Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I’m a happy person—a very happy person! People say they envy me as they try to figure out what I have that they don’t so maybe they can buy it too! Happiness is one of those feelings that’s hard to describe, or define. It comes from a place inside, therefore it’s very unique to everyone. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to be happy. It’s easier to say what happiness doesn’t come from:

•    Making lots of money: You truly can’t buy happiness. Look at all the rich people who are miserable! Money buys you stuff. You can’t buy inner satisfaction. That comes from working on you. Money is used to soothe hurts you’re holding onto and that soothing doesn’t last long.

•    Finding someone to marry you: Nobody can make you happy but YOU! Many people make getting married a goal and feel happy when they get there. But if they weren’t happy before, it’s a short-lived kind of happiness when the wedding is over.

•    Feeling powerful over others: Many people feel great having power over others. But you can’t compensate for not feeling good inside by bossing people around. You might get a rush during that time but when you’re alone with yourself, the negatives inside you will dampen that good feeling. Taking control of how you treat yourself lasts.

•    Losing weight: You’ll be happy to fit into smaller sizes and look better but you’ll probably then begin the struggle to keep the weight off, which makes you unhappy. And, very few people lose enough weight to satisfy their need to be thin. So losing a lot of weight doesn’t even create momentary joy if you’re still feeling like more needs to change or come off.

•    Getting cosmetic injections or surgery: Changing your appearance does not change who you are inside. Happiness comes from in you, not your external looks. You can cut or tuck or laser away at your face or thighs or tummy, but, you can’t use those tools to get rid of the things inside you that make you discontent with you and your life.

Ask yourself what makes you happy. Is it stuff or something external? Or are you happy inside too? Self-love can make a big difference in that. Materialistic happiness is fleeting. You feel happy until you’re bored with the latest tech toy which is now not the latest or you’re tired of wearing the outfit you spent a fortune on or you’ve gained a few pounds back and now feel anger instead of joy in your body.

Hugh Downs said, “A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.”

Strive to make yourself happy from the inside out so your attitude is one of consistent happiness. The more you love and accept yourself now, the more happiness you can began to build. Real happiness—built on acceptance of you, separate from your current circumstances—is the kind that endures. Begin to appreciate what you have that doesn’t cost anything:

•    The love in your life from friends and family
•    Love for yourself
•    The good person you are
•    Your integrity
•    Overall appreciation for the person you are.

It can take a while but once you approach happiness from a place of self-appreciation instead of looking for what you can go after to make you happy, you’ll understand the meaning of having an attitude of happiness. I don’t like everything about my body and there are things in my life I’d love to not have but I still love and appreciate me and feel blessed to be who I am. That keeps me happy even on days when everything goes wrong, because my attitude of happiness keeps me from sinking into negatives.

Start by doing what you can to build your self-love. Read my free book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways, and in time you’ll see why I smile every day. That’s the kind of happiness that sticks with you!
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Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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