Like many people, I used to think that when I finally got the husband/job/salary/house/car/Brazilian weave/Prada bag/Jimmy Choo shoes/lose weight… I would finally be happy. Well, several years later I have most of those things (still hoping for the Jimmy Choos) but I must admit I am STILL looking for happiness.
More recently, I have become aware that happiness is not so much about the things I acquire; rather it comes from the inside out and encompasses more than the physical; it also includes my mental/emotional and spiritual state.
This is because human beings are not one-dimensional. So for me (and everyone else) to experience true happiness, we must consider ourselves as whole beings made up of physical, mental/emotional and spiritual components.
Considering the everyday struggles we face, that sounds like a really delicate balance and it’s no surprise that so few have managed to achieve it. And no wonder we all get shocked whenever someone who appears to have it all together – great job, car, house, spouse, friends etc – has a mental breakdown.
I once heard someone say that the human body is not good at hiding whatever is going on inside. So no matter how many lotions and potions we use, if we have unresolved ‘issues’, they will end up showing in one way or another – through acne, rashes, insomnia, depression or recurrent illnesses that doctors just can’t seem to pin down and treat.
Here’s another startling truth – you cannot hide mental/emotional or spiritual problems for long. Eventually, they will manifest, and usually as physical symptoms. For instance, you could be fearful of something negative happening to you. This could be losing your job, getting robbed, experiencing an earthquake, or you could even be afraid of the dark!
This constant state of anxiety keeps you on edge and might lead to an inability to sleep, which might in turn affect your appetite and compromise your overall physical health. The lack of sleep could also affect your productivity at work, which could see you fired – the very thing you feared in the first place! And if you have people around you who don’t understand, this could lead to emotional problems as well.
Seeking medical attention may alleviate the physical symptoms but not solve the real problem, which is fear. So in this case, your state of mind (mental/emotional) ends up affecting your whole life. While all this is happening, you could be living what appears to be the dream life… but you are actually miserable!
That is what makes wellbeing such an elusive but much sought after state – if you want it, you must look at the whole, and sometimes people don’t want to go too deep into themselves lest they discover things they don’t like, or because they have buried painful experiences and are not ready, or willing, to exhume them.
And so my search continues. I am currently working on my diet and exercise as well as exploring and building my faith. Most recently, I have begun to examine and challenge the beliefs I have always held about life, and the results are very interesting. I am not there yet, but I believe I am finally on the way to achieving what I was looking for. And I am enjoying the journey.