Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Happiness Comes From Within

Stand in Your Power and Embrace It!

Happiness is being in tune with your inner self, and being aware of that which makes you content from the core of your being.

We spend our lives trying to earn enough money, buy the right things, or be in specific relationships to make us happy. But when we believe that happiness lies outside of ourselves — in the stuff that we can get with the money we earn or who we can attract because of it or what we’ve accomplished, we can lose sight of the thing that is inside of each of us that that lights us up.

We had an eternal spark of joy when we were small. It didn’t take much for us to entertain ourselves by ourselves. Our curiosity led the way. But somewhere along the way, we lost that spark. We felt the need to hide who we were to be accepted. We began to compare ourselves and stopped speaking our minds for fear of becoming an outcast. We stopped following our hearts and our curiosity.

Some of us have found it again, and others don’t even know it’s missing. I’ve rediscovered my spark, but from time to time, I lose it (temporarily). Last night I found it again.

I was on a date with Tomy. He was a man I met online, and he seemed to hold promise. In some ways, he reminded me of me a few years ago. Tomy was a go-getter. His online dating profile spelled out, in detail, what he was looking for and how he operated in a relationship. He was not all about taking the time to get to know someone over text messages or even phone calls (one twenty-minute call was enough to ask me on a date).

That’s how I found myself having coffee with him later that same day.

He seemed in a rush to meet me, meet someone, who he could call his sweetheart, and fill an empty place in his life. Tomy was polite, but almost business-like in getting to know me. It seemed different from other dates I’d been on, but each date is different. I liked him well enough after our first date, so we decided to go on a second one.

I’d expressed to him that I’d like there to be more time between dates to allow for there to be a bit of mystery or intrigue. He said he’d heard me, but still pushed to meet the following day. Despite what my intuition was telling me, I agreed, and we went bowling the very next day. I figured I could find out more about him and see if there would be a third date more quickly. After all, I told him that I wanted there to be a little more space to allow the relationship to unfold. A third date, if there were to be one, wouldn’t be right on the heels of this second one. I was sure of it.

Unfortunately, Tomy’s assertiveness, which I interpreted as a sense of lack or neediness, was on full display during date #2. After we bowled one round, he asked me if it might be possible for me to be his boyfriend. At this point, I didn’t see anything off about him. He was a man who knew what he wanted and was inclined to take action and not wait for someday. So I replied, “Perhaps in the future we could be boyfriend and girlfriend.” Then I added quickly, “Once we get to know each other better.”

After bowling, we went for drinks, where he asked about our online dating profiles. “Do you think we should turn off our dating profiles?”

“Of course, once I’m in a relationship with someone and we’ve decided we want to see only one another, it makes sense to shut down our profiles.”

“Well, then, how about it? I’m ready to shut down my profile.” He responded.

Now I was annoyed. I’d told Tomy that I liked for a relationship to evolve more slowly over time to see what feelings and emotions arose. He’d said he heard me and understood.

Then he asked about him being my boyfriend. A question that was a hypothetical, something that could be a future reality, and I thought that was in bounds.

But this question about turning off our dating profiles after two dates seemed extreme to me. He’d shown me some good qualities and some qualities that could be seen as good (like his tendency for quick action), but which at that moment I didn’t particularly like. The fact of the matter was I didn’t know him well enough to say yes or no. And it was hard for me to believe that he knew me well enough to make that decision either. I was in no way ready to commit to a relationship with him.

In that instant, I got the sense he was desperate. It seemed to me that he was looking to a relationship to feed him and make him happy. If he could check this box off, then all would be well.

I have grown in so many ways. I, too, wanted a relationship, but not one simply to say I had a man. I’d already shown my strength in expressing how I like a friendship to unfold, whether he heard my opinion, or cared about it, was another story. I no longer felt happy around him and I didn’t feel heard. I knew there was no future for us.

Faced with his insensitivity for my desires in a relationship, I was able to move on. I didn’t hem and haw, saying to myself, Well, maybe it could work out. Or He really likes me; I might not be able to find someone better. Instead, I ended our date, saying, “Thank you for a nice evening, Tomy. I think we are looking for two different things. Good luck to you.”

He tried to protest, saying, “Patricia, you misunderstood me. I didn’t ask you to take down your dating profile; I was just asking if you would if we got serious.”

I smiled at him, and not wanting to get into a long protracted debate or argument, I walked to my car. I said to myself, No, no misunderstanding…at least not on my part anyway.

We are in control of our own happiness. Relationships or material things might enhance it, but they do not create it for us. When we recognize this, then we can be true to ourselves and lean on our own strength, understanding that we are enough and knowing that something better is coming our way.

That night I slept like a baby, and I awoke feeling in control of myself and my life. Not empty or alone as I had before when potential relationships hadn’t gone to the next level.

I look at this experience as nothing but positive. I went into the second date with my eyes and intuition wide open, and I stood in my power. A power that ignites my own happiness.

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Bold, fledgling entrepreneur, author, podcast host Discovering Courage, Finding Freedom, Living in France! Adventures.Insights. Stories. thecouragecatalyst.com

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Patricia Brooks

Patricia Brooks

Bold, fledgling entrepreneur, author, podcast host Discovering Courage, Finding Freedom, Living in France! Adventures.Insights. Stories. thecouragecatalyst.com

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