
The reality is that happiness is not a destination, it’s a feeling. It will come and go just like all your other feelings come and go, but the ability to make it stay longer doesn’t come from any outside source. Happiness will always come from inside you.
Happiness comes from that feeling of connection with others, and in building community. Happiness comes from doing the things you love and pursuing your passions or better yet, your curiosities. Happiness comes from spending time with yourself, not running away and hiding behind a light up screen. Happiness comes from living a healthy lifestyle, putting good foods in your body, moving as much as possible and resting when you need it.
If you’re looking for the path to happiness, that’s it. Happiness won’t come from a new gadget, or a new outfit or even a new relationship. Happiness starts inside you and works its way into the other areas of your life.
So while the magazines and billboards tell you that your life will be better with this or that, that your happiness is dependent on this one new gadget, know that it is not. Your happiness is dependent on you and you alone. The “American Dream” was wrong. You don’t need to buy more things to be happy. You don’t need to waste away getting enough money to buy all the things that will just make you more miserable. Enough is enough.
Let go of the material things. Stop listening to the millions of voices around you. Close your eyes, notice your breath, and listen to the small voice inside of you. The one telling you to make some changes, to let go of enough and just be. It’s that voice that will lead you to happiness, to fulfillment and to the life you’ve always dreamt of. It might just look different than what you thought it would.