Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Great Awakening - Yep It Took Me 25 Years To Figure This Out

I'm about to go a little deeper with this post than most of the ones I've written as of late. Not that I didn't want to share before, I just wasn't ready yet. But this is supposed to be a journal right? :)

I have always been the type of person that believed personal happiness came from personal relationships. For example, I would expect certain things from Clancy to make me 'happy' whether it be a text or call during the work day, initiating affection, walking in the door and giving me a kiss/hug, etc. This put a lot of pressure on him because he felt that my happiness rested solely on his shoulders. Not that he didn't want to make me happy or do any of those things, but I was EXPECTING it. That made everything seem so forced, and it was really putting a strain on our relationship.

Looking back, I've done this my whole life. In past relationships - even with my parents. I expect certain things from the people in my life and if they didn't happen I would be unhappy. Needless to say I felt let down or sad most of the time.

You can only rely on one person to make you happy - YOURSELF. Don't get me wrong, good personal relationships can bring enjoyment and a lot of pleasure to your life, but ultimately you are responsible for your own happiness. Only when you love yourself can you truly love someone else. And you can only love yourself by knowing what makes you happy. OK, I know I'm starting to sound like Dr. Phil. Deal with it :)

I attended a lunch seminar the other day entitled "Keys to Happiness in Personal Relationships". It pretty much reaffirmed everything I've stated above, and that made me feel great about where I am heading with my own personal growth. One thing the speaker said that truly stuck with me was "stop being the victim". She was speaking generally, but it's so true to my own life. I need to stop blaming everyone else for my own unhappiness and understand that happiness comes from within. Then and only then can I be truly happy.

I think Clancy has noticed a difference in me. Without coming right out and telling him everything I've said above, I think he can tell that I've changed. I feel different. I really do. I look at the day much more positively and even my normal every-day road rage has dissipated. I didn't want to feel the way I was feeling anymore, so I made a change. The root of my problem was insecurity, but I thought it was insecurity in my relationship. All this time it has been insecurity in myself.

"Real love doesn't demand perfection. Real love is accepting and understanding of our partners, imperfections and all. This is only possible if we can first learn to identify our own needs, and ask for what we want in our relationships and in our life. Having done that, we discover that a greater awareness of our partner's needs gives us the power to re-ignite and sustain the passion of our relationship." -John Gray


rachel said...

this is really great Michelle. I'm glad to see you becoming more positive!!!!

I would also add that a spiritual/religious component (God) to one's life can contribute to that happiness and overall feeling of peace.

Love, me

onebigholiday said...

Nice post..definitely makes my day look better now

PL said...

I can totally relate to what you said here. In the beginning of our relationship with my bf B, I just expected SO much. I was never happy, and it was like "why doesn't he text/im/call me during the day?" or declare his love in major romantic ways. Then it dawned on me. The obvious, of course. HE HAS A JOB! and I was in school. Not to mention that he didn't know that I wanted or needed certain things. I had to communicate them to him! Who knew. It wasn't just that, though, because when Valentines Day or my birthday or any special occasion would come up, I would put so much expectation on it that NOTHING would have been enough. I've since mellowed out a lot, mostly due to a lot of reading and listening and working on myself. It's not easy though, especially if you're the type who questions EVERYTHING. (you being people in general, of course)

I know that was long-winded, but I just wanted to say I feel the same way!

libby said...

you go girl! that's a huge step and i'm proud of you for realizing your self-worth and taking charge!!!

Michelle said...

rach - thanks. you're such a good friend. i miss you! xo

obh - i hope that it did. i wasn't trying to bring anyone down though! :)

pl - it really helps to know that other people have been in your shoes doesn't it? i think that's why i like blogging so much and reading blogs of people my age. it helps me feel more "normal".

libby - thanks girl!

molly said...

This was awesome, Michelle. Really.

elysa said...

One of my favorite quotes about happiness - "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

One great thing about finding your own happiness is that anything that anyone else does for you that would generally "make you happy" are just an added bonus to make that day that much brighter.