Life in Colour - Changing the conversation around life without children

Episode 10 - Happy Endings

Episode Summary

We throw the term "Happy endings" around as if it were a real thing and not some arbitrary line in the sand. In this episode we explore and challenge the idea of a 'happy ending' and where happiness really comes from.

Episode Transcription

LIC Podcast Happy Endings

[00:00:00] Welcome back to the Life in Colour podcast. We've been absent for quite a while now, just life happening. But we've been getting some nudges from the universe in the shape of listeners telling us that they have been really enjoying

the episodes that we did in the past, and that they'd like to hear more. So here we are, and today's episode is all about happy endings. Because this is something that we see a lot in the childless, child free community about not every story has a happy ending. And we just wanted to explore that a little bit today and, and maybe push

and I just wanted to push back a little bit on that idea of happy endings. Because you know, there are so many things that just get. Into our consciousness, into our ways of speaking, into the way we live our [00:01:00] lives. And they're not necessarily helpful. So we just wanted to explore the idea of happy endings and

and unpack it a bit and see if there's something in there for us to see today. I'm pretty sure there is. I'm sure there will be. So I shared this idea with Laura a little while ago, and we thought it was a good one to explore because I think I'd seen it on a post on a social media post, you know, not every story has a happy ending.

And it just jarred a little bit for me because I thought there actually, there are a number of things that came up for me. One was who says what's the end? And, and another one was, oh, happiness is isn't tied to the circumstance. Happiness is an inside job, which if you've listened to our episodes before now, you, you've heard us talk about that.

So happy endings in itself as a phrase, doesn't really make [00:02:00] sense to me particularly. Yeah, so I, when I saw that, I just thought actually let's dive into that and see if there's something helpful that we can articulate for people and that we might see something new as well on our exploration.

So that's where we're going to start. Does it bring anything up for you first up, Laura? Yeah, it does. So much. I think it's so embedded, isn't it? Like the happy ending being that we're so unconsciously taught that having children will bring that happiness and it's easy and if we if we don't or we can't have children the equation is really it's kind of like, that we won't be fully happy or or live a fulfilled life and you know people who don't have children, not, not by choice, somehow join some sort of, I guess, sad [00:03:00] club and they need to make the most of like the really bad hand that they've been given.

And, you know, You can learn to, I think if you don't have that happy ending to fill a void but it will never be enough. And I think that is really reinforced. I feel with a lot of you know, Facebook groups you might be in just unconsciously even. And, and so that's kind of what we want to address today because it's such as a, like, it's such an unconscious and conscious belief really,

that it's really worth having a podcast on this, I think. Yeah, I think so too. And it's a really good point about it being so embedded , in our everyday the happy ending is this, and you didn't get that. So therefore this is not happy ending. It doesn't leave any room for, this is a different ending, you know, this is not the ending I expected, [00:04:00] but there's just as much happiness to be had in this one as the other one.

And that's not, that's actually not what we're told. I know I wasn't told that. I wasn't told that I could just be happy. I, I know I repeat that quite often, but no one told me that. So I guess that's, that's also the whole point of our podcast is to challenge those those really embedded beliefs and the things that we just assume are true.

Yeah, that really aren't. Yeah, because like, if you think about it, like whole industries have. Like have grown up around this belief and have catered to it and fed it until it's kind of seeped into our collective psyche as truth, accepted by everyone. And, you know, especially we're going to, if we go off media, if you go off films, novels, what they portray You know, it really kind of astounds me how much we take this as truth.

It's a principle that is like rarely [00:05:00] questioned. And I, I, you know, I, I wholeheartedly don't see that anymore. And that's because I see my life is really inherently as valuable as anyone else's and that I am already complete. I was born that way. Yeah. And so that's kind of where we want to point to today, you know, you know, to ask the question you know, what, what, if life really doesn't work that way, what if the belief or the equation, you know, not being able to have children equals unhappiness is fundamentally flawed.

And it is. I mean, I know that. Absolutely. I know that in my bones because that was my experience and now it's not. So and I'm not special. This can, you know, that can be anybody's reality. And I think there's, oh, there's so much to explore. There's something about when we [00:06:00] say. Happy ending. Oh, this didn't have a happy ending.

For example well, in my situation, I didn't have children. So to, in that narrative, I didn't get a happy ending. It's not true. Like, it would, it would beg the question, where is the ending for a start? Was it the moment that I found out that I wasn't going to have children? So if it was just the moment when I found out, then that was just a change of mind of thinking that wasn't anything to do with the circumstances, the circumstances were already there.

Right. So I think that I wish we could take happy endings out of the language altogether. I wish people could not see things in terms of endings like that. And maybe that's a bit simplistic. I'm just thinking that through about whether that's even practical. But you know, I [00:07:00] mean, we're, we're exploring this too.

At the same time, this is, this is something that, that we haven't discussed in any detail between us. So it's, it's fresh and it's you know, apologies if I don't find the words to articulate what I'm trying to say, but I just feel like. When we, when we put all our eggs in one basket, that's terrible.

When we put all our hopes on one outcome and, and that being the outcome that will give us happiness, we are really doing ourselves such a disservice. We are doing the idea of our life such a disservice because there is so much potential in life and there's so much joy to be had everywhere, not just in one path.

And I think that that that's what makes me sad about the messaging that we all get as well. Yeah, I think, [00:08:00] I think you're right. Like when you do put everything in one basket, it's, I don't know, like it points to what we have been speaking about. Like. With this understanding that everything outside of us is what gives us that feeling of happiness and joy and contentment.

And I don't know, like, it just doesn't work that way. And that's what I'm seeing more and more. It's like we already are loved. We already are. So why would it be that we would need something... for us to have a relationship, for us to have a child, for us to have a nice big house, for us to have a certain amount of money in the bank, for us to feel that.

Because it, because the world is set up like that and it's, and it already, and it has been for centuries. It's just so subliminal and it comes down to, [00:09:00] I feel like, you think about even religion and I, you know, I'm not dissing religion here, but like, it comes from the. It comes from the grounding that you are inherently bad, and you need to do these things in order to be good.

And how we're parented, it's like, shut up, do this, da da, you'll be rewarded if you're not, if you're you know, if you're, if you're good. Not what's your... Yeah, it's kind of intrinsically... intertwined. And so we, we are kind of already learning, learn all these behaviors when we're, we're growing up that if we conform to what is the norm, then, then we can be happy and then we could be good and then we can be fulfilled and then we can be content.

And that's, and, and people around us aren't doing it maliciously. Like I know what it's like. You know, when you split up with [00:10:00] somebody, everybody's like, there's plenty more fish in the sea. Have you thought about this, like, let me introduce you to my friend. They're just being helpful, but it's in a way because they think that, that you need someone in order for you to be happy again.

Nobody really says, you know, go back into yourself, like what, you know, have that space, have that time to connect with yourself, rarely that I see. And it's the same with this, because, because that's where they don't see the happy ending is that it's not inside. It's definitely. By getting the things that they have, maybe, or that they see other people have, especially enforced on Instagram and social media, wherever you've got these smiling faces as a bit of families, "that's what you need to have and we'll help you get there if you don't have it in order to be fulfilled."

And I just feel that, you know, having a different look at this and having a different just Getting curious and [00:11:00] questioning it, which often we don't because it's just, it's just so unconscious is the helpful direction because like, if you think about it, that's the icing on the cake. If you come from that feeling of being happy and content anyway, because you were born that way, then the rest of it is

it's lovely. If you do have a relationship, if you do have like brilliant pets, if you do have, I don't know, a great job, it's, it's the icing on the cake. It's not the whole thing. Yeah, you get to enjoy it so much more. And to me, it's kind of like, Like you're saying the happiness comes from within it's kind of, I kind of see it as happiness, contentment, peace, joy, you know, it's kind of what we're made of.

It's what's there before all of this thinking that we tend to have about the way our life is turning out, whether that's to do with having children or not, whether it's to do with [00:12:00] their jobs, our relationship, our finances. Without all of that thinking, we are just little balls of love and joy. And what I kind of, the way I have been seeing it lately, and this is just my way of seeing it, is that then anything I turn to has that love and joy all over it.

So I can find love and joy wherever I look because it's kind of a reflection of who I am and how I'm feeling. In those times when I'm not remembering that I am a ball of love and joy, then I look out at the world and I see you know, fear, worry, whatever about the things that might be attracting my attention at that point in time.

I, I kind of more and more remember and go back to just enjoying my life because [00:13:00] this is the, this is my life. You know, I don't want to spend it being sad and, and feeling like I got the second best because I don't feel like that. And it's not true. It's not like that's, that's a completely arbitrary

judgment that we, that we've adopted as a society. And it's, and it's not true. Yeah. It's, and I think you touched upon something there that's really good to sort of point out because you said, like, you know, when you do feel maybe at, or you didn't say it this way, but maybe in a, in a low state of mind, that's what you do see, like a lack of and that's, that is a part of being human because when we are in that kind of feeling, isn't it, it's, it's.

And we're all there, like we're not saying don't feel like that, it's [00:14:00] not, it's just, it's almost like a turning on you the awareness of how you're feeling in that moment because that will often dictate how you, you see this journey of childlessness or infertility or whatever it is that you're struggling with, you'll notice that how that differs really depends on your state of mind.

So like, yeah, like you're saying when you are in a bad mood, of course, you're gonna funnily enough, see those posts on Instagram or Facebook, or take to heart what somebody might say in a way that you probably wouldn't even notice in a higher state of mind in a higher state of consciousness in a more connected to your, your inner being yourself, your true self.

And that's really interesting for me because I've started noticing that as well and it's not to say that I don't and you don't get sucked into sometimes [00:15:00] feeling oh well you know oh gosh yeah maybe maybe I haven't had that happy ending because I maybe you don't get this as much but I certainly do and I think it's important to point out like I still get sucked into the fact that I haven't had the traditional You know, happy ending as, as we're, as we're calling it.

And then, you know, the shame I feel around that, the, the lack of like connection to myself, but it's, that's my, that's my trigger. That's my guide. That's to wake me up to go. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Like, I don't need to therefore start scrambling to try and get those things. That's my indication and my invitation to come back to myself.

It's very rarely that when, that people around you will say, come back to yourself, come back to knowing you can trust yourself. You know, it's all about, like I said, what can we do to help you get what you need from the outside? And so you're in control of that and the, I guess the the [00:16:00] guide we have with that is how we're feeling in that moment because that will really dictate or the, the thinking will dictate our how we're feeling and just to notice that is great and without any judgment because it, we all do it.

Me, me too. Yeah. And me too, about various things and. And that's so lovely and so clear that, yeah, it's, it's a call back to ourselves. It's a, those feelings of less than or frustration or, or even grief or not enough. It's all just calling us back to ourselves. It's not like you say, it's not calling us to go out into the world and scramble to get the things that we think are going to make us feel better because that's not how it works.

But we've been misreading those signals for. Just about all our lives, because [00:17:00] that's, that's how people have told us it worked. And, and that's not how it works. You, we can't get the feelings from the things outside. And we, you know, we kind of know that. We can see in our lives around us, people who have the thing that we think we want, but they aren't happy.

Or they have the thing that we don't think we want and they are happy. And vice versa, you know, because it's, because that's not the equation. This thing plus this doesn't equal happy. Happiness is an inside job. And the more that you can start looking in that direction, the more peace and joy you find in your life.

Yeah. That's the equation. Totally. Totally. We see it, don't we? I've certainly been and, and, yeah, I still get, [00:18:00] I guess, tricked up by it. You know, if I just have that, the, the next, you know, the, the, the promotion, if I just get that pay rise, if I just get that boyfriend, if I just get that, if I just get married, if I just get, oh, I don't know, the child, obviously, this is what we're talking about, like.

It's then, then, then, then, then, then I can relax, then I can be happy, and then I can, you know, I can put, not my feet up, but you know, then I can be the version that I want to be. And we all do it, like, honestly, like, all my friends do it and you get to that and you have it. You get married or you have a child or you, you know, and you realize that's not it.

And off you go trying to find that feeling and all we're trying to do really is find, is find a way back home to ourselves again, but we're just looking in the wrong direction. Yeah. And I think it's kind of like, especially [00:19:00] with, you know, this journey of childlessness and infertility, like it has a lot of desperation around it.

Like I, I know it does. Cause I've, I've been there and yeah, the more desperate we get for that happy ending, for that, you know, for to, to, to see the, the pregnancy stick with two lines, even that, like to get to that bit, like to see, to get to the 12 week mark, to whatever it might be, the more desperate we are, the further we push it away.

And that what I'm talking about, pushing what away is, is the further we get away from ourselves, like our connection to ourselves. And so, I just feel the more we can look in the direction of coming back home, connecting to that power behind life and then forgiving ourselves in a, in a, in a really wholesome way.

Like not, Oh yeah, I forgive myself, but really focusing on that. Like, you know, in a, I'm doing a [00:20:00] lot of meditation at the moment around forgiveness and the feeling I get from that is beautiful. I don't need to get into the content of what I'm forgiving myself for, but it's just a really nice feeling that I get from that. And from there you get to go out and, and create and, and whatever that might be is coming from a much deeper congruent place with what we are and what we, what I find, what I create from there is meant to be, I don't know, it's, it's, it feels effortless and more in flow.

And it might be like, if anyone's listening to this podcast, like We, we say it often, but you know, you know, it might be creating a family in a totally different way. It might be looking at the journey of adoption or donor egg or, you know, or not having children, whatever it might be. There's everything up the table, but up on the table, but coming from a place of a good feeling and knowing that all of that [00:21:00] isn't the happy ending, it's just the icing on the cake.

So. You know, you get to go out and play in life and you get to do it much more gracefully. Yeah. And it's all icing, right? It's not, it's not just having kids in some form that would be the icing or getting a great pet that would be the icing or getting the right job. Like everything can be icing. Yeah.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's, yeah, that's lovely. You've got to have the cake first. You are the cake. Well, you are the cake. What a metaphor. Yeah. I love what you said about forgiveness too, because I forgiveness is not such a thing for me. I don't think about forgiveness very much at all. But I really see it as an act of love, like I just see it's an expression of love and, and it sounds like what you're [00:22:00] doing when you're meditating is, is an act of love.

Yeah. So, yeah, I think that's, I think that's beautiful. And something that occurred to me too, while you were talking was about, about the happy endings and, and maybe I was thinking, well, maybe we don't have to get rid of the, the phrase from the English language, but we can just realise that we keep putting it ahead of ourselves.

It's like you were saying, I'll be happy when, and when I get that ending, then, then I can be happy. And we're always pushing it out. And then, but it, you know, what if we just said it's here now? You know, every moment is an ending and a beginning. We've, we've got an opportunity in every moment to to do this differently to experience life differently, if, if that's what we want.

And that doesn't, that's got nothing to do with our [00:23:00] circumstances. That's, that's all about us and, and. The lens that we're looking at life through. That, that just kind of occurred to me. Yeah. We don't have to get rid of happy endings from the language at all. No, I mean, it's, it's, again, it's nothing, there's nothing wrong with that, is there, like, I mean, we, we love to read a book that's got a happy ending, and the movie, and whatever, but to appreciate That it's it's a momentary fleeting satisfaction of a feeling that we're getting it's that it's it, you know, it's very much fixated on the outside in the outside world, but we don't need to get rid of it.

It's just a different orientation to that happy ending I think, and like the realization that I had that, oh, I don't, I don't need to strive and be [00:24:00] and obsess about what I think I need to have in order for me to be inherently happy, which I have for so long.

And when things haven't gone my way, crushing feeling has, has, has been, oh, of course I have not felt happy because I haven't had the ending that I thought I needed to get. I, like, I wanted to get from A to B and when I didn't get to B, I was like, well, what, what else is there? Because to me, it looked very black and white.

And I feel that it's just reinforced, isn't it? Like I said, at the beginning of the podcast, just through media, through conversations, through our friends, through films, through books. And what we're saying is like, there's infinite possibilities of, of life happening. And when you connect more with that power behind life and that you connect more to yourself and you appreciate that you're looking in the wrong [00:25:00] direction and to come home to yourself, then from that place from a more content and blissful feeling I feel, it's like whatever adjective you want to put on it, but for me it's that, it's more, it's contentment, that's my happiness.

Then how I see the world and how I look out and what I am driven to do, which to me isn't in my tiny little mind thinking about it, I just, it's really my wisdom, while I seem to be doing this now, going in this direction, is Is, is like it's just in a different feeling and is aligned with what the universe wants me to do.

I'm not swimming against the tide, and I feel like sometimes that kind of desperation, swimming against the tide, it needs to be one way, is what we do, and that's where, you know, I see it a lot with conversations around these these groups around childlessness. It's so [00:26:00] there's so much I dunno, just desperation,

and, and it's not, it's not a good feeling in them. And, what you've just expressed is so important because you know, you talking about getting from a to B and B is where happiness is. And that's, that's such a trap, isn't it? Because and we've kind of already discussed this, but I just wanted to say it again, that happiness is here

and now. Happiness can only ever be in the moment. Any feeling can only be in the moment. Your experience is here and now. And so if you take a look at what experience you're having right now, it's not because of what has or hasn't happened. What might or might not happen in the future. It's, it's simply, this is your experience now.

And so a [00:27:00] happy ending is, it kind of doesn't make sense anyway. It kind of is, is a bit of a, a nonsense, if you like. It's not an end. You know, you've still got life happening. So yeah. I love that because you're right that the, the power of being present and in the, in the moment, that's the only thing there ever is.

Everything else is either, you know, you're thinking about the past, which isn't. It's no longer here, it's a memory, it's thought, or you're making up things that might happen in the future, probably based on what's happened in the past. And so it's using thought in a, in a way, you know, it's, it's great to use that if you're thinking about going on holiday and you're planning and you're like, Oh, I can't wait to be on a beach and why not?

Like it feels great. Go have it. But you know, you know, when you're using that gift of thought against yourself, it feels awful. And so, [00:28:00] yeah, what you're saying, I love, is that it's that like, there's no ending. There isn't an ending. There can't be. It's, you know, I hate the saying, but it is a journey. And and the more we can sort of rest in the, in the, what we're doing right now and be engrossed in that and just be present to it.

I don't know, like if I, you know, not so much in your head. That's where a good feeling comes from. Yeah. That I can see. That's where you notice that you're more connected with the people around you and, and with what's happening around you. 

It's just, it's fascinating to me how we can be in a world of our own, literally. I mean, we, we say that, don't we? I was in a world of my own or, it's so, those moments make it so obvious that that's where we live and we live there all the time. But, but the more that we can see how much we are projecting [00:29:00] ourselves into the future or spending time in the past then the more we bring ourselves back to here and now and back to ourselves.

Like you said. Yeah, exactly. I love that. I love it. Yeah, I just, I really do feel like, you know, this understanding that we point to of how the mind and of how, you know, life really works. And the relief that I got, and I know that you got from this understanding was immediate. Immediate and then it, it's developed and it gets deeper. I really see that life can be beautiful no matter what is thrown at us and there isn't, like, that we're saying that there just isn't one way, It can't be one way because there's so many people like that are without children and not by choice

possibly that have totally different experiences of it. And that in itself shows you that, you know, [00:30:00] A doesn't equal B. And just to get curious of, well, okay, so maybe I don't need to be constantly striving for that one happy ending to just get curious of like, well, what is, what is this happy ending? And like, what, if it's not outside of myself, where is it?

Invitation to come back home and connect with yourself and be kind to yourself. And from there, like, see how the world looks. Yeah. Start to see if there are more possibilities becoming visible to you because they're out there. Like they are there, there are infinite possibilities about how your life could go.

And I think that's beautiful when you start to see that it was certainly beautiful for me when I started to see that I kind of started having the thought of, Oh, well, what do I feel like doing then, you know, rather than how it had been, which was much more closed and[00:31:00] difficult feeling. When you, when you turn up to the world and you're in a better feeling, it's amazing what, what, what gets unfolded in front of you that you wouldn't necessarily, or maybe you just wouldn't have noticed before.

It's like the universe, it matches your energy level. And yeah, and it would be different for everybody. Because there isn't one ending, let's not say ending, because there isn't one. And there aren't two endings, right? There's not just the happy one and the sad one or the dumb one or the less happy one. Yeah. Yeah. No, I exactly. I think again, it points to the polarity of, of what, how we think life is set up. It's black, it's white, it's yes, it's no boy or a girl with this, with that.

It's like, we're, we're taught to think that there's two really [00:32:00] options and there's opposites and there's just the whole range of color in between. And I think that's what, you know, well definitely what Viv and I are pointing to. It's, there's infinite possibilities and the relief that when you realize that for yourself is just enormous because then you get to go and live life and play and see what you can create and enjoy the creation, no matter what that is, or equally, you can sit on a couch and enjoy yourself.

It doesn't really matter. Well, yeah, exactly. And maybe that's a thing. Well, we've already talked about that in our purpose podcast, but it could be that there's another conversation there about, about that. You know, we don't have to do anything to deserve happiness and joy. It's, it's our birthright. It's what we're made of.

Let's just. Get out there and experience [00:33:00] it. That's, you know, it's there for us. It's what we're made of. It's what we're made of. It's already inherently ours. It's an uncovering of it rather than a finding of it. Because that's what we're saying. It's, it's almost like, you know, I did it once when I, I split up with someone. I went out to India to do the whole kind of finding myself and trying to find a better feeling. Eat Pray Love. Oh, totally, totally. And I realized it wasn't in that travel. I had a great time, but don't get me wrong, but it was yeah, it took a while, but I realized then it was, it was already there.

I didn't need to go anywhere to find it. Yeah. And sometimes it just takes a bit of time and naturally we're buoyant. We do rise to a better feeling. It's not with anything that we're doing to do, to do that. Although our, our ego can definitely get in the way and say it is I did that I created that feeling and just to be conscious of that it's like no, [00:34:00] no, no, it's like we're saying you could be washing the dishes and doing something really mundane and fall into a good feeling.

Which is what we're all trying to do. Yeah. So we're all we're looking for probably one of the most. Yeah. Probably if you asked like most of the population, what they want, I mean, a lot of them would say material things, but really it comes down to being happy. It does. Well, that seems like a nice place for us to end our happy endings podcast.

And if if you would like to chat to us about it, feel free to leave us a DM on our Instagram account or. You can find Laura's website at and mine Vivienne's at, and we'd love to hear from [00:35:00] you. And just wait our Instagram account handle is oh, @lifeincolourpodcast.

There you go. See you again soon. Bye bye.