If I could only say I’ve learned one thing having a hardcore yogi as a partner it would be this:
You can’t fake being happy.
It’s a big sentence and it’s an even bigger issue in my world, and in the world of so many people. When I judge others I see it all the time….;) Really though I wonder sometimes how happy people are. Are they smiling because the they are truly having fun with the people around them? Or is it some kind of charade being acted out in a lifelong game?
The latter can be true, I know this first hand. Before Yoga Husbanding I had a pretty easy life. I had the usual childhood shit; fitting in, fights with friends, scraped knees (a lot), no one wants to have sex with me…you know life garbage. Although for the most part my upbringing was pretty uneventful as far my eyes could see. So I thought I was happy, that was my default. Only choosing to do the things which made me smile and involved playing and laughing with friends.
It wasn’t until yoga and self reflection became intertwined into my life that I could see another angle on life. I can smile a jokes from people I hate for days. Fake it till it seems real you know? Being a tradesmen put me into a lot of these kinds of situations, more times than should be allowed. Spending large amounts of time with folks you do not align with is most definitely something which takes practice. I was practiced. At pretending.
Then yoga wifey over here decided to start adjusting her life and those people she shared it with. No discrimination, just flat out asking if they made you happy. Who in your life makes you happy? I bet the list is shorter than you would think. In no way did she start dropping friends or start cutting ties reactively, yet I watched her begin to choose. As a close friend of mine says, it’s one of our superpowers as adults, we get to choose who we spend our time with. We get to choose our friends.
As I watched this begin to happen, along with learning to meditate and one crazy weekend I’ll get into at a later date, I could see her true happiness begin to alter. Her smile became as bright as ever, and if you know Kaitlin that means a lot. Her professional life started to flourish and she was nicer to me. Fort McMurray, where we were living at the time, became home to her. Really? Yes, really. The place we had mutual annoyance for, a place we were emprisioned to make money for a few years so then we could be happy down the road. She was starting to like it?! This hit me for real, like a punch in the guts. To me Fort Mac was the problem and that was just the way it was. This act in listening to your own inner voice and asking if I was actually happy was one of the first BIG Yoga Husband moments.
Of course I said I was, on the surface. I was making money, and working for my future, it was a manly thing to do, but the expense was my present day. The only moments I had were being bet on the future, present life had become something I put as as after thought for this “future” I imagined. Yet if we are honest, I may never get to see that future….morbid as shit I know, but it’s true. We all die, get over it.
As soon as this realization came flooding in I knew something needed to change. I could see that my life was a little off. That I was treating my life like a coked out, loudmouthed, half drunk know-it-all at a construction site I had spent so much time “getting to know”. I was faking it. To be polite and make things run smoothly I was faking being happy. I had a lot to be happy about for real, but I skipped it to look ahead to some glorious future that didn’t exist yet.
How is that ok? I hated faking it to get along with a crazy bunch of partying roofers, so why did I accept it as my own realty now? This was a deep punch, something had to change. I needed to find out who I was and wanted to be, see where I went astray (which turns out to be so many more places than I could ever imagine. There is no one day I can point to…I tried though…fail). I needed to find a different way to relate to the world around me without blaming anyone or anything. I had a choice to make. I could be “happy” and never feel truly at ease or I could make myself super uncomfortable for a period of time and feel a deeper happiness, even in Fort McMurray.
How I did this is not important. That’s because I am still trying to figure out. Over the years I have changed all sorts of things; jobs; friends; hobbies; music tastes; clothes…. Over and over I am reminded that joy is not outside of me. My super power of choosing, and not just friends, just choosing happiness and lightness, is getting stronger, although it fails me all the time. It’s a new power and I am trying to use it wisely, sometimes it gets all fucked up and I hurt someone I didn’t mean to, or I wake up and realize I had turned a new world into a fake shell of happiness, again. That doesn’t work either, faking that your not faking to be happy. One faking doesn’t cancel the other faking, trust me.
Where does this leave me?
I am confronted by this happiness thing even more now that I am trying to build a business. Being an entrepreneur is something that takes a working moral compass. A way to navigate ideas and choices in such a manner that it good for you AND the business. It is NOT easy. Trying to put your financial well being on something you love to do is not for the faint of heart, I want to quit all the time. All I am doing is working, I find it exhausting. I also find it exhilarating and freeing. I get to choose my own schedule, but that means I don’t get to blame anyone or anything for not getting done, but I fucking try! Kaitlin can attest to that…sorry love.
Being a Yoga Husband makes me happy. This I do know. It makes me furious and scared and uncomfortable and happy. I get to grow and feel accomplished by waking up, by being present (when it actually happens..) I get to be grateful, deeply grateful, for today and the coffee in my cup or the sun outside.
You can’t fake that…