Tag Archives: love

The Source of Happiness

When, after twenty years of marriage, Laura Munson’s husband told her “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.“, she chose to not believe him. Not because it didn’t hurt or that she wasn’t taking it personally, but because this wasn’t about her — it was about unmet expectations.

In yet another touching Modern Love column (is there any other type?), Munson tells an enthralling story of marital and familial disquiet, but also manages to cut to the core of happiness: that the source is not to be found through external validation.

I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control. I’d seen the insanity of that equation and decided to take responsibility for my own happiness. And I mean all of it.

My husband hadn’t yet come to this understanding with himself. He had enjoyed many years of hard work, and its rewards had supported our family of four all along. But his new endeavor hadn’t been going so well, and his ability to be the breadwinner was in rapid decline. He’d been miserable about this, felt useless, was losing himself emotionally and letting himself go physically. And now he wanted out of our marriage; to be done with our family. […]

I saw what had been missing: pride. He’d lost pride in himself. Maybe that’s what happens when our egos take a hit in midlife and we realize we’re not as young and golden anymore.

When life’s knocked us around. And our childhood myths reveal themselves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: it’s not a spouse or land or a job or money that brings us happiness. Those achievements, those relationships, can enhance our happiness, yes, but happiness has to start from within. Relying on any other equation can be lethal.

My husband had become lost in the myth.

Life Advice

Not from a life coach, personal development guru, or some other self-professed expert on life, but from those whose advice I think it’s actually worth paying attention to: those older than you.

First is Life Advice From Old People (via Kottke)–a video blog containing nothing but interviews with a wide range of ‘old’ people, including Farmer Tom, Jon Voight and Errol Morris.

Some more colourful advice comes from The Musty Man (via Ben Casnocha) who, on his 30th birthday, decided to offer some no-nonsense advice to those living in their 20’s. The best of the Musty Man’s advice I’ve read is on relationships, although it’s all great.

As is the standard at MeFi, the advice offered to this recent graduate is more functional and eminently useful. This is one piece of advice I subscribe to wholeheartedly:

Make your bed every day — as soon as you get up. Something about that one small thing sets the tone for the rest of the day; are you going to be lazy, or are you going to get something done?

More concisely, this list of 30 pieces of advice for young men from an old man is fairly good, especially the last item:

97% of all advice is worthless. Take what you can use, and trash the rest.

As for advice from meta-careerists; Ben Casnocha’s thoughts mirror mine perfectly:

The best advice on networking will come from someone who is not a professional networker. The best advice on entrepreneurship will come someone whose entrepreneurship is not selling books and workshops about entrepreneurship. Writers who write about anything other than writing for a living usually have the best advice on writing.

Like many others in my situation (someone attempting to figure out the direction they want their life to go in) I love hearing advice from a diverse range of people. If you have some, or even just a choice quote, please offer it up in the comments. I would appreciate it more than you can imagine.

Letting Go of Love

Worldly advice from Ask MetaFilter.

How do you let go of love? […] For an added level of difficulty, this is a relationship that you don’t really have any bad memories of, so you can’t use those to change the direction of your thoughts.

One piece of advice from me? Originally written as advice on purging book clutter, this is a profound statement that has already helped me in many areas of my life:

De-cluttering involves recognizing that regret is part of life, and being OK with that. Yes, I’ve given away books that I now often wish I still owned. But I’ve also screwed up relationships, made iffy career choices, etc. — you suck it up and move on. If you try to cling to every single thing (material, spiritual, or emotional) that you might need one day in the totally hypothetical future, you’re going to end up bogged down in a lot of stuff.

via Lifehacker