How can we feel happy?
It’s fairly frequent that someone comes into our office and asks this simple question. More often than not, the question is attached to something outside of themselves. Something like, “How can I be happy in my relationship?” “Why can’t I just be happy with my job?” “Will I be happy when my children (fill in the blank)?”
I believe we might be asking the wrong question.
Most of us have read or heard the following statement somewhere along the way:
We can’t love another until we love ourselves.
If this is true, and I believe it is very close to the truth, what would happen if we substitute “happiness” for “love” in this statement?
We can’t be happy with a relationship unless we are happy with ourselves.
And if we can substitute the words love & happiness in the statements above, then we can assume that other things, like relationships or that perfect job, cannot and will not create happiness in ourselves.
So if relationships, jobs, or material goods do not equal happiness long term, then what does?
Simply put, we must feel happy about ourselves on our own. Getting to this point can take some time, and some tough self-reflection, but it can be done. It can be accomplished by:
Understanding how experiences have shaped us
Living in accordance to the values that we freely choose
Our happiness is NOT contingent on another person, place or thing. By examining our (current and past) relationships and being aware of what we seek to gain from others (our needs in a relationship), we can ask ourselves a difficult question: Is this happiness something we only experience when we are with another person?
If so, is the happiness an illusion? If we are unhappy with ourselves, material goods, money and relationships will not make this feeling go away. These things we seek will only MASK our unhappiness, causing it to show up in other ways.
By being honest with ourselves about what we need, and want out of life, only then can we find happiness independently.
Pace Counseling Group is a professional counseling firm located in San Antonio, Texas. We are focused on continuously improving the quality of life for our clients and their families. We are currently accepting new clients with no wait list. Insurances accepted. Make your first appointment online by clicking here.
To learn more, visit us at Pace Counseling Group or call (210) 481-3727.