Happiness is an Inside Job
By Bernadette A. Moyer
It has taken a long time for me to understand that happiness is an inside job. It was my husband who taught me this. Overall he is very content and can take or leave most things. Brian has an inner peace and strength about himself. He is always so supportive of me. For more than 15 years, when I was running huge social fundraisers he never missed a single event. He never hung onto me for his good time either. He would circulate and was okay with being in a crowd and with people or by himself.
Through the years people have told me, “you two look good together” but what they could never have known was our back story, our family history. We are very much alike and have a deep understanding on what it is like to move past the limitations of your first family. We also had the same track record in love. Brian and I both had a spouse who died and left us with children and another significant relationship end when they cheated on us and left us for someone else. We know what it is like to be hurt by love.
My husband Brian is one of 6 children, I am one of 5. Neither one of us is close to our siblings. He is the only one who moved away. He grew up in the inner city of Baltimore, in the “hood” the projects. They were really poor as kids. None of his siblings left there, not one of them owns a house or an automobile. He pushed past his initial life circumstances. Brian got an education and continues to educate himself as he is still moving up the corporate ladder.
He is the most responsible of all his siblings. When his mother passed his father had him take over. He isn’t the oldest but was appointed the guardian for his father’s care. Brian learned how to live without his siblings. In childhood family photos most often Brian is on one side of the picture alone in contrast to the other 5 who are grouped together. It appears to have started when he was just a toddler.
I am one of 5 girls and like my husband I have no relationship with my siblings. We weren’t exactly well off as kids either. They have not been in my life for almost 25 years now. And just like my husband they appear when they want to try and bring me down. They presume to know me but have not been in my life for decades. I don’t allow myself to get caught up in their cauldron of hatred.
My husband had and has an easier time accepting that his siblings are not a part of his life. I always wanted my situation to be different; I mourn for how I would have wanted it to be not for how it truly is and was with them. Like my husband’s family they don’t add anything positive to my life.
It took a long time for me to learn that my happiness was my responsibility. Mine alone. I have so many friends and even more acquaintances. Every job I ever held was in a highly social setting. Many people have lifted me up. And I have been called “inspirational” by more than a few people.
No matter how many people enhance our lives, we come into this world alone and we leave it alone. Today I am probably more content and happier than I have ever been. It isn’t based on other people or on things but truly comes from self-love and self-acceptance. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses. I know who I am and I know my truth. I have an easier time discarding those relationships that are unhealthy and non- supportive.
Accepting that my happiness is my responsibility has allowed me to create an inner peace of love supported by my own strength. I don’t know why it took me so long to understand that everything I ever needed was already there inside of me. Better late than never … I suppose …
What I would say to anyone who is unhappy is you need to fix that. You alone have all the tools to be happy. It is there and it is inside of you. People may try and bring you down and may try to hurt you but that is their unhappiness and not yours.
We are all responsible for the life choices we make and the way we live our life. If it isn’t right for you, then it just isn’t right. Change it. No one can make you happy, no one, but you.
Happiness is an inside job!