I heard this song by Neil Diamond the other day and while I have heard it before, it gave me cause to stop and reflect on the words and on my life. As I look around, I wonder how many embrace the choice to have happy endings, happy beginnings and happy everything in between. There was a time in my life when I wasn’t sure that happy endings could be real for me.
Maybe you have gone through an event, a situation or an experience that you couldn’t imagine there being any happy endings? Maybe it was a health issue for you or a loved one, a change in your career, or a change with a relationship that left you wondering how you would find your way back to happiness.
Happiness is an interesting concept to grasp. I used to have this idea that happiness is what happens outside of me and the effect of what was happening allowed me to be happy. If my kids were happy, having fun, enjoying the moment, so was I. If my husband was at peace and happy, so was I. I became the effect of them and so it made sense that if my happiness depended on how they were (or anyone else around me) it was my job to see that they were happy. It became my mission in life for my own “Happy” ending for each day.
Of course, this meant that I had to constantly be on guard as to how everyone was doing, take the blame if “Happiness” wasn’t the choice in the moment and lose myself in the process. I didn’t even know what I wanted in life outside of making sure that others were happy. And if you have tried living this experience, you may know that it is an impossible task.
A “happy” ending came to me in the most unexpected way.
As I was going about being employed to make others happy, those around me were losing the capacity to be the source of their own happiness. My son especially, took on the role of making others happy, only to be missing something very vital to his well-being-his own power to be happy no matter what was going on around him. Along with the belief that he needed to be “perfect” this job of making others happy to find his own happiness, led him into depression and deep, dark self-judgment. At the age of 19, he took his life and that ended any more chances of happiness for me and of course, in my mind for him too.
But even in situations like this, I discovered that happy endings are possible. It became my focus to make more out of my life and my purpose for living, if only to be sure that I remembered that his life mattered and that he was a true gift to all and even continues to be, just not as I had once imagined it would be. This event in my life was a wake-up call to tap into my own capacity for inner joy and peace. I really didn’t know if I could achieve it, but I knew I had to try. I had to reach for a happy ending, otherwise what’s the point?
It has been a journey, one that I won’t go into details here, but what I want my readers to know is that we each have the capacity to create our lives in a way that brings more joy to us and to the world. I had the choice to go through the rest of life with a broken heart, full of guilt, resentment, anger, and emptiness. I understand the reality of being in that space. And yet when I connected to the life of my son, and all that he brought to my life, I had to be grateful and take what was and turn it into something greater. My life today is meaningful, exciting, fun and full of joy, joy that is my response to living, not dependent on anyone else.
No matter what we are going through, we can discover our path to our own “Happy Ending”.
What would the children of today learn about creating more joy in the world, if the adults around them showed them the way to end every day with a happy ending? Perhaps it is the adults that need to learn from the children, and then continue to foster the value of living in true bliss and joy.
Today's challenge- at the end of the day, ask yourself if you are experiencing a happy ending to this day? And if so, celebrate that with gratitude from your heart. If you aren't, begin to ask some questions about those things that are keeping you from your own true essence of joy, peace and love. Follow what you know and what is needed from you to get your joy back so that each day can end with a happy ending.
Mary shares her desire to create different possibilities for families and individuals who are looking to live a more conscious and aware lifestyle. BE YOU Parenting is for parents who want to BE all that they truly BE and to allow their kids the same privilege.