My therapist asked me the other day when the last time was that I remembered being happy. This was hard to answer. Not because I have not been happy for a long time and couldn’t remember but because this idea of being happy seemed complex to me at that moment. I had just gotten through telling her that I am the happiest now that I have ever been in my life. But what does that mean exactly?
Certainly I have had occasions up until now to be truly happy whether for just a moment or for a year. I was happy when I was in college but I also went through a serious depression during this time period. Yet, I remember being happy as a whole. I’ve been happy with new girlfriends. And then I wasn’t anymore. I was happy the day I got every new vehicle I have bought. But was I truly “happy”? When asked by my therapist, I couldn’t point to a particular time when I was truly happy. Yet, I feel myself creeping increasingly towards something I define as happiness.
What I meant when I said that I am the happiest I’ve ever been, I think, is content and at peace. Hopeful. I am finally starting to feel at peace with who I am and actively working towards aligning what I see on the inside with what I see on the outside. The hormones coursing through my veins are not fighting against my nature anymore but are helping me to align with my true nature. I am no longer at war with myself.
I realized that I have been fighting a war my whole life. A war between who I really am and what everyone outside of me expects me to be. This has created a constant feeling of conflict inside me. My mother used to ask me frequently if I was happy. Perhaps she suspected that I was not. I always said that I was but she never believed me. My mother and my partner both have told me that they don’t think anything will ever make me happy.
I think mom and Candice are both wrong about happiness. First of all, happiness is fleeting, changeable and subject to all kinds of outside influences. What I’m talking about is internal happiness; true happiness with myself. I haven’t known that kind of happiness until recently. Slowly, as I get closer and closer to aligning my inner and outer worlds and start to feel more whole I am getting closer to this internal happiness and contentment. And I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, not because of the house I live in or the car I drive or how much money is in my checkbook, but because I finally like who I am becoming and feel hopeful about who I am evolving into.
Will I have bad days ahead? Of course! But when you have a solid foundation of inner peace they are easier to deal with. That is what I am hoping for anyway. And the good days…I’m hoping that they are even sweeter than I can imagine.