Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What's Really Underneath the Thing You Think You Want?

I was talking with a friend recently who was frustrated with the way her husband was handling his to-do list. She wanted him to be more focused on the things that were clearly important to keeping their household running smoothly. But as we talked, it turned out that wasn't really what she wanted at all.

What she wanted was more quality alone time.

So often, the circumstances we want so badly to shift aren't really the keys to our happiness. 

When I moved into our new house, I was struggling so much in the beginning—thinking I would feel better if I had a proper washer and dryer, pets that would remain healthy for more than a week, and a Trader Joes that was closer than my current 35-mile drive. I was convinced that it was convenience I wanted.

But it was actually connection.

Underneath my frustration with the "hardships" of country living was really just a desire to have friends (or my husband who was working out of town) nearby so they could say, "I hear ya," when I said I felt overwhelmed. Or "Let's go on a walk around the block to take your mind off of it."

I wanted companionship.

The beauty of realizing what you *really* want is that you can get to the result you desire much faster. 

When my friend realized she actually wanted more alone time, we brainstormed ways she could get it—regardless of whether her husband took on more responsibility with the family to-do list. When I needed to feel like I wasn't all alone in my new, less-than-convenient living situation, I made it a point to call friends from back home or chat with people in my yoga class to feel more connected.

Getting to the bottom of what you really want to feel—be it freedom or companionship or respect—will allow you to achieve that feeling state without having to change people or shift external circumstances. It will allow you to take back the power and take inspired action to get yourself back to a place of peace and contentment.

Happiness is within your reach at all times. You just have to remember to look under the laundry pile that's sitting on top of it sometimes. 


  1. So you're telling me we didn't need to buy a dryer?

  2. You're silly. No - I needed the dryer AND companionship.