Most of life is filled with the idea of finding someone or doing something that fulfills us. However, for many of us we are not sure what that is. Some women I know believe that having the validation of a good relationship is the key that they seek to unlock the happiness they want. Some men think that the ability to find a good job and provide for their families is their key. These concepts stem from deeply rooted ideas that have passed from generation to generation without a thought to how society has changed or evolved. Today these concepts seem an uneasy fit where we see so many families with one parent raising at least one child if not more. I have wondered how single parent families survive in this society with these concepts. It seems impossible to be so consumed with the idea of supporting and providing, loving and giving, and yet to be so self-sacrificing as to forget about giving to yourself. For instance the mother who raises a son, without the support (emotionally or financially) from a father, must act both as nurturer and provider, and thereby must sacrifice some relationship with her son. In this world where the norms have changed and the rules have too, it is impossible to hold these keys as the answers to happiness.

Better, it appears, to seek new definitions of happiness. To look beyond that which has been handed down from the previous generations and look inward to the reality of all that we truly, on some intuitive level, know to be true. In my example the mother must work to provide, must be available for the tumbles the son will experience, and must be disciplinarian and protector. How many different hats must be worn for the outcome to be satisfying? The various hats, the various facets, the many truths. The journey of complexity. Is there any thought given to what the mother has sacrificed? It appears from the child’s perspective that the mother lives for him and only for him. But in fact the situation was forced upon her, her responses are for survival’s sake. Clearly the mother seeks the support of another person, the love of another, the intimacy and closeness that can only be found in the arms of another. Yet, the child seems oblivious to this idea. Because the mother has been so self-sacrificing for so long, when the opportunity presents itself for self-satisfaction, perhaps self-indulgence, is the chance taken? Perhaps taken with some caution, perhaps not taken at all. Should opportunity be knocking at your door would you hear it if the vacuum is on, the telephone is ringing, and the laundry is being done? Distractions often are both burden and blessings.

So how does one seek happiness today? Good question!

Author's Bio: 

Born premature and with development complications on an Army Base in Virginia Beach, VA in 1967, Adrianne has approached life's challenges with the intent to overcome and conquer. Armed with a law degree, several State licenses and certificates, she has consulted to various industries for business development, sales techniques, and regulatory compliance. With seemingly endless energy she dedicates time to coaching girls basketball, volunteering with educational organizations, managing a consulting business, and enjoying family. She is a founding member of the Center for Information and Thought (CIT) which supports the concept of maintaining a Personal Executive Board to act as mentors for the various aspects of a person's life. Thus, achieving balance, success and happiness.