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Tiny Wisdom: On Being Happy with What You Have

“Until you make peace with who you are, you will never be content with what you have.” -Doris Mortman

When I was a little girl, before I learned to question myself or my abilities, I decided that one day I would have it all.

I imagined I’d be a famous actress, I’d marry the man of my dreams, and we’d have and adopt lots of children that we’d take around the world, à la Brad and Angelina.

As I got older and allowed my failures to chisel away at my self-confidence, I slowly stopped believing I could have anything I wanted, let alone “it all.” As my self-worth decreased, my drive increased to compensate.

It was a horrible catch 22. I strove for greatness because I felt so inadequate, yet because I didn’t believe in myself, it was nearly impossible to accomplish anything. If I did achieve something, it felt wholly unsatisfying because I was too busy dreaming of “it all” to appreciate and enjoy its parts.

There are still days when I catch myself running like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to mold reality into a fantasy. That’s when I remember what that starry-eyed little girl hadn’t yet learned: I don’t want it all. I want to believe that I already possess all that I need to be happy.

I do. We all do.

We just forget sometimes, when we get so wrapped up in what we want that we forget to give ourselves what we need, both for our minds and bodies.

Happiness and self-love are moment-to-moment choices. There will inevitably be times when we don’t make them. The beautiful thing is that every moment is a new opportunity to choose again. Every moment is a chance to apply what we’ve learned.

Maybe not all of it all at once. Maybe that’s okay. We don’t need to have it all. We don’t need to do it all. We don’t need to be it all. We just need to have the courage to do what we can, and be happy with that.


Photo by Chez Casver

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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