The other day, my 5 year old wanted to look through old photo albums--yes I do still put photos in albums. I'm way behind, but there is something sacred to me about being able to look at photos in my hand instead of on a device. We looked through an album, and man did it bring me back down memory lane.
It brought me back to so much heart ache, yet so much love and gratitude to her and to where I am today.
It might look like I'm happy in this picture, which is reason number 1, 234, 098 we should never believe what we see on social media--we can always fake a smile my friends.
Let me give you a little back story to this picture. We had just lost our boys, probably a month or two before. If you don't know my story, click here to read more. I was desperately doing everything and anything to feel better. Reaching outside of myself thinking that would make me happier. I needed to get my hair done, and while I was pregnant, I didn't highlight my hair, so maybe a few highlights would make me feel better, and actually change who I was.
I came home in a full panic. God bless my hubby for being so patient with me and pushing me to get the help that I needed. One, I thought my hair was so bright that people were going to look at me and see me more, which was exactly the opposite of what I wanted. I wanted to hide. Two, I was still me. The pain didn't go away. The deep sorrow wasn't masked by my new do.
Jimmy convinced me to take a picture to show me and to send it to my friends so they could all tell me it was not as bad as I was making it out to be.
If I only I could teach her what I know now.
If only I could tell her that what I had in that moment was exactly what I needed, what God intended me to have. If only I could show her that everything was going to work out, that the sorrow would get easier, that the pain wouldn't take my breath away quite as much as the days passed. If only I could show her that everything works out the way it is supposed to, that stopping and feeling the pain, and being in it is the fastest way to feeling better.
No material item, beauty change etc would help. For far too long, I thought that something outside myself would make me happy. That once I got the house, once I had the marriage, once I had the children, once I had the purse--I would finally be happy. Happiness is a choice, it's not a condition, and when we rely on the conditions that is where we go wrong. Yes, all of this can bring temporary happiness.
Making the realization that happiness comes from within has literally shifted everything in my life.
If you are feeling pain, I'm holding space for you. The pain is temporary--I know it feels unbearable now, but know that the best is yet to come. There are better times ahead. But, please my friend, stop thinking that the outfit you buy or the statement necklace is going to make it all better. Yes, it will make you feel good when you wear it, but realizing that is not where happiness lies, that happiness lies within us.
When we release the chase, and come home to who we really are--there lies the happiness.
What does it mean to find your happiness within?? It means a lot of self work. A lot of of which we dive into over at The Happier Mom Collective.
When we chase the external, we are always left with disappointment at some point.
Hold yourself close, my friend. You were made to do great things. Wherever you are, you are loved.