Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A-Z Challenge: H - Happiness is an Inside Job

Happiness is an inside job. No other person, place or thing can make you happy. If you're like me, and grew up on fairytales, hoping to live happily ever after once you found your prince or princess, this concept is difficult to accept. It goes contrary to everything society reveals to us: Hollywood, romance novels, we're all suckers for happy endings.

But real life simply doesn't work that way. More than 50% of marriages end in divorce, etc. etc. So it's up to us to find the ways to bring ourselves joy and inner peace. For me, this has been a lifelong process.
And now, I finally have the tools and wisdom to know what to do.

If someone says or does something to hurt me, I find the words or actions I need to bring peace to myself - not to the other person - but to me. If I am agitated, I have a toolbox to turn to to figure out why.

As I quote in my memoir, "living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all we see," from the Beatles Strawberry Fields. I spent too many years living on auto-pilot, frozen inside myself. Now, although pain, anger, sadness and other negative things inevitably come into my life, so do those happy moments. All we can do is savor them.



Mason Canyon said...

Karen, a very inspiring post. You pointed out something we all need to remember - "No other person, place or thing can make you happy." I think sometimes we depend on others to do the job for us.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Thoughts in Progress

Murees Dupé said...

Wonderful post. You have a very inspiring attitude and outlook on life.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I agree happiness come from within.

Have a good week-end.

Retired Knitter said...

Excellent posting and I totally agree. It is hard to keep focused on that fact at times, but true just the same.

AlexOngNYC said...

Well said, and an ethos I share.

Alex from Breakfast Every Hour was here.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Beautiful post. So often, we crave the approval of others as though our happiness hinged on it. How liberating it is to realize that the key to happiness was inside of us all the time.

Joanne said...

That should be a motto ... Happiness is an inside job. How very true that is. It all stems from the heart, doesn't it.

Michelle Gregory said...

just saw on Olivia's blog that you're an HSP?? nice to meet another one.

Karen Walker said...

Mason, thanks so much. Nice to see you here.
Murees, thank you so much.
Yvonne, yes, it does.
Retired Knitter, yes, I have to remind myself of this quite often.
Alex, thank you.
Susan, it is liberating.
Joanne, it was a slogan I learned in the 12-step program.
Michelle, I have to read up more on HSP before saying for sure, but it sure sounds like it.

Joyce Lansky said...

Great post. I've seen different people relate to problems in many ways. Yes, how we handle events gives us our levels of happiness.

I clicked on your site through my "Surprise Me" button for the AtoZ Challenge.

If you have a moment, please check out my Letter H post on Historical Humor.


doreen said...

Very truthful post. So many do not realize if they cannot make themselves happy they can never be happy with another.
I love the saying two half people do not make a whole marriage; 2 whole people make a healthy marriage.

Lucy Adams said...

One of the most important things about happiness is that when we choose to take responsibility for our own happiness, and let our spouses, friends and family off the hook, we're then willing to let the people we love pursue the things that make them happy. There's a lot of freedom in happiness.


Found you through the A to Z challenge.

Anne K. Albert said...

Happiness IS an inside job. Funny how I've always believed that, yet never quite found the words to express it. Perfect!

Laura Pauling said...

That happiness on the inside is like peace and joy. Happiness is in the moment but even through out hard times we can have peace and contentment. Hollywood is so contrary to real life!

GigglesandGuns said...

The title says it all profoundly.

Better is Possible said...

You got it and you've said it well. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Sounds like we have some similar thoughts.

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Inspiring Blog Award.
Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.

Hannah Roderick said...

Lovely post and a great reminder for me. Thanks for following and great to meet you in this A to Z challenge.

Happiness truly does come from within. The challenge is finding out how to get it. For some people - before it's too late. If you have advice on that it would be great too.

I'll keep watching, so thank you.

Hannah Roderick: People Watch

Grammy said...

hi, Karen, You are so correct...happiness comes from withing, and we decide if we are going to let circumstances rule our happiness or if we are going to decide to be happy. Good post. Thanks Ruby

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

Hi Karen, Try refreshing the page and look under Inspiring Blog Award. I really want you to get it. You deserve this award.

Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Your first line is so true!!

MISH said...

Hey Karen ~~ lovely post ~ and you're so right , happiness is a choice , a choice only we can make for ourselves !


Mary said...

Hi! Fellow A-Zer stopping by to say hi! Great post, very inspirational. Happiness is so elusive to some while others seem to overflow with it. Bad things have happened to all -- it's all in the attitude and mindset of the person.

Helen Ginger said...

Wonderful post, Karen. And I just downloaded that song the other day!

K.C. Woolf said...

Insightful and inspiring. Thank you!

Karen Walker said...

Joyce, thanks, and I did click your link and check it out. Hilarious.
Doreen, I'd forgotten that saying. It's so true.
Lucy, yes, freedom for all concerned. Important to remember that.
Anne, I can't claim the words as mine, but they're wonderful.
Laura, true as well. Thanks.
Giggles And guns - yup, it does
Better is possible, yes it does sound like there are similarities
Dierdre, I am humbled and thank you so much. I picked it up and will post it tomorrow.
Diane, I can't take credit for the saying Happiness is an inside job - learned it in the 12-step programs
Hannah and Grammy, thank you both so much.
Michelle, thanks a bunch
Mary, thanks for the visit and thoughtful comment
Helen, I love that song and its sentiment
K.C., thank you!

Josie said...

A wonderful post, and so true! My life has been a similar walk, and I've also finally found the path to peace and self-acceptance. We can't change others, and sometimes we can't change what happens in our lives, but we can change how we respond to it. I really enjoy reading your insights and inspiration here and I'll be back for more!
~Josie Two Shoes~
Two Shoes In Texas 
Monday Memories
Write A Letter Wednesday
Words In Motion

Jennifer Shirk said...

I love your attitude! Very inspiring!

KjM said...

Perfect Beatles quote - and a line I've always liked.

What you outline is wondrously simple - such a pity "simple" doesn't always mean "easy", no? But, it's true, the tools are there (although it can take a lifetime to acquire them) to deal with hurt. Time and practice.

Great post.

Cruella Collett said...

This is veryvery true. Words to live by!