My entire life has been dedicated to figuring out the formula to my personal happiness. Having survived a difficult and often times traumatic upbringing, I have been in a never ending quest to make up for all those sad and lonely childhood days by achieving something I often feel incapable of sustaining.

Whenever I think I’ve got it figured out, eventually disappointment rears it’s head to let me know I haven’t come close to obtaining or maintaining any true level of happiness. Why is it so elusive? Why do I feel this constant struggle to be truly satisfied with where I am and what I have? It’s not for a lack of gratitude. Where I am now in my life is infinitely better than where I’ve been in my life at any prior point in time. I’m healthy, highly educated, well traveled, and in a loving long term relationship. I thank god everyday for all of that and I never allow myself to take any of it for granted.  So what the heck is the problem?

Well the best thing about being an introspective person is, most of the time I already know the answer to my own self questioning. The answer is fear. I’ve been on a large level fearful of most things my entire life. The only time I’ve every experienced any real success or felt a sense of accomplishment is when I ignored my fears and did what I truly wanted to do anyway. It’s my fear that keeps me from allowing myself the opportunity to be sustainably happy.

I know intrinsically that happiness is a choice. By and large my day to day happiness is never going to come as a by product of anything I’ve purchased or any relationship I’m engaged in or any one of a dozen activities I enjoy. If I want to be happy I have to define it and redefine what that means to me on a daily basis and than act accordingly. The things that made me happy in my 20’s don’t even make the radar now. I find being cuddled up on a Saturday night on my king size pillowtop with my Boo makes me happy most days, but not always. Sometimes I need more, some times less. And so when I ask myself why aren’t you happy what I really need to be asking is why aren’t you taking more time to listen to what you need right now in this moment? It doesn’t mean always being impulsive and living on a whim. It means slowing down enough to recognize when I am living on autopilot, making decisions that don’t feel right, going along to get along, and acting out of desperation and fear instead of following my heart.

We all know with the passage of time that our lives grow shorter and shorter everyday. If we are not living true to ourselves we are pretty much ensuring we will live in a constant state of mental flux, with our emotions ruled by other people’s actions and dependent on the permission of others. I for one don’t want to continue to live this way. Today, I am slowing down, listening to my heart and choosing to be happy.