How often do you check in with yourself? I mean really assess where you’re at on the happiness scale of life?
I often talk about getting caught up in the rat race of life, and this can be good and bad. It can be good, because if you are rating very low on the ‘happiness scale’, it’s easy to throw yourself into everyday tasks and hope that your problems will eventually just go away.
But the bad part of doing that is that you never actually address the reason why you are not happy. It can be extremely difficult to ask yourself the hard questions especially if you already know the hard answers.
I remember very well the business of young children and work, consuming myself with the needs of my children and my family. I would look forward to the next exciting thing in our life, usually a holiday or renovation to our home, and the minute is was over I would come crashing back down thinking ‘that’s right… I still have this heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach’.
For me, it was my marriage. No one had ever been divorced in my family so it would be shocking and disappointing, or so I thought. The thing is my life wasn’t unhappy, and my husband wasn’t horrible to me. We lived quite harmoniously, but as passing ships in the night with less and less in common as years went by.
Many of you would think that this should be good enough. A husband who was kind, two children who were happy, a lovely home and regular holidays. But your conscience is a funny thing. No matter how many times you tell it ‘this IS good enough and you should be happy with what you have’, your conscience knows you better than your brain does. It’s very difficult to keep lying to yourself, and it’s very foolish to keep thinking that things will get better when you’ve been having the same thought for years.
I’ll never forget the heavy feeling of facing my own truth… that I would never be happy if I didn’t change something. But I also knew what that meant – a huge upheaval to my life and my children’s life.
I will never actively encourage or advocate for separation or divorce, if that’s what you think I am suggesting. I really believe that relationships are hard, and we all need to work to keep them running smoothly. But I am advocating for facing your sub-conscience. It’s very hard to keep lying to yourself.
Fast forward this story a few months after facing the hard stuff, and I remember standing in the kitchen one morning and realizing something was different. I assessed myself and figured it out. I no longer had a heavy feeling pushing on my chest. My heart was light and so was my whole body. The physical differences weren’t the only thing, I noticed I was happier. I snapped less at my kids and I didn’t let little things upset me as easily.
I used to be like a piece of elastic, stretched so long and so far that it would snap at any moment. The nervous tension kept me pushing along each day, focusing on my daily tasks instead of facing my actual feelings.
I hope that if you are reading this and can identify with what I’m saying that my story gives you some clarity and hope. Now might not be the right time to face these things, but just know that you can’t keep putting them off forever. Your conscience has a way of tapping you on the shoulder regularly and reminding you that ‘we have a problem’.
I now take this advice into my next journey of step-parenting. It’s not easy, in fact it’s really hard. But I intend to keep listening to my sub-conscience and not letting it build up until is irreparable.
I’m sorry to say, there’ no magic wand. But there is hope, and I am a living as an example of this. You can be happy again! But only you can be the driver of that.