Monday, August 20, 2012

Emotional Happiness~ The Search

I am a grown woman. By now I thought I would know how to be happy. I am not talking about unrealistic happiness, just light- hearted happiness. . . joy.  
I don't. 

Here is what I do know. . . 
Looking back at my childhood, my patterns have been consistent my entire life. People would describe me as outgoing, confident, happy and even "perky". On the inside I am emotionally needy, only those close to me realize this. Because I am egocentric my feeling of value comes from being validated, complimented and my "love language" is words of affirmation. I have relied too heavily on these things for my own happiness. I rely on others to make me feel valued, therefore happy. This is a big task for others and has resulted in unhappiness on my part.

I always thought I was too selfish to give up who I am. But after being married for seventeen years and a mother of two, that is just what I've done. We are told to sacrifice for our spouses, supporting them in their careers. We are told that being a mother is the most rewarding job there is. I do enjoy being a wife and a mother. But for some reason I have made guilt my "go to" emotion when I seek any pleasure for myself. Guilt has encrusted over what makes me happy so much that I don't even know what it is anymore. 

I am a spiritual person. I truly believe "As you center your mind and heart in the Lord, He will help you have a full and rich life." I must not be doing it right. Am I ungrateful? Am I selfish? 

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 
"Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself." 
Abraham Lincoln said, 
“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Questions to Ponder. . .
  • Now that I know I've given up too much of myself, how do I get it back?
  • I do feel joy when I serve others, my children and my husband. When I serve outside of my family I do not feel the need for appreciation. How do I establish that selfless service for my family, especially my husband?
  • How do I feel joy without it coming from something someone else does or says?
  • What do I need to do differently to center my mind and heart on the Lord?
  • What brings me joy?
  • How do I choose happiness? How do I establish self-mastery?

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