When I was a little girl, I would play office. Some little girls played with dolls or Barbie’s or had tea parties, but nope, not me. I’d set up my desk for success with staplers, pens, paper in a variety of assortments if I might add, a phone and yes, even invoices. My happiness was so simple and uncomplicated at the time.
I can’t tell this story without admitting to the fact that I went so far as to create a pseudonym of Jenny Parker as I mindfully built my empire back then. She was my version of a Wonder Woman with a cape of courage and a matching mask of…well, I don’t know what the mask was for, but I think it was for effect. Anyways, I would make calls, bill my imaginary clients and process orders from my headquarters when I was all of 8 years old. True story.
I suppose being an only child forced me to get a little creative with playtime, apparently. If asked what I wanted for my birthday I would enthusiastically rattle off: staples, paperclips and a calculator – all to my parent’s lovely amusement, of course. We still laugh about it to this very day.
The reason I tell this story is because when I was a child, I inherently knew that one day I would run a company and wouldn’t you know it – I write this to you from my real life, grown up desk. Free of staplers, but full of invoices that get actually paid and a phone that is practically glued to my ear.
Instead of a calculator, I have a Mac and the name I am building for myself is no longer Jenny Parker, it is Carly Benson. Maybe because I realized that businesswoman I was portraying in my infancy was actually me and I comfortably grew into the idea that I did not need a fake name or alias to go by. I could do it all, that is this thing we call life, just the way I was and happiness could look just as it did long ago.
Another notable point taken from my childhood corporate land of make-believe, was the lack of limitations in regards to what I thought I could accomplish. In my mind, I was a successful, wealthy, smart, worthy woman running a business and making proverbial moves to my delight.
Nothing could stop me. I didn’t need anyone or anything to validate my triumphs. There was no such thing as failure. Or doubt in myself. I was the queen of my kingdom, one fake invoice at a time – stapled and signed the Jenny Parker.
But then what happened? One word – LIFE. It happens. And it can be a sneaky little stinker sometimes.
We begin to be programmed from a young age that we need this or that to be successful. And to be successful means we will be happy. We need to look, act, talk, or BE a certain way for purposes of fitting in, finding happiness or defining our self worth.
Our self-worth and happiness is not defined by our circumstances or our things.
It’s not about the car we drive, the house we live in, our income or our group of friends.
Our social or marital status does not dictate it either.
It doesn’t matter how smart we are, what school we went to or the level of education we’ve achieved.
Our occupation, location and salutations or changing any of them for that matter, will not deliver us to happiness.
We will not find the definition of self worth in another person, bottle, bar, narcotic or sexual escapade.
And quite frankly, there is no amount of money that can buy happiness. In fact, most people at the top have been found to be the loneliest.
I know this to be true because I searched high in low in all those places and things only to come up short with every valiant exploration.
We see all of these things on T.V., in magazines, commercials, books, movies and outlets that are man made to drive behaviors. They clutter our minds with the have-more-do-more-be-more brain washing and bury our inner child mentality in which we used to know we are already ENOUGH just the way we are.
There is a sickening and rather maddening theory that starts to populate our minds and take over our inner workings. It wires us to think if only I could do or get X, Y, or Z, then I would be happy; only to acquire those things and still find ourselves unhappy and yearning for more. The perpetual circle of happiness seeking ensues and we get stuck in this vicious cycle of chasing after all these things that we think will fill us up and define us.
What I have learned in my own pursuit of happiness is that it comes from the inside (with substantial help from God, but that is a whole other discussion). The true journey begins when we start to un-learn and un-wire all of the BS we have accidently adopted along the way.
When we go back to the basics and pay a visit to our inner child, we realize that this happiness we are seeking outside is seeking to occur right inside of us. It’s ALREADY there underneath the lifetime of exterior garbage we have been subjected to.
I innately knew from a young age, as many of us do, what I wanted to do, how to do it and that I had it in me to become the person I aspired to be. For a while, I let life weigh me down, and even at times tear me down. Hell, I let it burn me down a time or two. I have been covered in the ashes of shame, self-doubt, anxiety, depression, anger, sadness and all the annoying friends of the pity party committee. Let’s be honest, haven’t we all?
The thing is, we can’t get stuck there. We can’t get stuck in the world this world desperately seeks to create in our mind.
In my last post I talked about transformation and got an overwhelming response. It tells me people are intrigued and enlightened by learning about it. Sometimes transformation is less about transforming & more about reconnecting to that which we already are.
Real transformation and happiness in our lives occurs by washing off the dirt, wiping away the dust of mistakes, tearing away the layers of comparison, peeling back the shame and returning to our inner child mindset where anything is possible. Craft your life from this place where stacking up isn’t in the equation, fear doesn’t play a role in your decisions and happiness is found in the small things, like staplers.
It’s also important to remember we don’t need to present ourselves to people in a way that does not truly portray who we are in an effort to impress them or to be a chameleon to what we think they want. The most liberating thing we can do is to honestly be ourselves, naked from fakeness, vindicating our innermost truth and living with a touch more innocence, humility and fearlessness.
I encourage you to take a trip down memory lane and go have a pow wow with you as a child. Remember what your mindset was in those days and then look at it today. What are the differences? What have you allowed in this life of yours to get in the way of your dreams, aspirations or happiness? Can you remember that you ARE enough? You always have been and you always will be.
Perhaps all we need to help us to remember is a cape…and some paperclips.
Signed, Jenny Parker a.k.a. Carly Benson.
“Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing your are worthy of the trip.” – Unknown
Photo Credit: Mom Tried It