Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm OK, You're OK

Think, for a moment, about the happiest, most content person you know. Now, I don't know who you're thinking about, but I bet I can tell you one thing about them: They have accepted the life they were given. I bet this person you're thinking of is not a liar or a social climber. I'd also be willing to bet that they're not the richest, most successful, most beautiful person you know, either. (They MIGHT be one or even two of those things, but I have very strong doubts that they are all three.)

Nope.

I bet this person isn't perfect.

You might not even envy their life.

But their attitude...

I know quite a few happy, content people. I don't count myself fully among them - yet - but I am working very diligently on it. Because I have noticed that common thread - that secret - and it is not out of the reach of anyone. Not even me. Not even you.

I will confess that in the past, I have looked on people who have less than me - whether that be less money, less status, less - whatever - who are perfectly happy - I mean really perfectly happy - and thought - well, that's just because they don't know how much more is out there.

I inwardly accused them of ignorance.

I have looked on people who have more than me - whether that be more money, more status, more - whatever - who are perfectly unhappy - I mean really perfectly unhappy - and thought - well, they have no idea how much they have.

I inwardly accused them of arrogance.

I was WAY off base on both counts. Off base, unfair, and pretty ridiculously naive.

Because - come on, your momma told you this - happy doesn't come from money or status or success. What your momma may have failed to add - I know mine did - was where it DOES come from. I was told - and believed, on some level - that money doesn't buy happiness. and we've all seen very prominent examples of this. Status and success just fuel the drive for more status and success - and there is ALWAYS more - always further to go - the summit is never reached.

Happy people - content people - know who they are. It's no big secret that I struggle with this - I have been very open about that. I'm figuring it out, slowly but surely. I may be a late bloomer, but bloom I shall, and it will be glorious. So that's step one. Know who you are. Step two appears to be LIKE who you are. More advice from Momma popping up - didn't your momma tell you that no one would love you until you could love yourself? Well, what do you know? She was right. Again.

And when you manage it, you will be happy.

So that sounds pretty easy, right? A two step process. Know yourself. Like yourself.

Ok, it's not all that easy.

But it's doable.

When you get there - really get there - then I don't believe the size of your house or your bank account or even your jeans will matter quite so much. People who have achieved this - knowing themselves and liking themselves - seem to be better equipped to handle whatever life throws at them - to accept their circumstances without letting it effect their course too much. "Oh! This is my new reality? All righty, then!" They don't blame their situation on divine retribution or an unkind twist of fate. They don't wonder how others will view and judge them, they just do what they know in their hearts is the right thing for them to do. They make no apologies for it. That's just the way it is. And the way it is for them may not be the way it is for me or for you, but that's cool. That's ok.

I have not, by the way, come anywhere close to achieving this particular level of Zen-like self acceptance. I'm still working on figuring out who I am, remember? But it's nice to notice it and believe it and articulate it. Putting it into words - for me - makes it more real.

Now for putting it into action...

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. ~ Stuart Smalley

4 comments:

K said...

I love this post. I feel like I'm surrounded by negitive unhappy people lately.

I think happy is a great goal and it's worth taking a pause to think about what actually makes us happy.

Eva Gallant said...

Great post with lost of truths in it!

elastamom.com said...

Absolutely right, Momma! Did you see my post today? We're so on the same page!

Gibby said...

I needed this today. You're so good to me! ;)