This is a significantly more serious post than usual but it has been something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Over the years I have heard so many people (myself included) use the phrase "I will be happy when... I have more money, have a boyfriend or when my life is more like hers!" These phrases ultimately place conditions on our happiness. The problem with this mindset is that once one 'I-will-be-happy-when' condition is met, there is always another one. This downward spiral of conditions is filled with comparison, anxiety, and 'always wanting more!' I am definitely no phycologist and I don't even have years of wisdom on my side, but I have still learned a few things from my own experiences and the experiences of those around me.
"I will be happy when...I have more money"
Money just seems to be one of the most wanted things in life. It's a big part of our everyday lives and of course, it can buy us amazing things! Sometimes I find it easy to think, more money = more things, more things = more happiness. And I guess there is nothing wrong with having or buying nice things, but the problem comes in when we let money control us. We can so easily get caught up in the trap of wanting more money, to buy more things, to impress people we don't even know or like! When we fall into this trap, no matter how much we have, we always want more! There is always more money to make, and always more things to buy, but will this make us happy? Superficially, yes. Actually, no. Short term it may bring some excitement, but that will soon fade when there is another thing on the wishlist. I know it is said so often, but it truly is the simple things in life that bring lasting happiness and true contentment.
"I will be happy when...I have a boyfriend"
Being in love is something everyone wants. Love is truly a beautiful thing and I know it can bring a lot of happiness into your life. However, if you are not happy single you will not magically be happy with a boyfriend. If you don't truly love who you are on your own, that will not magically change because of a boyfriend. It may feel like it will, especially at the beginning when it is hyped up, but when you settle into a relationship the way you felt about yourself when you were single will still be there. This is where the importance of loving yourself and knowing your self-worth is so important. It is something only you truly have power over. Of course, having someone in your life who loves you, encourages you, and supports you is amazing and will contribute to how you think of yourself, but at the end of the day it is only you who can choose how to view yourself.
"I will be happy when...my life is more like hers"
Comparison is a killer. Every single one of us is guilty of comparing ourselves to others and experiencing the negative thoughts that follow. Social media has made this so much easier to do everyday as we are now constantly presented with the best parts of peoples 'perfect' lives. It may the killer body of a model, the picture perfect life of a travel blogger, or the couple with the perfect relationship and the cute photos to prove it. In the midst of being bombarded with 'perfect' lives, it is easy to start trying to recreate your own life in the image of someone else, completely forgetting that our beauty is in our diversity!! We have different bodies, lifestyles and goals and that is great because it means we are unique. And I am speaking to myself here too. Instead of looking at how great others have it look at how great YOU have it! Count your blessings every morning, literally say them out loud. It will help you gain perspective and start the day with a full and happy heart.
I will be happy when...I choose to be happy.