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“Happily ever after”, that how any of us would like to live from here on out.

Until “The End”. But life is not a story book ending. And maybe life would not be so hard if we did not expect or hope it would be easier. Do you desire a life without the heavy lifting on Earth? Think you deserve, are entitled to one that just plays out free and easy, on it’s own and more like Heaven?

The way you approach and react to events, other people in your life speaks volumes on how you were raised.

How you are built, wired mentally, spiritually. Your inside, outer viewpoint when something joyful happens shows the true depth of your gratitude. Do you expect the good to just unfold, think you deserve it because of your “good works”?

Your own effort, dedication, skills, talents and attitude can help shape your self image. But giving yourself the center stage under the blistering hot, blinding spotlights may not be where all the credit is due. Your mate, God, kids, everyone you come in to contact around you helps lift you up. Contribute to your good fortune, sunny days of happiness, getting ahead.

Or maybe what you consider good fortune, a success is your ability to see the small joys that another might miss.

What someone else would say is not enough to tip the scales from a bad day to a good one. Because there is not silver lining for them but is for you as you gain wisdom and understanding. That you are able to take away from painful, hurtful circumstances and come out the other side stronger for it.

There is a purpose behind every problem. Embrace them, don’t run from them. Good lessons for you, your mate, family and all around you that you love and are suppose to inspire. No matter how difficult, confusing, your patience, persistent, attitude can improve you. Help you understand yourself.

It starts with you, then rubs off on others.

Find someone that takes the time to understand you, improve you, that is brutally honest. Tells you what you don’t want to but need to hear.

We live in a fast paced society with quick fixes desired. Wanting, throwing money at “not now but right now” fast complete solutions. Thinking “there, that problem’s eliminated”. Or was all the other person’s fault and I am free. Not so fast. Happiness is an inside job and expecting those around you to provide it is selfish, self centered. Exhaustive for those running in circles to stay in your blessings.

Thinking others around you are irritating, not meeting all your needs or helping you to be happy misses the point that they have struggles too. And some of your expectations are only obtainable, possible through God alone. Your mate is not able to to provide them. Yet. Much of what you need, expect, want is independent of you or your mate. It is not a case if they worked harder, you could be happier. A merry go round of replacing those people that seemingly offend you is not the key to inner peace, contentment. Same problems follow you as junk in your trunk.

The “I’ll be happy if…. ” or “I’ll be happy when…” means your happiness is postponed, on hold.

You are waiting for other people or events, circumstances to come around more to your way of liking, thinking. The “ifs” and “whens” may not turn out the way you hope and dream. But trusting, obeying can alleviate all your difficulties in life and lower your expectations to something more realistic.

Just be happy, jouful yourself first rather than expecting your mate to provide it.

Don’t adopt the “I will love you if” or “I will love you when” critical spirit that comes with a price tag. And when it is not delivered out of exhaustion, lots of frustration, silence, resentment happens. Which leads to low self esteem, your mate feeling like a failure, inadequate, unloved. It all snowballs, avalaches back and forth as the relationship loses unity, oneness.

In time with prayful dedication, daily work, you can get stronger and not just expect life with someone else would be easier. Using setbacks as life stepping stones. Tools to tackle the areas of your life you need to change. Skills to learn to accept those you can not. And less than loving ways all of us display because we all sin, make mistakes and often just don’t keep being the light in the darkness that comes from only one source. Reflect that love you gain with knowing God.

Use the painful situations you suffer through as boot camp to get closer to God.

As a challenge to learn more about yourself. You have choices, it’s your life and don’t listen to anyone that tells you you are no good. Or that you have very few skills or talents. You and I have lots of good qualities and can put them to work for God’s purpose.

Don’t question some people’s need to beat you up, bring you down. Instead, come out the other side of struggles, difficult situations better than you were going in. Take ownership of your mistakes.

Keep your eyes on your own paper and work on having better character traits. But realize others in the relationship sin too. Not intentionally but because of praylessness. A log in their eye. Being too busy with the wrong priorities. Too sensitive from needs not met that you think the other should automatically be able to. Realize that they are struggling with meeting your needs but out of love try. Failing misserably. Or just because of spending too much time being defensive, trying but missing the mark completely. There are major changes going on inside my heart.

The most real, genuine, interesting people are ones who have endured dark days.

Came out of the pain, suffering in a seemingly hopeless situation with a strong, greater faith. Because they were broken, abandoned, with no ones arms to hold them and no where else to turn but God. Who made you, understands you and will direct you if you let him. We need God in our lives.

God does his best work when you and I surrender. Reach out to him, keep him close all your life. The greatest life lessons are taught under fire and being tested, stretched. Realizing you and I are far from perfect. Never will be nor should we strive for total perfection. Not going to happen. But we can improve. Be happy with that, strive for that.

You learn skills, get “schooled” and unlock answers in suffering when you get stripped to the bone. Your heart ripped open, exposed. Your pride, ego, vanity get pushed aside in pain and that is where real life lessons get learned.

My Dad’s University of Maine commencement speaker told the graduating class wearing those strange square hats he hoped they all had major set backs early in life.

Better earlier than later to save future heartache. So they could benefit from mistakes in the beginning of their journey of making a living, marrying, having kids and developing better relationships.

We all need to fall on our face, to not take ourselves so seriously. To relax, just let the life current pull the canoe, kayak, boat along. Stop paddling upstream. Adjust your sails and use life’s lessons to improve. Take full advantage of your troughs, valleys and don’t just expect mountain tops all the time.

Soar higher, freer and believe more in yourself even if others you love and trust don’t.

Everything that happens in life is already known. Playing out right on time, on schedule for a reason that often defies logic. See the spiritual gain that can happen, strengthened you rather than crying out for life to get easier.

Not feeling sorry for the predicaments you often put yourself in is a sign of maturity. And creates a greater awareness to see the warning signs to keep them from happening over and over. Everyone has struggles, pain and suffering too… it’s not just you. God loves us, is in complete control. Get closer to him, learn from him. He made you, understands you and me.

Open up your heart, let him come in to your life. Let him work, improve your “insides” despite what may be going on in your “outsides”. Look up, not down. Don’t try to skirt the roadblocks, or sweep them under the rug blaming others for not measuring up. Or letting you down. The patience, dedications to get on your knees is the source of your strength for greater self esteem, sense of worth and purpose. Don’t waste an opportunity to learn, improve your character. Get stronger, don’t expect easier.

Maine, make the trip. Come for a day, stay a life time.

I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker