Saturday, 27 September 2014

Can we find happiness and fulfilment within ourselves?

At my home :)
So often, we look to things outside of ourselves to make us happy. We can have the illusion that a relationship or lots of money will make us happy .. and how many people do the lottery because they think that a big windfall will bring them happiness and an escape from their miserable situation.

A few years ago, I honestly would never have thought that it was possible to find happiness within myself. And I am still working on this. I have days where I feel insecure, where I wish I could have someone close to me, where I wish I was in a more fulfilling job, where I find it hard to see the goodness and love within myself.

It is also true that having other people in your life does help when it comes to finding happiness within ourselves. When you've gone for a while without many friendships or relationships, it's hard not to feel a sense of emptiness and heartache. But for myself, and some other people I know, being an introvert and highly sensitive means that it can be hard to connect with people, partly for fear of being hurt. When you feel things more deeply than most people, there is an instinct to protect yourself from emotional pain. I have spent a lot of time on my own in the last few months.

But regardless of your relationship status or how many friends you have, I still think that happiness has to start within yourself. And you can only start from where you are. If you don't have many friends, love the ones you do have. If you spend a lot of time in solitude, make the most of the outdoors and what nature has to offer.

Back to the topic of finding happiness within ourselves - it's not an easy thing to do. I think that a good place to start is to be aware of the ways in which we look to outside things to fulfil us. Where do you feel a big hole in your life and what do you perceive will fulfil it? A relationship, a better job, your own house, a child, people being nicer to you? Whilst it is undoubtedly true that some outside circumstances, such as shortages of money, difficulties at work, abusive relationships, children going off the rails, will cause difficulties and stress - life is not going to become suddenly magical if the thing you wanted to happen, does happen. Okay, there might be a buzz at first if you get an unexpected amount of money or find a new relationship - but when the novelty wears off, you'll find that the emptiness that you previously felt, is still there.

Another thing I feel is important is to set the intention to find happiness and contentment within yourself, even though you may have no idea how the hell you'll ever be able to. Then you'll just have to trust that life will bring the right people and situations into your life, and it's almost certain that it will be something of a rollercoaster ride, with difficulties and challenges along the way. Sometimes you'll have times when you feel like crying - and crying is a lot better than reacting.

It's a long process, and I do think that loving yourself takes commitment, just like loving another person. If you have unresolved hurts, you can't expect to suddenly feel happy within yourself without these things being healed. I do think that having a spiritual perspective on life helps - I don't know what I'd do without it. I don't mean that you need an invisible friend who is going to solve all your problems - but I do think that there is some sort of higher power. It makes things that little bit easier for me.

So my question - can we find happiness and fulfilment within ourselves - I think we can - it's not going to mean that we lose our natural desire for relationships and friendships - but I certainly haven't got there myself yet! Still learning. It's a fun journey ..

Would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.


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