Ever feel like finding happiness is just impossible? That the pursuit of happiness is some great myth? You look around and you see people happy on Facebook and happy on Instagram and others around you are happy but not you…. why not!? Is there some big universal conspiracy that says you don’t get to be happy? If that’s the crutch you’ve been clinging to, I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but there’s not. You’re not happy because you’re choosing not to be. This is where you start to virtually spit at me, I know, but give me a minute to explain.
I have so many people ask me this same question over and over….” how are you so happy?” “what’s your secret?” You know that I have struggled, I’ve been very candid with you about it. My friends, my people, they all know just how bad it got during those dark days and so they’re the ones that ask the most frequently “how do you do it?”
There’s no one size fits all, no magical book to read or potion to take. If it were that easy, then we’d all be walking around with perma-smiles and great attitudes everyday. The harsh reality is that life is hard, and it will knock you down, sometimes even kick you while you’re down there, it’s how you respond to the butt kicking that makes all the difference.
The thing I’ve learned over time is that the only thing you can control is you and your reaction to things. Life is all about choices. You can choose to let life beat you up and get the best of you or you can choose to rise above it. You make the conscious effort to look that struggle in the eye and say “not today…. you will not get the best of me. I see you and I know that the reason this is happening to me is because I am strong enough to handle this”
Mindset is everything. I know you’re probably thinking, “yea, I’ve heard this one a million times, doesn’t help, thank you, next….” I’ve been there. I’ve been the one reading these words thinking “these people are all cracked….it might work for them, but they have no idea what I’m up against. What they’re saying just isn’t possible for me.” And that my friend is the mindset you’re choosing for yourself in this moment.
It took me a good long while to get out of the funk of a negative mindset and a bad attitude towards life. I had a rough 3 years post split and if we’re being honest, life was pretty sucky for me up until that point as well. I held onto that negativity like a security blanket. No one knows hardship like I do. No one has to put up with this much shhh…I’m sure of it. Guess what, EVERYBODY has a hard time. Every single one of us has experienced the great a$$ kicking of life itself at one point.
Those people that you see so happy on social media, they’re posting about their best, not their worst. You’re catching the photo edited version of someone’s life. Take it with a grain of salt. Your friends and peers who get vacations and new clothes, the big house and fancy car, maybe they are swimming in debt or maybe they worked their butts off to get to a point where they can afford that lifestyle for themselves. Thing is, you never really know what someone has been through or what they’re going through because most of us like to portray that we have life handled, that we have it all together all the time. It’s all about appearances but that’s not real life. This is not a Disney movie.
Life is full of heartache and struggle. Health issues and money problems. Kids driving you crazy, jobs you hate, traffic even on a Sunday. This is life. We get mixed up in bad relationships, we get stuck running the rat race and taking care of everyone and everything except for ourselves. Ever try to pour water from an empty cup? You can’t do it. Same goes for you. You can’t run yourself into the ground and expect to be the best version of yourself. You’re no good to anyone if you’re running on fumes, running on empty.
So, I ask you now, what’s your decision today? You can choose to keep running yourself into the ground, focusing on all the negativity around you or you can choose to make a change. You get to choose. You can choose to be happy. You can choose to rise above the hardship and choose a different path for yourself. Are you brave enough to do it? I know you’re strong enough too because here’s a secret, the reason you’re being dealt the cards you are is because you are strong enough to handle this life of yours.
Believe in yourself. Believe that you deserve better than what you’ve been dealt, knowing that these things are happening to you to help shape you into the person you’re meant to be. Stop looking at the struggle as something you hate and can’t get through and look at it from a different lense. Look at it from the perspective that hard lives build strong character and you are going to be one amazing person for all this trouble you’ve gone through. The more you resist the pain the harder it is to live with and get through. So, do yourself a favor and learn from my mistake, don’t resist it so hard but try your best to embrace the pain, seeing it from a different perspective.
Another key thing to remember is you can’t change people and you can’t always change the circumstance either but the one thing you always have control over is you. You can change how you react and respond to things. Change your thoughts, change your life!
Start writing down the things you aren’t happy with in your life and start writing goals for yourself to change those things. Making decisions based on your own happiness is not selfish. It’s necessary for you to be happy. I’m not saying start making harsh decisions that negatively affect those around you all for the sake of your own happiness, but if you’ve been neglecting you like often times us Moms do, then seriously…. slow down, take a deep breath, and start looking at ways to take care of you.
Life is too short to be anything but happy.