When I was younger I often felt I was at war with my inner self and truth. I was raised in the conservative South in the nineteen seventies. Speaking up or saying something out of place was shamed and scorned. It wasn’t a time or place when people valued those who didn’t conform, stay silent, and fit in. It was an environment and lifestyle where I could never be who I was and live in any form of authenticity. I knew that there was something better someday, but it took me many years of unraveling my past to bring it about. I was often frustrated and felt like I didn’t belong. It was lonely at times, but I used my solitude to get to know myself.
My childhood home was a suburban “me-generation” dysfunctional environment, and I was often made to feel that I didn’t deserve to be happy and be whole. I know that there was no ill-intention, and it was how things were. It wasn’t all bad and my parents did their best, but we all knew the role we were supposed to portray and were vigilant in maintaining its banality.
I created an impenetrable barrier to the outside world and was prone to give up on myself before I even started. It held me back from opportunities and limited my choices. This took an emotional toll. As I matured my self-created walls and defenses were hardened. I created a life for the benefit of others much to my own shame and regret. The idea of being my authentic self was a concept that I could barely imagine. It was there in my spirit but so hard for me accept.
MAKING IT RIGHT
It doesn’t sound like a hopeful statement, but I spent half of my life giving up on myself and the other half trying to make it right. Our darkest periods will always provide the most growth and future happiness. I can testify from many life experiences that this always the result.
My earlier years were about living life for the expectations of others and was rarely truly happy. My lies were eating up my soul and I became more reckless and cared less about myself. I began to care less about my future and lived a fast and reckless life without. It was a time for exploration, but I still didn’t know what it meant to be truly happy. A feeling I would soon discover as I began to fight for the right to be myself.
Change is a constant in our lives and nothing lasts forever. As The Happiness Warrior, I believe that in our darkest moments we can find our greatest strength. We can use the darkness to regain our spirit and light.
We can stop giving up on ourselves in the blink of an eye when our intention becomes focused, and mindset is reinvented. We can be winners every day when we start putting things right in our own lives. We can believe in ourselves fully and accept our mistakes. We can forgive ourselves for past errors and gain self-mastery as we move through life.
Anything is possible when we give ourselves permission to be happy and share our passion for life with others.
I’ve always believed that being alive and greeting every new day is a new gift to be thankful for. This feeling of gratitude can do so much to change our lives, why not make it happen for yourself?
What is the purpose of our lives unless we are fully invested in ourselves and able to share our talents and abilities?
FEAR IS MEANINGLESS
Life can be hard, and obstacle filled for all of us but the choices we make for ourselves is how we determine our destiny. Fear is a great leveler of our spirit and always causes us pain and regret. We are stronger than we believe sometimes, but the world around us is full of traps and false promises that can make us think of giving up. It’s never the end and there’s always something great coming on the horizon.
We can rewrite our story when we know that in our hearts that we can never give up. We can find a spark inside to help us rise and strive to be better. We can be the best versions of ourselves no matter how hard we’re hit. We can choose an attitude of forbearance and honesty with ourselves.
We gain strength and empathy when we see ourselves for who we are. It’s the very essence of our authenticity. It’s the self-guided desire to help others in their struggles. To never give up on ourselves is our connection to the universe and all of its possibilities and dimensions. It’s self-esteem and life mastery brought to its highest level.
DEVELOP PERSONAL CORE VALUES
As The Happiness Warrior, I believe that as humans we have the innate ability to set our personal compass in the direction that will give us our best lives. This might be hard. Our circumstances might feel bleak, but we can do it when we believe in ourselves and seek to raise our vibration. We’re the products of our environment and living conditions. What we see and feel can be easily distorted and make us feel imbalanced. It’s natural for us to want to belong and be liked but too often we’re encouraged to conform and submit. We are led to believe that the lives we lived are for our best interests and forget to hang on to our dreams.
The world has changed, and I feel there’s hope on the horizon. We’re learning to use our voices and more of us are demanding to be heard. It’s a quiet and steady revolution where we learn that we can finally fully actualize our true selves. It’s a time when we thrive when we live by the strength and conviction of our personal core values.
LIVING IN TRUTH
I have five core values that I live by every day that are embedded in my subconsciousness. They are solid, unwavering, and always with me. My core values guide my decisions and actions and always help me set things right in a chaotic and confusing world. Core values are the essence of who we are and the very spirit of our authentic being.
Defining our unique set of personal core values starts with a journey in our heads that’s filled with possibility. Picture yourself shining at your very best and keep your thoughts on high vibration. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and feel a surge of belief in who you are. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Picture the most meaningful moments in your life and the emotions that the memories create. What made them so meaningful? Who were you with? Where were you?
2. Now, bring forth memories that are the most painful. Remember who you were with and where you were.
3. Think of the first five things that inspire you. How do these relate to your emotions and feelings of self-worth?
4. Ask yourself what makes you angry (try not to have too big of a list!)
5. What would an ideal world look like, how would that inspire you?
6. Make an inventory of your entire life and remember your accomplishments. What are you most proud of.
SELF-AWARENESS CREATES SELF-ESTEEM
Too often the stories of our lives are written by others, and we fall victim to undeserved feelings of guilt and shame. It can feel almost as if the world is conspiring against us, and we no longer deserve to be happy. It can keep us from ever realizing who we truly are and trapped in a spiral of anger and unhappiness.
The antidote is found within all of us once we learn to look inward and conquer the demons within. When we allow the light of self-awareness to enter our spirit we can begin to do the work to conquer the self-inflicted harm that we are so practiced at doing. We can raise our vibration by removing words of doubt and self-criticism. We can start slowly and begin to uncover all of the good that lies within us waiting to be utilized and discovered. This newfound self-awareness will grow and give us purpose. It will change our lives before we know it and build our sense of self-esteem. As we develop and become more honest with ourselves we start helping others. Self-esteem is the practice of seeing the best in ourselves and our abilities.
HELPING OTHERS RISE
As humans we are always happiest when we have purpose and set our mission on the common good of all. Not giving up on ourselves not only makes a huge difference in our own life journey but can help make the lives of others happier and more fulfilling. Too often ideas are never shared until we see the light within ourselves.
How many stay silent because they believe they don’t have a choice much to our great and unimaginable regret?
I’ve always strived to write with the intention of helping others change their thinking for self-empowerment and betterment in their lives. I never point fingers. I strive to connect with everyone sharing stories of my own pitfalls, self-inflicted wounds, mistakes, and triumphs.
We are all guilty of our transgressions and the sooner we forgive ourselves the sooner we can learn and do better. We can stand by and watch other people run our lives or we can show up for our own lives and kindly show them how we do things better. We can help others when they are struggling and share our empathy and wisdom. We can be better every day when we know that our actions have purpose and meaning.