Appreciate What You Have, Then Expand Into More


If you want more joy in your life...and a relationship...start by enjoying what you currently have.

You're walking down the street on a beautiful Spring day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and a gentle breeze of sweet air is blowing through the trees. Everything is perfect in this moment, and you feel the magic of the Universe come alive.  But then, a thought pops into your head:  This is such an amazing moment, if only I had a boyfriend to share this with me.  And then, suddenly, your mood shifts.  You go from being happy and peaceful, to being sad and anxious.  What happened?

So often we focus our attention on the things we don't have, rather than noticing and appreciating the things we do have. A lot of this has to do with our American culture, no doubt. Marketing has done a great job of convincing us that we are not really happy right now...that in order to experience *true* happiness, we must have whatever they are selling. Only then will you be truly happy, as if that *thing* is some magical key that unlocks your door of happiness.  They do this with cars, retirement accounts, technology, sex, drugs, and even love. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for a new dating site that promised you unlimited joy and happiness by finding the love of your life on their site?

We've become so accustomed to this, that we no longer even need outside marketers to remind us of our current unhappiness and need for something else. We now do it ourselves. Whenever we feel a moment of happiness, we quickly remind ourselves that we can't possibly be truly happy because we don't have a boyfriend yet, and the new iPhone just came out and we can't afford it, and we have no plans for dinner tonight. And if only we had those things right now, *then* we would be truly happy.  But here's the irony...you can never have it all. Because no matter what you have, there will be always more to get. Our Universe is infinitely abundant; there is always more to expand into and accept into our lives. So when do you have enough to just be happy right now?

The answer is...you have enough already.  Right here, right now, you have everything you need to be happy.  The trick is to appreciate what you do have. Are you alive? Yes. Be grateful for that. Do you have a home to go back to and a bed to sleep in? Yes. Be grateful for that.  Do you have enough money to put food on your table? Yes. Be grateful for that. Do you have family and friends that care about you and love you?  Yes. Be grateful for that.  Because they matter.  And if you don't appreciate what you have now...well, how will you appreciate anything new that enters your life? You won't, and so you will always be looking for the next "fix" to bring you happiness and never take inventory of what you already have.  The Universe responds in kind, knowing that you are not ready to expand.  Once you can truly appreciate what you do have, then, and only then, can you expand to take on more.

How can we learn to appreciate what we have? By learning to live in the present moment.  Know that, in this present moment, at this exact moment, you are alive and everything is at peace.  There is no stress and no fear, because stress and fear live in the past which no longer exists, and in the future which doesn't yet exist. There is no lack, because lack is an illusion of something we are missing...and right now we have everything we need to live and enjoy the moment.  Only we can experience the power of this moment, and no outside thing can really bring that to us.  Your boyfriend cannot bring you the peace and joy that you experience in this moment.  Nor can an iPhone, or a car, or a retirement account. The joy and abundance and love radiate from within you. YOU are the true key to your own happiness.

So next time you are feeling the lack of something in your life, remember that this lack is just an illusion. You don't really need anything else to be happy - not a boyfriend, not a car, not more money. You have everything you need, right here right now. Appreciate what you have. And then expand.

This article was originally published at Gay Love Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.