Thursday, January 29, 2015

Week 18, Day 122 - On Chasing Happiness

I read this great blog post on Cup of Jo this morning (thanks Heidi!). It talks about a woman who tried to conceive for 10 years and finally decided to stop trying. I could obviously tell that she was sad about the decision (she likened it to mourning someone's death) but she was also very zen about the whole thing. It seems like 10 years of this journey have finally brought her to a place of peace. I love this excerpt:

"On finding happiness within yourself: With infertility, at first, I would think, oh my gosh, if I could just get pregnant, life will be so amazing, and I’ll be so happy, and this child will just make my world. For years, my worth and identity was wrapped up in having a spouse and children. But then, I realized that I was putting pressure on this child to fulfill me, when in reality, it’s my job to find fulfillment, not anyone else's.

If you’re seeking wholeness from another person—looking to your child or spouse or job—then when you encounter challenges in that relationship, you’re going to feel threatened. Your worth and identity as a wife/mother/business owner will be sucked in to every bad mood, tone of voice, stressful moment, etc. That's a huge pressure on the other person. There’s no getting away from it until you decide to cut the cord and say, my wholeness is intact. It’s the most loving thing you can offer someone, because it allows you to absolutely love others and to stay stable, no matter what the circumstances are. 

I know—with every ounce of my being—that joy in life is possible regardless of your circumstances, regardless of whatever hand you’re dealt. Now I live my life by cultivating joy and happiness myself and not relying on anyone else for it. The most important thing is learning to live a life motivated by love, no matter what your circumstances. That is what makes good parents good parents. That is what makes good people good people. And I still have that. We ALL have that."

Isn't that beautiful? I've been guilty of this thinking before...of thinking that my life will be perfect once I get pregnant.

I tend to do this a lot. "I'll be happier once Matt gets back from his mission. I'll be happier once I go on vacation. I'll be happier once I find my dream job. I'll be happier once (fill in the blank)." But I know that an event can't magically make you intrinsically happier. If I get pregnant, I'll be exhausted and scatterbrained and have a beautiful little baby, but I will still be (more or less) the same person. I can't put the pressure of all this happiness on an unconceived child. I can't do it. For all I know, it could take another 5 years to get pregnant. Or it will never happen. I can't wait that long to live my best life. So I'm focusing more on making myself happy, just for the sake of being happy! I need to be whole, healthy, happy, content, and fulfilled on my own.

Still figuring out how to do that. For now I'm working on getting my workouts in, reading my scriptures and praying more diligently, leading with love, and finding ways to serve others. Let me know if you have any other tips on how you fulfill yourself. I can use all the help I can get.
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Rebecca and Cody said...

I read this article this morning too (Heidi is the best) and I love what she said. I can't imagine going through 10 years of treatments (3 seems like enough) and I admire her for taking responsibility of her own happiness. Something I need to work on.

Melissa Wright said...

Wow, beautiful excerpt. I need to remember that. I've sort of been working it, but she put it very eloquently.

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