From the inside, our "I'll be happy whens..." make so much sense. Who doesn't want more out of life? Aren't we supposed to set goals & chase dreams? And isn't the point of all that to be happier when we've achieved them?
But in all the dream chasing and often times dream CATCHING I've done, I noticed something. Even when I get exactly what I am after, there is always something more to want. A newer version. A bigger, brighter, shinier one than I have now. The next great thing-a-ma-bob. A problem to solve. A gap to fill.
And that's when I realized...in all this dreaming & goal setting, it was never the THING I was after in the first place. It was the BECAUSE.
Think about it. Every "I'll be happy when..." statement is followed by a silent "Because..."
The one I always struggled with the most (and still do on rough days) is the old classic, "I'll be happy when...I have a boyfriend who loves me."
Why do I want that boyfriend? "BECAUSE...it will prove I am lovable. It will show that even though I have been told I am bossy, intense, intimidating, mean, rude, selfish, loud, weird, inappropriate, not serious enough, that I lack compassion, move too fast, need to be calmer, & could stand to lose 15 pounds...I am still lovable. Because underneath it all I am just a girl who wants to be loved like everyone else...and that I am indeed, worth loving."
I realized that in the pursuit of finding a loving relationship (my THING), I was becoming exactly the woman who would attract my BECAUSE!! The search & struggle to find love has helped me be more open, loving, kind, compassionate, and totally okay with my brand of weirdness. To accept who I am. To love ME. And when I started loving me, faults & all (truth be told, I AM intense), I became lovable.
I have found exactly the kind of love & support I was seeking in a boyfriend. It just happens to come from non-boyfriends!! Closer connections with my family. Deeper relationships with my friends. Friendships with my colleagues. And bonds with people I have never met face to face but who so "get me" that it's hard to believe we haven't known each other for decades! My BECAUSE is happening daily, even though the THING has never materialized (although in full disclosure, I really, really still hope to have a wonderful boyfriend someday. I know you're out there. Just sayin'...).
Turns out it was the journey to see who I would become on the way to finding what I wanted that I was truly after.
So now, instead of asking myself "What do I want?" as I think about what's next in my life, I ask, "Who do I want to become?"
Such a more rewarding question! Give it a try.
Who do YOU want to become?