I recently took a mindfulness class to manage a medical condition. It's not a hippydippy thing - studies have shown that mindfulness and meditation can be an effective treatment for things like chronic pain and tinnitus.
During the last few weeks I have been practising meditation, learned body scanning and breathing techniques. I spend a lot of time focusing on being present, the state of my body and accepting things as they are.
With that process came reflection. I began to think about my life; what makes me happy, what makes me sad and how do I deal with the challenges that we all face?
So I asked myself, if my life ended at this very moment, what scenes would flash before my eyes? At which moments in my life was I truly happy?
The moments I remembered were on horseback, I was challenged and overcame my own fears, I achieved goals, I danced in mosh pits, I failed but I did not give up. I was welcomed and appreciated for who I was. I was loved. But this is what struck me - there were no relationships, not a single "he loves me, yeah yeah yeah" (as The Beatles would say) moment.
That's not to say that those moments are not important (they are) but they were not powerful enough to make it to the top ten, if you know what I mean.
That made me think. Maybe I've going about it the wrong way all these years. True happiness does not come from a lover. True happiness comes from me.
I have been placing my happiness in other people's hands. I see that know.
But that also means that I can reach out and take it back.
Because I am enough. All I need to be happy is me.