There’s something that I’m learning as I grow older and more wise.
Happiness has nothing to do with what’s around me. It doesn’t come from the clothing I wear (okay maybe it does a little bit, when I find a comfortable pair of stretchy pants to allow for the growth of a just conceived food baby). It doesn’t come from the makeup I experiment with, or the food I eat, the trinkets I collect to gather dust in my living room, or the new bag that I bought to match the shoes that also joined the family a few days earlier.
No, it doesn’t come from these things. Not really.
Sure, all of these things can make me happy – but it’s not true joy. It’s a temporary high, and it’s gone just as fast as it comes.
Collecting possessions to bring myself happiness when I am not content within myself first means I will forever be on a search for something I will never find.
And this is where I have gone wrong for most of my life.
Don’t mistake me by thinking that I don’t have a knack for pretty or interesting (or even luxurious) things – clearly, as Louis joined me in the making of this post. But I grew too fond of them, and too beholden to them, that I couldn’t understand why I was never satisfied even though I was surrounded by so much material wealth.
I was unhappy, and it was an unhappiness that brewed from deep within. It took me letting go of a lot of my worldly possessions to begin to realize the err of my ways.
I took a long, hard look in the mirror and began to face everything that I’d buried under a mountain of clothing and shoes. And the more I looked, the more the clothing and shoes disappeared, and the less and less that I missed them. The more I looked, the stronger I craved experience, and memory-making, and getting out into the world to reconnect with what really matters.
Happiness is a journey; it’s not something that comes from things.
It comes from me, and only me. From within myself. It comes from learning all about the facets that have created the being that I am today. It comes from learning to love each of those plates, grouted together – some jagged as rock and some smooth as glass; each just as vital, regardless.
It’s a hard fight to free yourself of the confines of our society. If you’re like I am and you’ve been living within the “Everything Shiny and Everything New” era of today, then you realize how difficult it can be to divorce yourself from it.
I don’t need the newest or the shiniest anymore; I’ve realized there is no magic in those things. The magic and the character come from having been pre-loved, and loved well (hint: this applies to your bags and yourself). The more I think about it, the more I would rather have well-loved and well-known pieces in my collection that tell stories of where I’ve been and the adventures that I’ve had.
It’s a never-ending race to find the best and be the best, but you’re not competing against each other – you’re competing against yourself. You will never see the finish line if you refuse to acknowledge this.
Protect your happiness and learn to walk away. It’s not savage, it is necessary. In a world that will do everything to break you down and keep you unhappy, it is absolutely pertinent.
“Less is more” is the old adage we’ve all more than likely heard many times. I used to always brush it off, thinking nothing of it, but I see now the truth that hides behind it.
Less IS more.
Less technology in your life is more connection.
Less material wealth in your life is more freedom.
Less attention to celebrity media in your life is more love and acceptance of yourself.
Less hatred and jealousy toward your fellow beings is more community and love.
Less negativity in your life is more positivity surrounding you.
Less competition with others is more time for you and the things that really matter.
*None of the items featured in this post are new. They have all been in my closet for relatively some time now, ranging from months to years.*