I tried so hard to be happy, I maxed out the dosage on my antidepressants. I tried so hard to be happy, I meditated for hours, days, years at a time.

I tried so hard to be happy, I read books about how happiness is an illusion and life is suffering.

I tried so hard to be happy, I decided lovemaking was overrated and quit it altogether.

I tried so hard to be happy, I decided happy people were faking it.

I tried so hard to be happy, I thought I could eat my way into it.

I tried so hard to be happy, I told myself that someday it would all make sense.

8 years later it still did not make sense.

So I started running.  And running.  Not running away.  No, running to shake out the stuck.

I ran a marathon.

I stopped doing the things I had told myself I should.  I stopped trying to keep other people happy at the expense of my own.

Ever so slowly, I started to remember what happiness was.  I had been searching for it high and low with nary a sign of it. Then it would sneak up and surprise me out of nowhere, welling from within, starting at my belly button and oozing like warm syrup to my heart.  Spontaneous happiness!?  What?

Seemingly impossible decisions were made.  A marriage died and was buried.

Children were sat down and informed in the gentlest way possible.

Hearts broke forever.

There is no easy way to realize you have been lying to yourself for many years.  But if you are "trying hard" to be happy, it may be a clue that you have forgotten what really makes you happy and gotten stuck thinking this thing SHOULD make you happy.

Have you fallen into this same trap before?  How did  you find your way out?  

Please leave a comment and let me know!

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