All I want to do on this blog is to bring hope and happiness in a world that makes it hard to believe in those things. I want to help others who are going through or have gone through similar situations that I have experienced.
“In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.”― Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
It’s taken a lot of reflecting and forgiveness to start seeing the good out of bad situations. The only way to help someone else is to help yourself first. No matter what happens in my life, even if my dreams don’t come true, I don’t care because what I want the most out of this life is happiness.
Every morning I ask myself, “If you had to scale your overall happiness, what would it be?” My scale is simple, a zero being depressed and a ten being excited. For myself, I typically rank a six, which is much better than where I was a year ago. I would rate my joy from a year ago as a three. I never did anything to make myself happy, which is ridiculous considering the phrase “I just want to be happy” was all I’d say. I moved and realized that leaving a city, state, and circumstances didn’t make me happier. I realized I had to change myself. I had to change my thoughts, values, and what contributes to making me happy. That brought up another question. What contributes to my happiness? Is it external or internal?
I neglected my inner peace. After a few failed relationships, I lied to myself and said joy and love were out of my reach. I began to minimize my actual happiness because something was going to take it away. I became dependant on external factors to make me happy. Mostly money. I began to shop whenever I would feel anything unpleasant. When that stopped working, I began to think I’d only be satisfied if I lost weight, went back to college, and got a better job. I worked until I was exhausted. I wouldn’t sleep, and I’d take a bunch of different products full of caffeine and work out six days a week. All for this assumption, I’d be happy. Now don’t get me wrong, exercising does improve your mood. I was expecting instant results. A full 180 from doom and gloom to rainbows and sunshine, life doesn’t work that way.
In my spiral of unhappiness, I began to lose sight of who I was. Soon it felt like I needed permission to be who I was. Around my friends and family, I put on a mask and focused on making them happy. Happiness is the responsibility of oneself. We cannot live our lives trying to make others happy and vice versa. Otherwise, we would only live waiting for others. Unhappiness gives others control of us and our emotions. As a person whose been emotionally manipulated, don’t let anyone get that much power over you. Am I still hurt that this person misused my trust and love for them? Absolutely. Am I not going to blame that situation as to why I will never trust anyone ever again. No, it may take some time, but I’ll trust and love too. Blame gets in the way of happiness. If they have any part of my joy when they are no longer in my life, they still control me. Also, don’t think that people owe you something just because they did you wrong. That victim mentally where the world owes you something also stands in the way of your joy.
I want to ask you a question that I came across when googling internal and external happiness. The question blindsided me.
What robbed you of your joy?
I had to stop and think about this, and I hope you do too. When did my joy reach its peak? How did I not notice? After a little evaluation, I think I can pinpoint it. School stole my happiness. Not the classes that destroy creative thought. The excessive workload prepares you to enter a world of working forty hours a week and leaves little to no time for a personal life.
It was the fact that I didn’t fit in. None of my kids in school remotely looked like me. So I tried to be like them-no that’s wrong- I wanted to be them. Imagine being so insecure about yourself that you build yourself on the outer image of preteen girls who have no idea of who they truly are. I put rules on my happiness. I had to look like others, know the trends, and live a mainstream pop culture life. It’s not surprising I had a mental breakdown. What’s surprising is that it didn’t happen sooner with all the stress I put on myself from a young age. I kept myself busy for years because being busy meant I didn’t have to work on myself.
The fact I can talk about all of it now and feel a complete disconnect from it shows how much I’ve changed. I learned that experiencing bliss doesn’t rob anyone of their feelings. I had to notice the things I took for granted. I had to start loving the stuff I had and stop thinking of things I don’t have. It was a decision to be present and happy. Long gone are the days when I would copy and paste my outside. It was almost like I had nothing on the inside. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to fix the cracks in my person. It started by being present. Dragging myself out of bed, putting on clean clothes, and going outside. I eventually started to seek peace within myself. I began to meditate and enjoy the simple things. I went on a walk early in the morning. The silence was incredible- before every silence was an awkward silence to me.
The cycle of life has low points and high points. It’s okay not to be happy, but don’t let those weak points make you feel like you aren’t allowed to be happy. I want you to find a meaningful path to move forward. Find the thing you genuinely enjoy and do it. Stop snatching away moments from ourselves because of fear. Be present in your life. Right here, right now, is what’s important- the future and the past don’t matter.