The key to happiness, intimacy, and healthy relationships: Loving your actual life and your actual people // Episode 44

What are we talking about today?

We all want to be happy. Or even, as the Apostle Paul say, content. But how do we get there? 

Today’s episode is an encouragement for us all in how to be happy in our life today, our relationships today – even when things aren’t going the way we hoped or planned. We simply cannot enjoy life if we are living for the future or stuck in the past. 

Do you want to love the life you have? That’s where we’re going today, friend. Let’s dive in.

Listen to Episode 44:

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Snag your resources here!

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, you’ll also want to check out these earlier podcast episodes that connect with this same topic:

  • Episode 13 // Boundaries are so important! But do you really know what they look like?
  • Episode 23 // Why we all need intimacy in our family relationships – and how to get there!
  • Episode 35 // Do you want happy relationships? Let’s talk about the need for REALISTIC expectations of yourself and others.

Let me also offer two  FREE resources that I know will be helpful!

  • Grab a copy of my FREE 51 Self Care Ideas List. If you are struggling to enjoy life in-the-moment, taking a few minutes a day to refresh yourself with some simple self care activities will be really helpful.
  • Join our private Facebook Group for a community of women who are here to engage, encourage, and equip one another in loving our real lives and our real relationships… really well.

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

Friends, I have been on a decluttering kick lately. And just this past week, I decluttered a sewing machine. 

A sewing machine that I’ve owned for at least 10 years. 

That is still in the box. 

Unopened. Unused.

But the thing is, I’ve always wanted to open the box. I’ve wanted to learn how to sew. I wanted to use this sewing machine… for ten years. 

And it feels so good to have it out of my home!

Loving my actual life

The thing is, my friend, that sewing machine was a dream. (Okay, it was a real machine, but my desire for it was a dream.)

I have always wanted to be the mom who can sew. Who can make amazing costumes with a few scraps of fabric. Who can make cute matching dresses for my toddlers. Or even a mom who can fix a seriously ripped favorite item of clothing. 

But the thing is… I’m not that mom. 

Now that I am a mom, I can tell you with all certainty that I am not that mom. I am not on track to become that mom. 

And the thing about happiness is, we are happier with our life (and our people!) if we ACCEPT them for what is true, good, and beautiful TODAY.

Not what we wish was true, good or beautiful. Not what we remember or what we hope and dream for. 

I am happier today with the acceptance of my real life as a mom – a mom who loves her kids, parents them well, and does not know how to sew. 

7 examples for us

Let’s think for a few minutes about how our relationships would be healthier and more enjoyable if we accepted the reality of our people.

  1. We need to love God for who He actually is… not what we’ve gotten from him, who we want him to be, or what we hope to get from him in the future. Only then can we have intimacy and spiritual growth.
  2. Let us also love ourselves for who we actually are, in this current season of life. Not who we want to be, imagine we could be, plan to be, or remember that we once were. Who are you today? Can you look in the mirror and smile at yourself? 
  3. What about loving your husband for who he actually is? Not who you’re hoping he will one day become or who you’re trying to shape him into becoming. Can you have a happy marriage if you’re always waiting for someone to change?
  4. It is powerful to love your kids for who they actually are. Who they are today. At this age. In this stage of life. We don’t want to just love the memories of their childhood years or the dreams we have for their future. We cannot simply love the personality traits or talents that we fool ourselves into thinking they have. It’s hard enough to be a kid or teen these days… they need to be loved for who they are.
  5. Love your church for what it actually is. What’s that? A local community of believers with great intentions to love God and neighbor…  who will fall short sometimes because they’re human.
  6. We need to also love our friends for who they actually are… in this season of life. Not who they were when you met or how their kids treat your kids. Who are they are individual people? Can you enjoy that friendship?
  7. My friend, invest in loving the life you have for what it actually is. Your home. Your health. Your job. Focus on gratitude and blessings rather than pain points and struggles.

Setting goals and moving forward

Don’t worry… we can still have goals that we are working toward. It is healthy and good to strive to improve our life, our character, and our relationships. 

We want to be closer to Jesus, deeper with our husband, and have a stronger and stronger relationship with our kids. These are good goals!

But we cannot let our happiness or satisfaction depend on if these goals are met or not.

Goals push us, encourage us, and grow us, but they do not define us. 

Hey, before you go!

  • Join us in our private Facebook Group! This community is all about engaging, encouraging, and equipping each other as sisters in Christ. 
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  • Share this episode with a friend who needs to hear it: you can text or email the link to her.
  • And hey, I’d love to connect with you on Instagram! @loveyourpeoplewell

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A reminder of the Disclaimers & Disclosures Policy: I am an affiliate with many of the resources I recommend, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my provided links. I never recommend products I don’t love! Also, I am a licensed therapist but this podcast is not therapy. It is not professional or personal advice to your specific situation. Get info about professional counseling here.