The road to finding peace and happiness is never straight. At least it wasn’t for me and those I’ve known who’ve spent years of their own meandering on a similar journey.

None of us are born angry, miserable, weak, unworthy, afraid, anxious, or insecure. Those are things we can become. Sometimes you can define the catastrophic moment when the world rose up and took away the peace and happiness you entered this world with. Sometimes, though, we look back and can find no specific reason why the peace and happiness we are looking for ever went away in the first place.

It’s surreal walking through your empty life surrounded by everyone else who have their lives all figured out and are moving forward. That’s what I assumed…everyone else around me living their life in a snow globe of peace and happiness and I was the only one on the outside looking in, tapping on the glass, no clue of how or if I’d ever be one of them.

FILLING THE CRACKS Searching for peace and happiness is painfully confusing for the others watching you search. They just don’t understand your struggle to find what they’ve never had to look for. Not having your struggle be understood is often as difficult as the struggle itself.

Being a searcher certainly puts tremendous structural pressures on relationships. We hope others will fill the emotional voids we feel we have in our life, filling the cracks with the love and acceptance we often aren’t willing to give ourselves. When we rely upon others to complete us we are assuming they have the emotional capacity and strength to weather not only their own storms but ours as well. Quite the burden, don’t you think?

The individual peace and happiness we all seek can’t come from someone else.

Those are the two gifts only you can give to yourself.

Peace and happiness come from perhaps an overlooked source. Love. More specifically self-love. Chapter one in the Big Book of Peace and Happiness is entitled “Self Love”. Until you master chapter one there is no sense in moving on to chapter two.

WHERE IS THE LOVE? I never contemplated the level of love I had for myself. Honestly, who ever does? But in my prolonged search for the ever-elusive peace and happiness I was able to finally discover the primary source of my own misery:

Me.

We can all be quite hard on ourselves. And I was no exception. I would often hold myself to unforgiving standards and expectations and, damn it, I was going to hold myself accountable. Failing to meet these demands would usually result in the voices in my head reminding me of my habitual nature of letting myself down. Ouch.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Look at your relationship with yourself. When things don’t go the way you hoped do you beat yourself down or are you there to pick yourself up? Is that voice in your head compassionate and loving toward you or is it reinforcing thoughts of doubt, fear, and unworthiness?

The compassion and love we are so willing to give to others is readily available to give to ourselves. All are worthy to receive such compassion and love. Especially from ourselves. The thoughts we’ve used against us can easily be changed to thoughts which remind us of our divine creation and our inherent worthiness to rejoice in this thing called life! Yes, life is difficult and fraught with challenges. So shouldn’t we learn to be supportive and loving of the one person we will spend every minute of our life with?

The peace and happiness we seek is a gift we’ve had within us all along. We simply need to open and accept it.

Love yourself…there is no good reason not to.

Accept yourself…you’re perfectly beautiful as you already are.

Forgive yourself…you did the best you could.

Be patient with yourself…growth takes time.

Celebrate yourself…just because.

Hold yourself to the highest standard:

Love.

It’s a great day to be you!

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