Katie Naftzger, LICSW

family therapist, adoption specialist, speaker, author

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When Happiness Isn’t The (Only) Goal

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image24226940“I just want her to be happy.”

When feeling happy is our goal, it’s easy to get discouraged.  Life can get rough sometimes, relationships can hurt, unexpected things can happen and it’s not rational to strive for happiness during those times that we don’t control.  So, what is the solution, then?  There’s also contentment, but that seems overrated, too.  Some of us are more content than others, temperamentally.  Sometimes contentment isn’t the goal either.  When you’re striving for something, or making a huge developmental leap, you’re not content, you’re ambitious and pushing out of your comfort zone.  You’re uncomfortable, and that’s appropriate.

I’m here at the Amway Grand Hotel, for the Korean-American Adoptee Network Conference, and know that each of us, whether adopted child, adult, adoptive parent, does not have the same capacity to to be “happy” and that’s not the only measure of success.  But, we can all find ways and do things to feel more empowered.

2 Responses to When Happiness Isn’t The (Only) Goal

  1. admin says:

    Thanks for your perspective, Mary. I like what you said about seeing things as they really are. Coming to terms with the “truth” of our life is so important, and yet, there are so many truths. How we perceive our truth is so influenced by our values, relationships, etc. So often, that’s the conversation isn’t it? Your truth versus my truth?

  2. Mary Lou Eshelman says:

    While my children were growing up, I thought often about the question, “What do you want for your children?” A lot of people do say, “I want them to be happy.” But, as you say, happy isn’t always possible when life throws various issues at you. I decided that what I wanted most was for them to see things as they really are. And that wish hasn’t changed over the years. Although they are now adults, that is still what I wish for them. Difficult to do, but worthwhile to try.

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