At a leadership workshop I attended recently, we did an exercise in which I had to introduce myself to a group of people with my name and with something that is true about who I am.
Here’s what I said: Hi, my name is Rachel and I am really happy.
When I got home from the workshop, I started writing this post about happiness. That was three weeks ago. For whatever reason, every time I thought about hitting the “Publish Online” button, I could never follow through –I felt too guilty about what I was saying.
Today I woke up and realized that I should not feel guilty about my happiness. It is something that I’ve worked really hard to find and that I work really hard to keep. Mainly, though, happiness is not something to hide because it is really important to share with others.
As Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Eat Pray Love, “You must grab onto the ankles of happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt–this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life no matter how slight.”
So, while everything in my world is not perfect and I am not smiling (out loud :D) all day long, I make no apologies or qualifications before saying that…
I am really happy.
Because of that, I work harder than when I was “fine” or unhappy–because I enjoy my work. I am now free to do things, not because I want to be better, but because I love it. Because I am passionate about it, and it gives me joy. Because it’s a miracle that I even can do it and that I have people around me who support me.
I am content with myself, because I recognize that “striving for perfection” is based on someone else’s idea of what “perfect” is … and that’s ridiculous. Perfect is who you are, not who someone else says you should be.
Thus, I want you to share with you this: I believe you’re already good enough, you already have more than enough, and you’re already perfect. You already have everything you need to be happy, right here and right now. Now is the time to rejoice in the way things are.
Now, stop reading this blog, and go be happy! You deserve to be happier than Buddha, too :D
Smile out loud,