I'm a bit deep in thought this morning on what brings happiness to women. I do not want to be specific, but I have on my heart right now a couple of ladies who are searching for it - and for the peace that comes with it. I know that the expression goes "happiness comes when you stop searching for it"...but how can women stop looking - and hoping - and just relax about it? How can they live in the moment, and be content?
It's definitely a hard thing to do. I think back on my own life...and especially when I was in my 20's on a nice "career path" but also wanting more. There came a time when I had to make some decisions on WHO I wanted to be. I then had to "accept" the decisions I made and I had to "go with my gut". No regrets. When I look back I see my decisions were right, and my life has been wonderful. But, it's true that sometimes life can get in the way of finding that happiness. The bills need to be paid, and there are expectations to meet for others.
I didn't search for a financially easy life but I have been fortunate. I made enough when I was single to live fine, and my husband has been a very successful provider. Still, those expectations - and my concern over what others thought about me were challenging at times. And let me not kid myself, just last week I met someone and she asked me "where do you work?" and I still felt uncomfortable answering her, trying to explain my life of being home - and volunteering, etc.
In my 40's I went through another time of questioning my future, and how best to find happiness. I've written about it before - living in NJ, being there during 9/11, seeing my role change as an empty-nester, etc. It was a little rough for awhile. I had to re-evaluate. And, I learned to realize modern medicine can be a wonderful thing at stressful times.
But, thankfully I have hindsight now at my age to KNOW I made the right decisions and that I am very happy with my life. I am content - I am peaceful. And... I have faith.
I think faith is a big part of it. "Letting go - and letting God" has been my motto for quite a while now and it certainly helps me pause and let happiness happen. I want to emphasize this to other people, and to those women on the search for happiness, because it has made such a big difference in my life. But, it's hard to do without coming across "holier than thou" to them...and I know we all go on faith journeys at different times - and at different speeds. But, again, let me say: believing in God brings me much happiness! I love the good times more and I know they are a blessing. I also realize the bad and sad times are part of life but God will see me through them. Faith.
I also want to address the notion of living a "fake life" to please others - something women have been known to do! Oh - my! What a lot of work, and what a tiring way to be. I have learned that telling a lie, and especially LIVING a lie, will never allow peace and happiness. Ok, I don't know from personal experience because I can't live with myself when I tell a lie...or purposely hide things. But I have seen it take its toll on other women...and again, it's hard to be happy when "playing games."
I want to tell women seeking happiness - BE STRONG! Be sure of yourself! Value your decisions! I don't know how to make them that way - boy, I wish I did, because sometimes it's very frustrating to me. I want to shake them a little and say "YOU are able to make your own way - and own path to happiness!" It doesn't have to be on the arm of a man, or their checkbook. I know, any of you reading this, are thinking...sure, Marla - look at you. You have both a man & a bank account. What do you know? Fair. But, I KNOW that from the time I was first out of college and living on my own, working, paying my bills, etc. I was able to do things...anything that I wanted to do! Travel? yes. Drive into a city? sure. Go to a movie alone? absolutely. I was going to live my life...
I found a person who understood my independence - and my desire to continue to be ME and not change. Had I not, yes, my life would have certainly gone another direction. Career would have been a priority. But, I'd like to think I'd be "off and running"!
I have no PHD or pyschology degree, but this blog gives me a small spot to share my views and hopes - and prayers on issues, and for some people. By now, you might be really turned off at what I have written, but I hope not. I say these things with love - and with the deepest wish that women love themselves and then can find faith and contentment. Then guess what? Happiness achieved!