Updated: Mar 7
Happiness versus fulfillment. What's the difference?
Many people use the two terms interchangeably but they actually are not the same thing.
Happiness is an emotion. It's fluid and fleeting, coming and going with the tides. It is based on how we feel
in a particular moment that gives us gratification. Yes, it's important but it isn't all we should strive towards.
Fulfillment is deeper. It's a soul-touching satisfaction and inner peace with where and who you are. It's a sense of rightness in your purpose. It does not change on a whim, or drift from place to place. It is not dependent on a particular feeling or emotion. It's steeped in your core values and how you are showing up in the world. This is how Spirit intended us to live our lives.
Yet so many women have neither. Why?
Scan the Internet and you will find several articles on women and happiness. Many attribute the lack of women's happiness to continued gender bias. (ex. https://onourterms.barnard.edu/article/womens-declining-happiness/) And in some ways that may be true. But I think there is a deeper issue at work, and it ties in to both happiness and fulfillment. That issue is a lack of authenticity. The reason is many women have been pressured to fit in at all costs.
Most women are inherently Sensitive. This means they are more aware of how others think and feel. As children, vying for a parent's affection or trying to fit in, they may readily adjust their behavior to meet expectations. (See my previous blog "Why Women Hide Their True Selves") Add in societal norms and there is a lot of pressure on women to look, act, and think in certain ways. There are so many variants in ideals it is absolutely impossible for women to meet them all, but it doesn't stop most of them from trying.
So, here's my question...
Have you ever swallowed your voice because someone you love or admire held a different opinion?
Have you ever given up a hobby or interest because someone else didn't like it or thought it was silly or stupid?
Have you ever dressed a certain way, even if it made you uncomfortable or unhappy, to please someone else on a regular basis?
Do you feel compelled to fit in with society's idea of beauty?
I know I did. I'd be a millionaire several times over for all of the times I swallowed my voice in the past. I gave up my witchy interests for decades because my family and friends thought they were strange. I dressed in polo shirts and khakis because my first husband thought they were more presentable than the hats and more eclectic clothes I enjoyed wearing before we met. And I paid the price for it.
You see, it is absolutely impossible to be fulfilled when you're strangling your own soul. And that's what you do when you invalidate your wants, needs, and desires. There will always, ALWAYS be a deep part of you that feels dissatisfied. You will constantly feel cut off from a part of yourself, yearning for something more even if you don't understand why.
Look, I'm not saying the above things are inherently bad. I'm just saying check your motives. Compromise in a relationship is healthy, but it's a two-way street. Otherwise, it's manipulation, and you will never be happy, let alone fulfilled, if that's where you're at.
Looking your best is also satisfying. But choose your own ideal, not someone else's. Don't just follow the pressure to look younger, skinnier, blonder, whatever. Be the best version of YOU! I see beautiful young women altering their hair, face, skin, and body with extensions, injections, tanning beds, and plastic surgery. They've bought into someone else's idea that their true form is not good enough. That's BS!!! It's one thing to make a decision to take those actions for yourself, but don't do it because you want to look like someone else or because someone else says you should. Refuse to compete against someone else's ideals.
It's time to embrace your own unique authenticity so, you can truly be happy and, more importantly, feel fulfilled.