If there is one realization I would say is both persistent and perfectly-timed for the start of my “Year of Living Intuitively,” it is this:
If I want to be happy, I have to fight for it.
I say this because life IS hard.
It is hard for all of us. And if I choose to, I can always find hardships – mine or others’ – to focus on.
In fact, without even breathing hard, I could keep myself miserable 24/7 just thinking about the incredibly painful, awful things happening all over the world right at this very minute to people, animals, and the Earth.
With all that grimness so visible and readily available, I have to make a conscious, intentional, and absolutely consistent effort to find the bright bits and hold on tight.
I have decide that every glass that looks half-empty at first glance must also have a less easily seen twin that is half-full….and then I have to muster up the guts to walk over and introduce myself and make a new friend.
I have to decide to push chin-up through a bad day (or a bad year)….and then actually do it.
I have to dig up the extra oomph of focus and energy it takes to remember there are hard lives going on all around me, and often what we each and all need most is not a big group sob session (although sometimes that can also help!) but a shared round of laughs and the courage to smile and pay it forward.
I have to – I want to – make it easier and easier for myself to wake up with gratitude and a hopeful attitude …. and climb back into bed at night feeling more of the same.
Perhaps most importantly, I have to choose the kind of mentoring company that is also striving towards this same goal so we can encourage each other at challenging moments and celebrate each others’ successes.
So that means I have to fight for my happiness – fight with all the fight I have in me, and use all of the same amount of determination and courage I used to overcome an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety in their turn.
When this gets particularly tough to do (some days it is), I remind myself I didn’t do all that hard recovery work so I could stay miserable.
I fought for my life so I could live it, enjoy it, thrive in it, share it, learn from it, and smile bravely through its ups and downs, knowing things can always get worse, but they can always, ALWAYS get better too.
Because of this – this firm resolve – every day these days, I am getting better – stronger – in my courtship of grateful joy.
When the really tough days show up, I dig in again and redouble my efforts to let them go for good (as opposed to rehashing their details endlessly with family and friends in every conversation for days or weeks to come, ignoring all of life’s subsequent goodness that is equally conversation-worthy).
Making this effort is definitely a labor of love for me, however. This is because I am an expert in “wallowing” – in being depressed and anxious and whiny – and I am still a newbie to living life with happiness as my default perspective.
So my old “misery” default button can easily get reset by even the tiniest inner power outage, and then I have to start over again, whining and all, working my way back towards my ability to find life’s joy in all of its sparkly and unexpected little ways.
Yet, like anything worth having in this life, I figure it is worth all the hard work I can offer. Recovery has been worth it – totally worth it!
And I truly, truly believe this will be too.
Today’s Takeaway: Do you believe you must fight for your happiness? What do you do to hold on to the happiness, joy, and peace that comes your way? I’d love to know what works well for you!