Everything we need to experience joy is inside us. When we seek it outside of ourselves, we miss the mark. When we defer the responsibility to someone else, eventually we find that they will repeatedly fail at the task — because it isn’t their job; it’s ours.
So many of us are looking for happiness in books, things, relationships, experiences. While they can, indeed, provide a sense of satisfaction and might even be part of our individual recipe for fulfillment, they’ll never fill the gap that remains when we don’t ourselves tend to the work of satisfying our inner lives.
Last week, I served as a facilitator for an all-girl middle school retreat and presented a workshop on joy. It was such an awesome experience that really lightened my heart. I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.
Considering my audience, I decided to create a workshop on happiness. Middle school was one of the most hellish phases of my life, with far-reaching ramifications that extended far beyond the secondary education phase. Well, it turns out middle school just might be hellish for a lot of folks. I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned with them in hopes of it being impactful, sticking, and prevent some of the self-esteem battering so many of us experience at that age.
Middle schoolers aren’t the only ones struggling to be happy, though, so I figured I’d post something about it.