I used to think having the perfect body would bring me happiness. It would bring me joy, it would make me ‘enough’.
I got the perfect body (or as close to it as possible), and still felt like joy, happiness, and ‘enoughness’ were missing.
In fact, when I was my leanest, smallest, and fittest my marriage was the most unhealthy it had ever been.
I was the most selfish I had been.
When I realized I couldn’t keep going the way I was, and ‘let myself go’ a little, I found a weird freedom.
I felt like I could breathe, catch my breath, relax a little, but realized I still had those same fears and desires… to be happy, joy filled, enough. I started chasing success in work. It didn’t take long before I noticed the same unhealthy obsession and patterns as when I was pursuing a perfect body.
The enoughness, the happiness, the joy…it comes right here, right now in this moment right where your feet are. It comes from inside. It’s not in a number on the scale, your bank account, your likes, or in any relationship with another human being. The happiness, the joy, the enoughness comes from a healthy relationship with yourself. A sense of belonging to yourself. And being comfortable being you. Not the version of yourself you think you need to be.
Even if you lost the weight or hit the goal, you’re still going to be fighting for more…if you can’t be happy, joy filled, content, in the body you’ve got now, in the relationship you’re in, or the job you have, you never will be.
Is contentment the same thing as giving up?
For many, the fear is that being content means we’ve simply given up or sold ourselves short.
We might fear the whispers of what others will say or think about us for “letting ourselves go”. But more than anything maybe we fear actually having true joy, peace, happiness, because then you run the risk of losing it.
No matter what I am chasing, if I’m doing it to add anything to myself or to make me more enough, I will never reach it.
Instead of pursuing our goals and dreams so that we can have whatever it is we are seeking, we must pursue them FROM the place of already being enough. When we can work on our health from that place, we can find peace that even if we don’t reach the goal, we still make progress. Even if we don’t have the fairy tale marriage, we still have a great one.
As long as you’re doing the things from that place of needing them to make you happy or content, it will never come.
You can’t control the outcome no matter what you try.
But, you can control what you think, feel, and experience here and now.
Who’s to say ‘there’ would be better anyway? I’ve been ‘there’ in my body, and I was miserable. On the surface I thought I was happy. But I wanted to run away from my life, from my marriage.
I thought the grass was greener on the other side. Turns out, the grass is greener where you water it.
It’s time to work, work, work…
Set out to work on yourself. Not in the superficial way, in the deep way. For me, I started reading books, listening to podcasts, found mentors.
You’ve got to develop new thoughts about your circumstances, your body, your marriage.
Craft a new belief: there is NOTHING you or I could do, achieve, or have that would make us more loved, enough, prized than we already are.
Redefine what success looks like for you in each area of your life.
The worldly view is hard to escape. Our old views of success keep creeping in. That is why you need to deeply connect with yourself and how you want to define success in your life.
The thief of your joy + the antidote
Comparisonitis is another thing that will derail you from making lasting progress. Do what you must to guard your heart and mind from this thief. Comparing yourself is not only a waste of time, but literally makes no one feel better about themselves.
Do you need to unfollow some people? Do it.
Gratitude is another amazing weapon against the comparison trap. Be grateful for what you have. Forget what she has, what she’s doing, or what she looks like. What can you be truly thankful for today? Find joy in those things by celebrating them today.
Defining success on your own terms allows you to run your own race. You’re free to be radically yourself.
Staying present and grateful for what you do have in this moment lets you find joy in the journey. You’re no longer waiting until the ‘after’ to live the life you want to live or be the woman you were created to be.
The journey is the gift, and the sweet spot is enjoying the process while you work toward the destination.