I've been thinking a lot about happiness lately. I've been battling an inner war in search of it for a long time. As human beings, our perception of happiness changes as we grow, and what I believed happiness meant to me in my 20's has certainly changed to the way I perceive it today - at 46. These days, I struggle moreover how I can achieve it, than what it truly means to me.
I feel as though there is no balance between my mind, body and spirit and it's killing me. I'm trying so hard to pave a path for myself but it's a hard thing to do when your future seems so unclear.
Happiness is something we all strive for but seldom find. Mainly because our perception of it is so distorted. We are too "plugged in" to what social media and society deem as "acceptable happiness" and rarely pursue our own version of it, or worse - scared to envision it for ourselves.
There are so many factors that dictate what makes us happy. It's like everything and everyone has a say in it but us. A concept that is so crazy to me. Sadly, I've fallen into this trap for a long time. I allowed people to maneuver my happiness by their worth of who I am. And not just people, financial and positional worth has been equally crippling. Why do we continuously do this to ourselves?
One of my biggest struggles is letting go of the past. I think that alone has held me back in so many ways. Something that's incredibly hard to admit but it's true. I keep fueling my past by keeping it alive in my present life. Holding onto things I shouldn't have has made me neglect areas of my life that have been screaming for attention for years. My soul craves the happiness and laughter it once knew, yet all I feed it is the heavyweight pain that has made a permanent home within my heart.
My past has made me a prisoner and my future is hanging in the balance. If I don't change things now, I'm afraid that I will suffer the greatest loss of my life. Although I am fully conscious of this fact, I'm afraid to let go. The memories of loss and bad choices have literally haunted my dreams. I am allowing this negative thought process to overpower and overshadow the new person I am trying so hard to give birth too. For fear that it will just be another loss or failure down the road. That I have already made too many mistakes along the way and now at 46 I cannot afford to make anymore - so the pressure is on! I know it’s wrong to give in to fear and these sort of feelings however, at times it’s tough to keep them at bay.
So what does one do? How do you begin to trust yourself enough to start again? How do you give yourself permission to leave all you have known behind because the future will be paved with better choices, better roads?
People say that happiness is a choice, but is it? Is it really? I mean who the hell chooses to live in agony? No one! So, how then can it be a choice? I don't choose to live like this, It's just all I've ever known. The bad stuff is always easier to believe.
I never want to leave this life being a victim of my environment. If anything I have always tried to be positive for others by speaking rawly and openly about my life, in hopes that it will lead them to greener pastures. Kind of a "do as I say and not as I do" sort of thing. That you don't have to be the rotten fruit that falls from an ill tree. But, it's just so hard to see the sunrise sometimes, when all you know is darkness. I realize that we don't have any control over the events that happen to us in life, but that we do have power over what we allow those events to mean to us. And sadly, I haven't been the greatest puppeteer in that area - but I want to try and be better.
I want to be happy. I deserve to be happy. We all do! So where do we start?
In the words of Albert Einstein:
”A person experiences life as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness.”
So maybe I'll start there - Having compassion for myself and all that I've lived through. Hopefully, that will begin the road that leads to forgiveness. Not from others but, from myself.
I wish us all well in the pursuit of our own happiness.