Saturday, August 23, 2008
Epiphanies, Realizations and Other 'Duh' Moments
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." - Buddha
The other day some of my friends and I were chatting online about the things that we've come to realize now that we are older. We each posted a list of the things that we've learned about ourselves since we were know-it-all 20-year olds. One sentence that I wrote has really stuck in my mind-
"I don't need the body I had when I was 16 in order to be happy. I wasn't that damned happy then, so size is never really the issue."
I can't believe it's taken me 20-some years to realize that my happiness doesn't depend on how thin or beautiful I am. Yes, it's important to me to try to be healthy, and to take care of my appearance, but that's not the key to my overall happiness. I wasn't that happy when I was in high school; I never really dated, and even though I tried to appear outgoing, inside I was shy and convinced that no guy would ever be interested in me. I let the negatives take over my life for a while, and my only regret now is that I wish I hadn't done that.
Happiness comes, I think, from being able to live in the now. When one can stop obsessing over past failings and fears of 'what if', only then can you learn to accept where you are in your life now and find happiness.
It seems like such a simple thing, doesn't it? To let go of the things that are holding you down and to accept the love that you can feel right now. It's actually harder than it sounds in some ways, but I'm working on it. Every day it gets a little easier to shed those old feelings and to love who I am now, and know that there are people who love me.
I can't say that I have this new mindset perfected yet. It's hard to change 40 years of thinking, but it's coming along. I can honestly say though, that now, right now, I am happy. I have family and friends who love me. I've got a job I enjoy, working with people that I like to be around. I have a husband who loves me as I am, and encourages me when I want better for myself. I have a son who lights my day and has shown me that love can fill your heart in ways you could never imagine.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find Chickenhead and see what he's up to. It's awfully quiet around here!