Happily Ever After (Really?)
What does it mean to live happily ever after?
Is it even possible or just a myth – a fairy tale?
What does it mean to be happy – what does it look like to you?
Here is something to consider: Do you and your spouse share the same (or similar) definition of happiness? If so, then great! If not, then what kind of problems could this create?
Everyone wants to be happy, including you and me. And we want happy marriages, too.
It gets tricky, though, because people often base their happiness on one of three things:
- External circumstances
- An Internal state of being (their own beliefs, values and actions)
- Earning the approval, love and acceptance of others (this is external, too, really)
Is it possible for happiness to last when it is based on material possessions, career advancement, how the stock market is doing, or other external things?
What about earning people’s love, acceptance and approval – can we ever be truly happy if these are the conditions of our happiness?
On the other hand, if happiness is an outgrowth of our own beliefs, outlook, values and actions, then aren’t we always in control of just how happy we will be?
Gratitude, expressing your love to your spouse, giving versus getting, deciding to find the good in every situation – all of these put us firmly in charge of our own happiness.
The stock market can crash and it doesn’t matter; we can be driving an older car and be living in a smaller house than we really want, but it doesn’t matter; our spouse might not be entirely happy with us over something but it doesn’t matter because we’re going to be loving anyway.
See the difference?
Furthermore, when we realize that we are wonderful and amazing human beings who do not need or require the love, approval and acceptance of others to be happy, then we’ve just taken ourselves to a higher state of happiness altogether.
We are in charge of our own happiness – of how happy and hopeful we will feel and be on any given day. This fresh perspective breathes new life into our marriage, and allows us to enjoy our spouse in a new way because now love becomes about what we can give than what we can get – it becomes more of an experience and less of a transaction.
You can live happily ever after…because it is you and you alone who is writing the fairytale…and decides how the story ends.