I was going to post this really cutsie little piece about things that make me happy and finding happiness in everyday life...
But as I walked into my kitchen I found myself facing this:
It left me pondering why so many marriages fail, and my heart was sad. Yes, THE SIGN MADE ME SAD. (Darn, this was going to be all about being happy!) I wasn't sad for myself, but for all those people out there who marry and hope their joy will last for years to come, only to have it crash down a few months or years later. Sure, maybe they're still married, but are they happy? (Okay, where's my box of tissue?)
There's a reason that plaque up there doesn't say, "Happiness is marrying your best friend". Nothing is so constant as change. (Relationships especially.) We are always growing closer to or further from the people in our lives. The relationships we nurture, like a tender plant, are the ones that strengthen and grow into a great trees. Those trees can withstand all kinds of turbulent weather, but only if the plant is sheltered from the storm while young.
My husband and I dated/wrote for two and a half years, but I didn't know he was a Yankees fan until we'd been married a year! That's not to say we didn't have a great relationship. We loved one another completely and shared everything, but we were still two different people. Surprises were inevitable.
As human beings, we want to be understood on a deeper level. We yearn for it. We NEED it. How easy it is to tread on someone's trust, especially someone who has opened their entire heart to you! There were times I wanted to walk (sometimes run) away from my hubby in frustration or anger, but we had a strong set of roots, ones that kept us firmly planted and committed to one another.
Those roots were more than a foundation of trust. When I married my husband, it was a commitment between myself, my husband, and God. The times when I've wanted to wring my hubby's neck or storm away, I had another member of our marriage to turn to, one who understands me AND my spouse entirely. He has kept us close, and I thank him every day for that. He has taught me that if a relationship is to succeed, it has to be about the other person, about how to make them happy. There are very few people who will not eventually reciprocate loving treatment. Even if we don't see a response, our focus becomes service, and service is the key to happiness.
Happiness really is about the relationships in our lives. I once heard a very wise man say that love is actually spelled T-I-M-E. It's easy to get wrapped up in our careers or goals, but if we're really truly seeking to be happy, we have to set those things aside and make time for the people who matter most.
And now I need a piece of mozzarella.
What secrets have you learned in finding happiness?