My husband’s beautiful eyes were burning a hole in me.
“So what is it?” he asked.
“What do you mean?”
“What’s gotten into you?” He was smiling now, but his eyes were still intense.
How could I explain?
A shot of anxiety and hope bolted through me all at once. I wasn’t great with words when I was put on the spot. After some hesitation I gave him a sneaky smile in return and said, “I’ve always been this girl.”
That wasn’t the answer he was looking for.
“Why now? What happened?”
My brain was scrambling for words. Where could I begin? How could I explain?
“It’s everything together.”
I looked into the distance. An invisible world was quickly coming back to me. I continued.
“It’s figuring out what an introvert is and why it’s ok to be one. It’s me finding something I love and actually doing it. It’s me knowing I’m no longer at the mercy of my circumstances.”
I looked at him again.
“If anything happens to you, I know I’ll be ok.” Then I shrugged. “It’s just everything.”
It wasn’t a profound answer, but it satisfied him. He relaxed and leaned back in his chair.
“Well, it’s inspiring,” he said.
My heart skipped a beat and gratitude flooded over me. It had never been my intent to be inspiring to others, but my own journey to happiness was becoming much larger than myself. But as I’m discovering, that’s what happens when you’re happy. Everything that is good gets bigger.
To be clear, I’ve never thought of myself as an unhappy person.
There have been downs. I struggled deeply when we decided to move back to Star Valley, for it had never been in my plans. I had some depression episodes during my pregnancies. But I always knew I had a good life. I had a husband that loved me in spite of all my flaws. I was grounded and had hobbies.
Yet if I look from where I stand now, I don’t see a women fully alive. I was sort of numbly walking through whatever life gave me. The little trooper; the quiet supporter.
I can’t remember the first step I took to start my journey to happiness. I really don’t. The only thing I can say for certain is I started saying yes to my soul. Not my husband’s, my kid’s, or anyone else’s. One step at a time, I would declare honestly what was in my heart and just do it.
I do remember that when I started doing little things that were good for my soul, the guilt would crop up.
The Liar of the Universe would whisper, “You will take from your loved ones if you do this for yourself.”
As scary as it felt, I ignored that voice.
And I stand before you today, declaring that it was a very big lie. My loved ones didn’t suffer. As I grew and explored and was brave, the good grew into more good. My family has felt the love increase, because that’s what love does.
You can’t stop it. It has no limit.
You were made in love from One who wants to shower it upon you.
Many times I said, “I’m scared.”
The Giver of Life stretched His hand to me and said, “It will be all right. Trust me. I’ll help you.”
There is one thing that doesn’t exist, and that is neutrality.
Everything is moving. It’s shrinking or expanding at whatever rate we allow. This is true for our souls as well.
There’s only one person who can give permission for you to be happy, and it’s you. You can’t steal it from others or hope it rubs off. You can’t wait for a better day, or until your job is better, or your house is bigger. It starts with you opening your heart and declaring, “I’m worth it.”
Once you believe that, watch the world open.
Don’t wait to find your happiness, whatever that means to you.
You really are worth it.
Thank you so much for writing this. Not only is it beautifully written (and brought tears to my eyes), but it is an important reminder to follow my dreams no matter how scared or unsure I am.
Keep going! You’re worth it, even if it’s scary right now.
Hannah French says
This is just what I needed right now! Funny how that works. Thank you for writing this and giving me confidence to find my happiness. You really are such an inspiring person to follow!