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The wedding bells chimed and ‘They Lived Happily Ever After‘.   Growing up this is the message I heard time, and time, again from fairy tales and TV shows; there are also living examples of this in my life - my parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles have all celebrated milestone anniversaries and still look lovingly in each other’s eyes.

After two years of dating a man, he proposed and it was only natural for me to accept; thinking 'I’m also on that path of happily ever after.  Sadly, for me that wasn’t to be the case.

Turned out the two of us were mismatched.  As the saying goes, hindsight is twenty-twenty.  There were signs of our incompatibility before we got married.  We both chose to ignore the signs and instead chose to pursue the ‘next thing’ to bring us happiness.

Reflecting back, I guess I figured everything would just work out.  He would change, was my thinking.  However, the chances of him changing were about the same as the chances of me changing, which was between nil and none.    

So onward we chased the ever elusive happiness.  We had nice vacations, bought the latest cars, dined at upscale restaurants, learned to sail and so on.  I would get moments of pleasure out each ‘new thing‘; but it wasn’t happiness of us and it was always short-lived.

We continued to not deal with our marriage issues and decided that a geographic change would ‘fix’ our problem.  Much to the surprise of family and friends we moved from California to Chicago one year.  After about three months, the newness of the move wore off and there we were again.

Never being able to find happiness I found that I just kept losing part of myself and had a huge hole in my heart that ‘stuff’ couldn’t fill.  I had run myself into debt emotionally, and spiritually.  I finally realized I needed to start working on myself to rediscover who I was.  Through that journey it became evident what we both had known for years, it was time to end our marriage.

Divorce did not bring me happiness; but it was the beginning of a new life.  Overtime, I healed from my marriage and through self-discovery I learned to live my life the way I believe God wants me to live.  Today I am happy.  My heart dances with joy and my soul is at peace.    I learned that happiness is a by-product of right living.

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