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I’ll Be Happy When...

Unravel the mythology of happiness and the genuine pathway toward that end.

What is the source of happiness? We tend to assume that happiness will come from a future event. It typically depends upon something else happening. The script often reads like this:

I'll be happy when... I fall in love.

I'll be happy when... I get married.

I'll be happy when... we can buy our dream house.

I'll be happy when... we can furnish the house.

Still, the anticipated happiness is elusive, so we tie it to more future events.

I'll be happy when... we have children.

I'll be happy when... the children are older.

I'll be happy when... I can retire.

What's happened here? Has an entire lifetime passed pursuing an illusion? Those events that we so dearly waited for do provide a temporary excitement, but too soon, they retreat into the ordinary, and we replace them with the next fantasy of happiness.

Happiness can only occur at the moment that you're in and can only be sustained by developing a nurturing relationship with yourself and, hopefully, others. The ultimate source of happiness lies in the quality of your thoughts. Our thoughts are our most intimate relationship and will impact our lives far more than our relationships with others. In fact, our relations with others are, to an extent, but a reflection of the quality of our own thoughts.

What we seek "out there" is but the icing on the cake. Genuine and sustainable happiness is derived from a healthy and nurturing relationship with yourself. Nothing and no one can take that away from you. Devote your attention to your authentic well-being, and happiness will emerge.

More from Mel Schwartz L.C.S.W.
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