Learning to be a little bit happier. It is a struggle for all of us. It has become my mission over the past few months to delve in as much positive reading material as I can.
Books about meditation, positive affirmations, visualization, my head has been swimming in yoga poses that relax your mind and special tea mixes that energize your soul. How to cut people from your life and connect with people who share mutual interests in what we enjoy ourselves. It all sounds pretty straight-forward, in theory it should be complete common sense, but putting a plan into action when you have a hard time seeing positivity in almost any situation makes things a little more difficult.
I have been blessed with a family that loves me, filled with days of laughter and little unexpected quips from my son who is smart as can be and even with his sass I still couldn’t ask for anything more. I have been with the same man for the past almost 11 years of my life and together we have grown into these adults who are still trying to find their place in the world, but love each other like it was just day one. A mother who is there to talk when I need her and no matter how absurd I can be sometimes, loves me unconditionally. How could anyone like me need to search to be happier? It is all about the inner peace.
I’ve talked about it so much on social media that people probably still roll their eyes about my story. But that is not what this is about. This isn’t about my specific reasons for having a hard time dealing with people, but with my sense of self-pride and self-deprecating thoughts and how I think that 2017 is going to have to be a year of learning to love ourselves just a little bit more. Why I think that more than ever we have to shut down the self-hate so that we can let ourselves succeed.
Let’s put yourself in a few situations:
You are in a group of friends or acquaintances and you make a joke to follow up one from your friend, and then…crickets. Do your insides cringe?
Let’s change that just a bit, let’s say that you made a joke or even just a comment to add to the conversation and no one heard you and continued on chatting together. Do you stop them?
A situation that happens to me quite often (to my husband’s upset), you come into an event or dinner late and everyone is already there and then they are all focused on you. Do you feel your hands start to get clammy?
Lastly, what if you are a little girl, young adult, or teenager trying to work through what this growing up thing means and you are constantly reminded by some of those nearest to you that you should be thinner, put more work into your appearance, or should take more pride in yourself. How does that make you feel about yourself?
All of these situations have happened in my past and I’m not saying these are the worst of it nor am I saying I haven’t had it better than some; what I am saying is that there have been a series of events happen throughout my life that have caused me to feed into the self-deprecation and my lack of self-confidence. Years have been spent trying to figure out why it is I am not as worthy as some of my peers or why other people have this or that.
Social media makes comparison almost automatic in our day to day life.
Enter, the beauty of change, the fact that you can decide today to change the rest of the week, month, year… Enter the realization that it doesn’t matter what Sally down the street has or what you may have looked like 5 years ago. What matters to us is right now and what choices we plan on making to change our situation for happiness. Right now we have the option to turn that negativity into something more, more of a driving force than something holding us back. It is possible to change your mindset, with small steps everyday adding up to the big change. Though it may not be perceptible at that very instant, over time you will build a stronger and happier mind.
2017 is a year of change. This is the year I plan to not only focus on my outer appearance and health but my inner health of my mind. This is the year to stop talking poorly about myself, about letting the judgement of others shake my ground, or letting what path I want to take be swayed by what is going to better benefit someone else and leave me unhappy. My family is going to be put more first, my hobbies are going to be worked on more, and more time is going to be spent focusing on what I have to be happy for and not on what I don’t have or maybe what someone else has.
I guess this is just a little bit of encouragement for you. Maybe you are strong and don’t feel as I do about these things, you have been lucky enough to avoid those feeling of inadequacy, and if you have that is awesome and I strive to be more like you. But if you have struggled, felt the pull to put another’s happiness above your own, felt like the wall flower that may say something everyone else dislikes, or have a hard time with the negative self-talk, this is for you. You are not alone. Your happiness is important. You are worth the extra time. You are not unworthy. And I am here for you. We can do this together. 2017 is our year to shine.
Lots of Love,