Do you feel fulfillment from yourself – the things you do, the thoughts you have, the vibe you put out into the world? If so, then that’s freaking awesome and you should be damn proud. But some of us have this tendency to rely on other people to make us happy. It could be a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a spouse, a “good job” from your boss – it doesn’t matter who because that’s not healthy. The fact is that the majority of us have decided that it’s normal and okay to give someone else complete control over our emotional and sometimes mental state. Sure, it may happen by accident, and it may feel like falling in love, but on some level we let it happen. We let ourselves get to that point and stop fighting it – not the love, but stop fighting for control over our own happiness because it’s easier to rely on someone else.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “you can’t be there for someone else if you’re not there for yourself”, right? Well, it’s true. How can we expect to be the best version of ourselves for someone of our choosing if we aren’t already that way for our own benefit without them? We must work on ourselves first and get to a point of contentment, control, flow and happiness before we can be a proper partner for someone else.
Four years ago I was just starting to finally get this and focus on me – and then divine intervention happened. My knight in shining armor came bursting into my life and I didn’t need to work on myself anymore, I was working on us and I was loving it. Now I’m learning that while that was amazing and wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, it’s time to hit that play button that’s been paused all this time and get back to working on myself. And who knows, this might be more difficult while in a committed relationship, or it might be easier. It may take more strength but it has to be done. And at times, whether you’re in a relationship or not while finding out who you are and trying to become the best version of yourself, it might get lonely. And when I think of this I think of one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books that I recommend everyone read at least once in their life – Eat, Pray Love.
“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
For real happiness, you have to work for it and you have to work hard. Read the self-help books, take that drive or go on that vacation, explore yourself and your beliefs, dance and sing, eat what you want, try different hobbies until you find a few that you love and that inspire you. Whatever it is you do, be open to it – enjoy it and don’t be afraid to grow and let it change you. You’ll be better for it, your current or future relationship will be better for it and your life will be better for it.
I’m just restarting this journey and I’m not exactly sure where to start but I’m willing to try. If you’re on the same journey or have been, share in the comments below – share your story, your starting point, share your favorite books, quotes or tips that helped you. I’d love to hear things from your perspective.