I have found myself in an inexplicable position. The best way I can put it is that I am to be life’s spectator, not the leading participant. I am to live, to take care of myself, to love myself and others. I’m paralyzed.
Laura Edwards-Green offers some insight for self-care in her TEDx talk by presenting us with a question– “Are you happy?” The answer is up for debate, and has people all over debating on their thoughts.
I believe that happiness comes down to a personal definition. If I ask you, happiness is self-reliance, not self-satisfaction. Those have always been two very different things in my eyes.
Happiness is sacrifice. Many people in our country right now might be self-satisfied behind their iPads and computer screens. Happy with their computer, happy with their phones- but then someone else needs their help. Happiness is when you do more for others than for ourselves and do it willingly. Happiness is in service of others.
That’s not to say that there is no happiness in self-satisfaction. Happiness isn’t exclusive in not being self-satisfied. Happiness is self-realization. When you come to realize who you are and where you belong, joy is at its deepest root.
Self-satisfaction is achievement. Achievement is great. Achievement is great when it comes from the right place. You may see someone who is self-satisfied because they just won a competition. Or someone self-satisfied because they just got 500 Instagram followers. But then you see someone who creates pieces of art all day and the day they find out they have cancer- that piece of art is no longer the fulfillment it once was.
This idea has helped me immensely. When I am feeling sorry for myself because I am not meeting the goals I hoped to meet, or I am not accomplishing the things I set out to do, I remind myself that happiness- true happiness- is in the self-realization.