Was your childhood filled with disappointment, fear, shame, or pain?
Does it still follow you today?
Do you find yourself longing for needs that weren’t met, feeling lonely even when you are not alone, or feeling insignificant and wondering about purpose?
Are you used to so many things going wrong that you can’t imagine things going right?
Or maybe when they begin to actually go right you cannot enjoy the moment because you are waiting for something to go wrong?
Are you waiting for your ride to happiness… wondering if it will ever arrive?
If so, don’t wait any longer because you can wait and wait and wait only to find yourself asking “What did I do with it?” during your final days here on Earth. Don’t wait until these final days to wake up to the magic in life and to the power you have within.
Know this… and know it deep.
You have great worth. All of the mistreatment in the world does not decrease your worth. The actions of another person do not define you. EVER! You were created unique, special, and with purpose (even if you haven’t figured out the purpose part yet). Don’t allow the actions of others to stop you from who you were created to be. Instead, find a way to use your pain to find your purpose. This will take courage and work, but you are so worth it!
You make mistakes, and it is alright. We all make mistakes. That goes with being human. Learn from your mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and forgive yourself. You did not know then what you know now. Maybe you think you should have known. But you have grown both morally and emotionally since that time. Let it go. If you continue to beat yourself up, you will miss out on your greater purpose. Get rid of the shame and use your experiences to serve others. They need to learn what you know.
You will give yourself a great gift when you let go of resentment. It does not mean the offense was acceptable. It just means that you will not allow another person who hurt you in the past take away from your present and your future. Resentment and happiness do not go together. You must choose one or the other. If you choose to let go, your ride will arrive.
You are never alone. You may feel alone due to old wounds from your past. Maybe you feel so alone that you stay in destructive relationships just to avoid feeling that past pain. Know YOU ARE NEVER ALONE! Grow spiritually. Find support groups. Fill your heart and mind with things that inspire. You do not need a romantic relationship to complete you. You are complete. You just don’t know it.
You can increase your happiness by doing happy things. Studies show 50% of happiness is born in you. 10% is due to your circumstances. 40% depends on your actions. 40 % is a lot to work with. Exercise. Eat healthy foods. Hang out with positive people. Read books (never stop learning). Serve others. Pray. Do yoga. Garden. Watch inspirational talks (TED talks are great). Help a child. Help someone in need. Keep a gratitude journal rather than a journal of complaints.
You must feel your pain. Life ebbs and flows. We are not going to be happy all of the time. When we turn to things for a quick fix (alcohol, drugs, pornography, excessive shopping, gambling…) to numb the pain, we do not allow ourselves to grieve the situation. As long as we stay numb, our happiness ride will never arrive. We must allow ourselves to grieve and embrace the pain in order to feel great joy.
You will increase your happiness by practicing daily gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal and write at least two things down everyday (no matter how rough things seem). Notice little things in nature. Think about some of the things that you have today that you would miss if they were gone tomorrow. (Maybe it is one of your senses such as your eyesight or maybe it is a friend.) Be grateful and remind yourself daily.
You notice the negative more than the positive. This is human nature. We do this automatically to protect ourselves. Noticing a flower may not save us, but noticing a lion might. If we are going to be happier, we have to intentionally practice noticing the positive things around us. The more we practice the more natural it becomes.
You have more power than you think. When you were young you may have felt powerless. But you are no longer that powerless six-year-old. Go out there! Put yourself out there! Show up with courage! You can do this!
You do not see the bigger picture. Things that have happened in your life may not make sense. Why so much pain? Have faith. There is a bigger picture. You just can’t see it yet. Have faith and never underestimate the power of prayer.
I hope this helps. If you would like to dive deeper, please check out my book , The Snowball Effect: How to Build Positive Momentum in Your Life. I wrote this book out of a deep desire to instill hope in people who were facing difficult times. I wanted them to know the things that I have seen help so many.
It covers the topics that are most challenging for the people who come to me for counseling and therapy. It covers letting go of resentment, obliterating harsh self-judgments, and stopping explosive or impulsive reactions. It also covers moving though fear to move forward, taking baby steps to get there, and finding purpose through adversity. Unlike many books, this book shares with the reader why these things are so important along with how to actually do them (action steps). The book is also full of stories about people finding their own happiness ride and how they did it.
Thinking about you, especially those of you who are hurting. Wishing you light, peace, and happiness.