Day 59: A Prelude to Happiness

I think there is something that happens when you grow up in an environment where you are not loved in a way that you need to be loved. I think you don’t learn what love is supposed to be and when the only thing you know is fear and insecurity you adapt and figure out how to live there quite successfully. When you have adapted to any situation it starts to feel normal. Then, at some point in your 30s you realize you want to know what happiness feels like.

It seems like it should be an easy thing to do, find things that make you happy and then embrace it.

For me, that is not my experience. I could find things that made me happy for a split second, but it was as if there was something preventing that feeling from traveling to my heart. I knew I was happy in those moments but I didn’t FEEL happy.

Then I learned about love. I learned that love can be the most overwhelmingly beautiful experience and also one of the darkest parts of living. Love can heal and destroy. I thought true love would be this nirvana, and I still think it can be, but I think that real love comes in layers. Once there are enough layers of experience and disagreements and sticking around love settles in for the long haul. This to me is true love. Love that stays.

My love experience has been a rocky one the last few months. I have no clue where my future will end up, what man I will end up with, if I will even find a partner. But I do know that I am loved, very very deeply. When that love isn’t around I feel really sad.

I used to think that the depth of anguish I felt was in direct proportion to how much I loved someone. It turns out that depth of pain is really a reflection of how strong I am and how much I can handle. In an effort to feel something, sometimes I will amplify that pain to the point of near breaking. It expands that boundary of what I am capable of feeling. I am really well versed in expanding the pain and it is and has been, where I have lived for many many years.

This morning for a second I felt a glimmer of happiness in my heart and I immediately squashed it. Didn’t I remember I was supposed to be mourning the loss of Mr. X in my life (in the capacity I wanted him anyways)? The feeling came again for a second and again I thought, aren’t I supposed to be sad?

What is the prelude to happiness? For me, it was giving myself permission to feel happy.

I was driving down the road repeating to myself, “It’s okay to be happy. ” It is okay to be happy in the middle of sadness. That pain isn’t gone, it just released and moved around a little. It is okay to experience happiness even though your heart is breaking. It is okay to feel happiness during mourning.

After repeating these things a few times, the guilt started to dissipate. I remembered that another thing love is to me is wanting the person you love to be happy, whatever that looks like. In that moment I knew that Mr. X would be happy that I was happy. Happy that I was smiling in spite of the pain, happy that I was moving forward without him.

So I chose to smile, to sing a little in my car, to embrace the feeling and let it plant a seed in my heart. The next time it comes to bloom I will welcome it with arms open a little wider. ❤ ❤

Day 37: What Do You Want?

My goodness, I am distracted tonight. After last night’s glorious lack of inspiration I fear I am not much better off this evening which means… it’s time to go back to basics!

I just got done with Mike Kemski’s two week PowerLife Challenge. It was an amazing group of people all dedicated to transformation, everyone was taking the steps. We all got “lifed” in one way or another and everyone kept carrying on with this amazing amount of love and support. It was a really great group. I would HIGHLY suggest doing one of his challenges if you have the chance.

The one thing that Mike always starts his programs with is target practice otherwise known as “What do you want?”

For the longest time this was so hard for me to answer. What do I want? It’s a paralyzing question for most people. I could only start by answering with what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be worried about money, I didn’t want to live in a house that feel oppressive and small. I didn’t want to be alone. Even writing those things down feels… icky. It feels a little bit like a stroke of negativity that I have been trying to shift all my life. It feels like fear based thinking. And it is. … but…. it’s a great place to start on this process of transformation, because if you are like me, the don’t want list is very long… which means that it’s a very easy tool to use because the opposite of that, the want list, will be equally as long. It means that you have a lot of targets and a lot of things that you want which provides motivation and momentum.

There is this flawed thinking in the personal development world that anything that is negative is bad, that if you think negative thoughts you will draw that into your life. There is some truth to that. If one constantly seeks to find the negative then that is what will “come into your life” but it is more a matter of awareness. What you are looking for, you will find. These negative things though, they exist for a reason. They provide contrast and are the duality to the positives (one cannot exist without the other). If all you see is negatives and you want to see the positives, then USE the negatives to see the positives. It’s really simple actually. In this case we want to figure out what we want and all we have is a list of don’t wants.

I don’t want to worry about money – so what I do want it to have enough income coming in that I can make purchases without anxiety or concern, this will lead to a feeling of freedom.

I don’t want to live in a small, oppressive house, so what I do want it a living arrangement that is big enough where I feel unencumbered and have all of my things around me comfortably, this will give me a feeling of openness and freedom.

I don’t want to be alone, so I want someone in my life who I can have a fulfilling and loving relationship, this will make me feel secure and cherished.

That’s the other thing about our want list, what we are really searching for is a feeling, or several feelings that lead to an overall elevated quality of life. The tricky part here with some of these goals is not getting too attached to the future vision and being open to how those things might show up. Alternatively the goals can be very specific. I can say I want a two story home with a hot tub and a granite counter top kitchen and that is just as valid. That might make me feel successful for example.

So why did I go back to the beginning? It’s a good reminder for me what I want this blog to be and I am hoping it will help me get back on track and find some inspiration to write.

What I don’t want is this to be a dumping ground for all of my emotions. What I do want is a safe space where I can come to write about my own personal development and journey into loving myself deeper with the hope that these words will reach other people who are on a similar path. It will hopefully provide some inspiration or at least motivation to them to strive, not for perfection, but for progress in building the life they want and will provide a body of content for what I hope will one day be an illustrious career as an authenticity and mindset coach.

Once I have my don’t want and do want list (this is an exercise in duality), it’s now time to look for resources to help me get what I want. This is where the power of perspectives comes in. All day today I have been worried about what I was going to write tonight. NOTHING CAME TO ME…. and why would it? I was meeting the task with anxiety and fear, but now that I have revisited my mission I can look back on my day and see I actually had a lot of resources that could have contributed to a post tonight.

I was in a really crabby mood this morning and instead of running and hiding from the world I chose to tell the person I was supposed to work with that I was not feeling like having company and would she mind doing some other tasks today. Old me would have just let her come with and would have not spoken three words the entire day and instead been pissed about my lot in life. So right there is 1. huge progress and 2. a lesson in communication and asking for what you want that could be a topic to write on.

I had a run in with the unflattering man that I work with. He and that situation is an endless source of input on what not to do and how not to be a team player… more material.

I had to search long and hard for motivation for my day job, more material there on how I found some today.

I also took the alone time I needed, put in a motivating podcast, thank you Russell Brand, and by the time I got through my morning was in a much better mood so… material on shifting mindset.

See…. there are resources all around us all the time. It is a matter of asking how can this help me get to that. How can my dogs help me blog better? They provide a sense of well being that can get me centered to write. How can my chic fil a help me blog better? I can’t think very well on an empty stomach and it saved me time from cooking so I could sit down to my computer after a long day. How can the veggies I bought at the store help me (I know I know… yes I bought veggies and then had fast food), they provide a nourishing meal that will help my cells work efficiently which will improve my thinking and clarity… etc etc. You get the idea.

So really when I look around, I have a ton of inspiration. It is just a matter of seeing it and using it. And now that I have this one in the books, I have a lot more material for the rest of the week. It’s simple really, what do you want? It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It is basically a process in learning to make decisions. Find a target, identify resources to help you, interact with 3-5 of them every day, gain confidence in decision making, pick another larger target and keep going until suddenly you are living the life you imagined! ❤ ❤

Day 36: An Astounding Lack of Inspiration

It is always crazy to me that I can have a day where my heart is open and flowing and I feel loved and strong and powerful and then I go to sleep and wake up the next day a completely different person.

I hope these waves will stabilize a little bit once the growth I am searching for really sinks in, but I’m not sure that it will.

There are some schools of thought in the personal development world that say that finding appreciation before going to sleep will set your morning up to start with gratitude and warmth in the heart. They suggest you find 3-5 things to be appreciative of and write them down before sleep…. I haven’t found that to be the case for me. I still do the exercise but…. I find that sleeping tend to reset me to a default setting which is, the product of childhood wiring and is overwhelmingly negative. Sometimes I can have this amazing day the day before and then wake up to the exact opposite, a stinking pile of shit. Sometimes I wake up exactly where I left off, but more often than not it is an echo of the feelings from the day before, not as potent, but still present. Today was one of those shit sandwich days. There was absolutely no reason for it either.

It’s really frustrating actually.

So I got up, I went to my gym and worked out, chatted with some friends, came home and took a three hour nap because when I feel like this I sleep…..a lot. Then I woke up, groggy as hell, sat down to write and…. nothing. My energy feels zapped, my heart feels closed. W.T.F.

I think some of this comes back to Mr. X, him and I have this weird as hell connection. His heart was open a crack yesterday and fuck it felt good. Those days are like being surrounded in love. We didn’t even really talk much, there was no special conversation but I can FEEL it from him. Today, his heart is shut. It is really amazing how much it effects me. I think this is the emotionally empathic side of me that I have never experienced with anyone else and quite frankly I don’t know what to do with it! I know, it sounds like a cop out and a reason to not take responsibility for my feelings, and I promise that isn’t what is going on here. If you haven’t felt someone else’s heart beating in your own chest you can’t really comprehend what we have. But, I do take full responsibility for not shifting this better, because that is a choice, some days, though, the motivation to do so just isn’t there. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to make that shift and on days when I am afforded the luxury of a quiet, alone day, I reserve that energy.

I came up with a couple ways I could relieve this heaviness, but today is like a blanket so thick it weighs down the soul. At some point I just realized, it’s here. It’s frustrating and it’s telling me something. It’s causing me to look at my life and evaluate what’s working and what isn’t and those are all good things. So instead of fighting it, I am letting it be. I am doing the necessary internal overview and then I am going to go to bed early. I am still here, still showing up for myself, so there is pride in that. I am finding the things that bring my a little spark of joy and I am engaging with them, a mug of hot tea, a good romance novel, a snuggle from my dogs.

There are days where there is little inspiration, little motivation, little feeling really, and those days are okay. They are a solid contrast to the good days and provide a lot of drive to continue this path of improvement and self love. I can also see that these days come less and less and I have more happiness and joy in my life than ever before so there has been a tremendous amount of progress.

Here’s to tomorrow. May it be full of love, inspiration and appreciation for all of us. ❤ ❤

The horses have absolutely no relevance to this post, but they make me happy so…. Image by ATDSPHOTO from Pixabay