Monday, February 15, 2010

if only*

“There are those of us who are always about to live.
We are waiting until things change, until there is more time,
until we are less tired, until we get a promotion,
until we settle down, until, until, until. It always seems as if
there is some major event that must occur in our lives
before we begin living.”

George Sheehan

Why is it that we think our happiness depends on whether or not specific events take place in our lives or if we have certain things. Now, you might be better at this than I am, but I have a tendency to think I'll be happy "if only [insert any number of things that have not yet happened]," then I'd be happy.

When I was a teenager I thought I'd be happy if only I were old enough to move out of my parent's house. Then it was if only I were married, if only I had a baby, if only I had married someone else. After the divorce and I had been a single mom for a few years it changed to if only I was married again. It seemed I was never happy. Even after RL and I got married the if only's continued. If only we had a house, if only he didn't work nights, if only he'd go to church with me, if only . . . . I don't know how he stayed with me! I was never satisfied. There was always something that needed to take place before I could be happy.

I don't remember the specific event that took place or if it was just a combination of events, but I finally realized that happiness is a choice. It is being content with and grateful for life the way it is at any given moment. Sure, we plan, we save, we invest for the future. But we will never be happy living in the future. Happiness only comes by living in the moment and then only by finding something to be happy about. Because there's that nasty human tendency to only see what we don't have instead of being thankful, content, happy with what we do.

*Re-posted from November, 2007


flutterby said...

Great post! What a great thing to be reminded of.

Cocotte said...

So true! If only I could follow this!

Val said...

Excellent post... Thanks, I needed that!