I’ve been having some talks with a friend lately about finding happiness, particularly within relationships. Now, I am a firm believer that if we aren’t happy with ourselves, we will truly struggle to be happy within a relationship. I know that when I look back on my relationships prior to my divorce, I wasn’t happy with me. In fact, I hated me. Even following my divorce, it was another few years before I could finally be truly happy with and accept me, the flawed but unique person that I am.
Reaching that point, that point where I finally accepted myself and learned to love myself brought me so much happiness. But even more important than happiness, it brought me serenity. Serenity is that sense of inner peace we have even during the most difficult times and it is incredibly priceless. A lot of people forget that even the happiest people in the world have times where they are not happy. They have days where the struggle to find a sense of joy in their day.
When we have serenity though, we can still find things in life to be grateful for and things to appreciate. When we have serenity, we can see options when things are going wrong. When we have serenity, we don’t put ourselves down and lose that love of self that is so important in our daily living. And believe it or not, people who achieve serenity also experience more happiness in their daily lives than people who don’t. Why is that? Because people who have a sense of internal peace a better able to see the world and others in healthy ways and do not define their sense of self worth based on what others say about them.
So how does that sense of peace tie into my conversation with my friend? We were talking about how so many people, whether its in RL or SL, lack that sense of internal peace and find themselves looking for their happiness through their romantic partner. They look to fill that void within themselves through another person instead of finding their happiness within themselves.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying couples should not work together to add happiness to each other’s lives. They totally should! That’s one of the joys of a relationship. Sadly though, Hollywood has created this belief that we can’t be truly happy without someone else in our lives and that if we are hurting or struggling with ourselves in our daily lives, we need these other people to “complete” us.
While its a beautifully romantic concept, that idea of someone completing us, it doesn’t work. Serenity though does help to complete us.
I can tell you that personally, I will take serenity over happiness any day. The irony in that statement is that focusing on serenity has brought me an incredible amount of happiness. Sure, I struggle some days. But day in and day out, I have peace with who I am and the confronting the journey I am on. That serenity is what allows me to write here and talk about my struggles. It allows me to still love myself when I am rejected by family and friends. It allows me better be able to recognize healthy versus unhealthy relationships.
Serenity is priceless in our lives. It allows us to be comfortable with being single and even alone if we are struggling with our non-romantic relationships. And when it comes to those dating relationships, serenity allows us to be that partner who gives more to the relationship, in healthy ways, than we ask for in return from our partners.
Don’t we all deserve that level of comfort with ourselves?
See it on Flickr.
JIAN – JIAN Countryside Collies :: Companion Pup Blue Merle