I remember talking with a friend quite a while before I separated from my ex-husband. We were talking about my marriage and a particularly rough time my ex-husband and I went through. I remember feeling pretty upbeat about where we were at that time. I felt like we got through these really bad years. We had grown, we were closer, we were handling any issues we still had. Sounds good, right? Yes, I thought, things were so much better. But my friend, in listening to my words only commented on what I didn’t say.
“You never said anything about being happy.”
I was stunned. Sure I had, I thought. We’re good, we’ve gotten through all of this stuff– the hardest part is behind us. I … We… Wow. It’s true. I had been so set on surviving, getting through some pretty rough times, that I had completely forgotten about happiness. I’d forgotten about all I wanted in my life. Happiness wasn’t even there as a want at that point for me.
Truth be told, it was still several years before our divorce was set. But that moment, that sudden awareness that I wasn’t happy was my wake up call.
We all can find ourselves off course from where we thought we’d be in life. Sometimes this is an awakening that we’ve lost sight of our goals, but more often, for women especially, it’s a realization that we’ve lost sight of and lost touch with our selves.
I am almost a decade removed from that conversation and honestly, if I know anything at all about my life now, it’s that I am happy. It’s not all blissful and perfect all the time, but I am happy.
It’s been quite a journey to get here for sure. From finally reaching the moment of leaving my marriage, to ending a career that no longer fit me and taking the time to ask myself some hard questions about what I did want in my life. That’s what led to my happiness today.
And the best news is we all can do this too. It starts with being honest about where you are. That’s the first step. If you want happiness, if you want to nourish your life and take care of yourself, you have to start by being really honest about where you are. Be honest about what’s working, what’s not working. Tell the truth to yourself, tell the truth to a friend, write out the truth. Tell the truth. This is the first step.
In that moment for me when I heard the truth through my friend, I was shocked. She was right. I didn’t say anything about being happy. That moment of realization was eye-opening for me. It didn’t bring an instant change for my life, but after trying and realizing that I wasn’t going to be happy in the marriage, I made choices to find my happiness. That’s what I want for you too.
It doesn’t mean you have to make a drastic “leave your marriage”-type choice. It could be simply being honest that you don’t enjoy all the running around you do for everyone else. You may need to say no the next time the volunteer sheet comes around. Or you may not be happy with your energy and fitness level, so it’s time to commit to exercise and loving your body. It could be realizing you are not happy with the closeness of your relationship and that you want more connection, more intimacy. So it’s not that you want to leave your marriage but you are recognizing that you want more there.
That moment of realization is available to each of us. We can do this today. We can look at our lives and see what’s working, what’s not working. Ask yourself, “What do I want my life to look like?” Let’s start there, together. Leave a comment below or send me a message and let me know what you have discovered.