Once upon a time in a land far away, 25 years ago on the other side of Florida, I did something outrageously stupid. In the midst of an emotionally charged argument, a man asked me what I wanted. My exact reply: “I want to get married and be happy!
The moment is burned into my brain. We were between his car and the front door of my house. I was in pain because our relationship was falling apart and my lifelong dream of getting married and being happy was slipping away. I was stupid with desperation.
I kid you not, his response was, “I’m off a week from Friday. Let’s get married.” I’m willing to bet there have been very few full weddings pulled off as quickly and for as little cash. Church, gown, veil, shoes, flowers for the entire family, cake, suit for his son, appropriate dress/stockings/shoes for his daughter, professional hairstyling, reception at the church complete with all the trimmings. Pulled it together in 11 days for under a thousand dollars.
Maybe it wasn’t stupid. Maybe there is a kinder word for it. Frantic? Hungry? Ill-advised? Not at all advised, as a matter of fact. I didn’t ask anyone’s opinion. I saw my chance to GET married and BE happy and was blinders-on for the finish line. The fact that I forgot to invite any of my friends, or even tell them, might have been a lovely warning if I had been paying attention.
Hindsight being the valuable tool that it is, I can tell you exactly what went wrong. I had a severe case of emotional dyslexia. I had reversed the order of things. I believed that I could GET married and BE happy, in that order.
I have discovered that no amount of goals attained will make me happy. Nothing I can GET will magically make me BE happy. Getting married didn’t make me BE happy. Getting the dream house he bought for us didn’t make me BE happy (as a matter of fact, I’ve never been UNhappier than I was in that dream home.) Starting my own business and getting self-employed didn’t make me BE happy. Getting financial independence didn’t make me BE happy.
Happiness is one of those wretched conundrums. The more it is chased, the harder it is to acquire. The more it is attached to other things, the less those other things will be able to deliver it. Damn riddle. It was beyond me. I didn’t understand that I had to BE happy in order to GET real value in life.
Not surprisingly, I didn’t GET happy in the divorce, either. Double damn.
Sometime after that, I began to understand that the only way for me to GET happy was to decide to BE happy. I really didn’t want to exert that much effort. I was a very negative person, complaining was a hobby; being happy was a lot of work and responsibility. It also involved doing things that I had been taught were selfish, self-centered, self-serving, and a lot of other evil, bitchy things.
I’ve always been stubborn, hard-headed, and a little too driven. For whatever reason, that drive applied itself to being happy. I started breaking the rules I had been taught. Instead of waiting for someone to read my mind and notice my longing, I started asking for what I wanted. Instead of serving myself last, I started serving myself first. I played more and worked less. I started living from authenticity instead of obligation.
I lost a lot of friends. I made new ones. Life seemed chaotic, but it was all working itself out. I found Life Coaching, the Standards of Presence, and a whole new way of being. I realized the emotional dyslexia I had been living, and took steps to change it. I’ve heard many times that awareness is the biggest step; I believe it is true.
Get This Be That is the greatest formula for failure. Nobody gets the high-end sports car and becomes immediately adored by the opposite sex. They GET the car and the only thing they’re going to BE is making payments.
The reverse formula, BE This GET That, actually works. I haven’t perfected it yet, but I have noticed that the more I BE happy, the more I GET good relationships, thriving clients, and all kinds of magical abundance falling into my life. I wrote an article a long time ago, Giggling Green Lights; it still makes me smile because it was a lesson in the value of BEing. (I’ll post the link as soon as I fix the broken website I discovered this morning!)
If you are still on the fence, or even on the other side of the fence, I invite you to try it. What have you got to lose? How well has Get This Be That served you in the last few decades? Give BE This GET That a week, maybe even a month. BE what you always hoped all that getting would get you, and let me know what you actually do GET, ok? I’ll be waiting for your comments below.