When I began my journey towards happiness, it seemed like an unattainable goal. The voice in my head kept torturing me and every time I took huge strides toward obtaining my goal that little voice would re-emerge saying things like; "it's not possible to be happy when nothing is going my way!" I have come to realize and accept that this inner voice is only there to torture us and create self-doubt 99.9% of the time.
As I became more self aware, I began to notice how comfortable and secure I felt playing the role of the victim. By doing this, I was taking the blame off of myself, meanwhile making other people accountable for things that were in my power to change. Essentially, I was making myself feel powerless over my life and diminishing my self-worth. This became a vicious cycle in my life and a habit that was very hard to break. I believe this is a common cycle most people experience in the society we live in...
Now, don't get down about this information. Information is good! Information helps us grow! AND to be completely honest, our destructive thought patterns are not our fault one bit - they are the side effect of our conditioning growing up. This conditioning has given us a unique, individual perspective on life AND it also acts as our conscious (that's a good thing!). Once we notice this, we can become aware that the problem is our perspective on life, NOT life itself. In Don Miguel Ruiz's book The Four Agreements, he talks about heaven vs. hell and how they are not concepts that can only be applied to an after realm but also can describe our perception of life here and now. He states;
"Every human has his or her own personal dream, and just like the society dream, it is often ruled by fear. We learn to dream hell in our own life, in our personal dream. The same fears manifest in different ways for each person, of course, but we experience anger, jealousy, hate envy and other negative emotions. Our personal dream can become an ongoing nightmare where we suffer and live in a state of fear. But we do not have to dream a nightmare. It is possible to enjoy a pleasant dream."
Idea: Instead of asking life "why is this happening to me?" and victimizing ourselves when things aren't going our way, lets embrace whatever is going on by staying totally present and open to whatever lesson life is trying to teach us. Let's begin to ask questions like; "what am I meant to learn from this situation?"
Now, I know this sounds easier said than done and you may be asking yourself "how do I know when I am ready to start this journey towards happiness?" The answer is simple. You will know. Listen to yourself. Learn to trust your intuition. When the time is right, you will know and you will quickly spring to action.
For those of you have already started on this journey, there may be times when we (naturally) feel stuck and completely uncompelled to take the next step forwards - that is okay too! Sometimes, as Melody Beattie writes in The Language of Letting Go, standing in once place without any direction is okay and exactly what we need for the time.
"It is okay to be temporarily without direction. Say "I don't know," and be comfortable with that. We do not have to try to force wisdom, knowledge, or clarity when there is none... Clarity will come. The next step will present itself. Indecision, inactivity, and lack of direction will not last forever"
For some of us, this period of indecisiveness is just the calm before the storm. Sometimes it is good to just sit with ourselves and enjoy this quiet downtime before we start to push ahead, set more goals and take another step along the road. You are merely giving yourself the necessary time to refuel before you hit the road again. Below detail the early stages of my personal journey and how I was compelled to head down this road:
First - I started to have thoughts about where I wanted my life to go and how I wanted my relationships to look. I was tired of playing the role of the victim... the weight was becoming too heavy! It was time to start looking at myself and questioning why I was constantly allowing myself to be victimized and the effect it was having on all my relationships. Of course, that inner-voice began to fight with me endlessly until I finally just gave up on the idea all together. Fear kicked in and I decided it was much easier to continue living the way I have been used to.
Then - For some reason, this road to happiness kept calling me but I would ignore the signs time and time again until one day I was walking passed a store with a huge Buddha out front and I felt compelled to walk in. That day, I was feeling particularly down in the dumps over a breakup, I was completely heartbroken. I see a table of healing crystals and I ask the sales associate if he could sell me a crystal that I could carry around with me and make me feel better 100% better. He walked over to the bookshelf, grabbed The Language of Letting Go off the shelf, handed it to me and told me to go home and read it. I opened the book up to a random page before purchasing the book and it was EXACTLY what I need to hear! The seed had been planted.
Next - I gathered data. Tons of it! I read books, blogs, watched YouTube videos and TED talks. I did just about everything I could to prepare myself for what to expect and map out the different roads I could take to obtain the life I desired. Hearing other people's success stories helped motivate me a lot! They made it seem like it was possible. Obviously this was my fear working its way out of me. As humans, we feel better about going into any situation when we know what to expect. Fear of the unknown can be crippling so we usually stick our toes in the water first instead of diving in headfirst.
FINALLY - I felt ready to take my first steps down the road and the best part was; I knew exactly what my first steps were going to be! The clarity had finally come!
Now granted, this may not be the same for everyone, but hopefully some of you can relate and I encourage everyone to share their own personal stories and blogs about how they were called to embark on this wonderful journey as well!
The most important part of this entire process, I have learned, is listening to yourself, knowing what your needs are and trusting yourself enough to know that you are the ONLY person who knows what is best for you. I love it when Beattie wrote in The Language of Letting Go:
"The most important trust issue we face is learning to trust ourselves. The most detrimental thing that's happened to us is that we came to believe we couldn't trust ourselves"
Start to connect with yourself once again. You will know when you are ready to embark on this journey. At first, the road may seem a bit foggy, but just focus on what is directly in front of you. Stay present. Trust yourself to know when the next step on your journey has presented itself and that you will know when you are ready to take it. For now, just cherish this moment.
Remember: When we step back and realize that if we loosen up the reigns a bit and allow life to take us where we are meant to go, we will stop trying to control the uncontrollable and we can finally begin taking the necessary steps towards living in a state of bliss, self love and happiness.
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