When I was living in the darkness I thought I needed certain things to be happy. I had a list, and because I hadn’t obtained everything on that list I felt justified in my unhappiness. I used that list as an excuse to sit in my anger and depression and felt entitled to have the things I thought were going to make me happy, feeling like not having them was a denial from life to have the life I thought I should have. What I didn’t see was that I had always held the key to my own happiness, and, it had nothing to do with those things on that list.
In the past happiness had always meant, career, people, places and things. But those things were empty without self-love and peace in my heart. No matter how much stuff I could accumulate, or what prestige I could garner from my career or chosen partner, I always felt empty and alone, and, many times expected whatever I had to be taken away. It wasn’t until stepping on this path that I started to realize that none of those things were going to give me the happiness that I had to find in myself, but, how was I going to find that happiness when I had spent my life chasing the wrong things? I leaned on those I saw who had found that happiness. I had been advised to find people who had what I wanted, and I don’t mean to take it, or pretend to be like them, but to align myself with those people who had found what I was looking for and ask them how they had done it. Joining a support group helped me to expand this new circle of friends who were seeking what I was, or had found it, and it allowed me to follow by example to find that happiness for myself.
I had to break everything down and start all over. It seemed daunting at first, but I was encouraged to only do what I could each day. So I started to build from the foundation up, knowing that the foundation was the most important part, I did not try to rush the process, but allowed myself to listen, grow and learn who I was and what was truly going to fill my heart with love. It turns out it wasn’t people, places, things, or my career, sure, I enjoyed those things and worked hard, but without any of them I had to find my own happiness from the inside. I started with loving acts toward myself, focusing on my gratitude each day and what I liked about myself, to start that list was very small, sometimes only one word, but it grew over time as my love for myself grew. I started to say yes to things, trying new things with new people, and I began to feel connected like I had never felt before. Also, by being accountable for my actions I noticed my self-esteem was getting stronger, and, I started to like myself. The more I practiced showing myself love and practicing self-care the more that that like turned to love, something I didn’t think was possible. At the beginning of my journey I was physically not able to say I love you out loud when looking at myself in the mirror, and now all of my acts were based in the newfound love I had found for myself.
Today I still don’t have all of those things that used to be on my list that I thought I needed to be happy, some of them have appeared, but I realize that I never needed those things to find happiness, happiness is something I found and created in myself and no matter where I am I can take that with me. My life today is very full, and full of love, and there isn’t a list that is contingent on my happiness, I’m happy right where I am, I share this to show you that it’s possible, you too can find that place for yourself, or realize you’re already there, just search for it inside your heart. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you have a list that you believe is the key to your happiness? What is on that list? Why do you believe that those items on your list can make you happy. Have any of those things truly made you happy on their own when you don’t feel happy where you are? What can you do today that shows yourself that you are loved? What are you grateful for in your life today? What do you like or love about yourself? Of those things you might not like or love, how can you find some kindness and love toward yourself and those things? What can you do today to show yourself love? Get on the self-love way of living, find others who are doing the same and support and encourage one another. When you surround yourself with love it is easier to see the love in yourself, and, you may just find some happiness right where you are.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you