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I couldn’t get through the heaviness of it all. My life, my responsibilities, my divorce. I just felt overwhelmed and like I didn’t deserve anything good in my life. You ever feel like that? Hopeless, worthless, undeserving? I felt so alone in all these feelings. I shouldn’t feel like that, but I couldn’t help it. It was probably the fifth night I spent crying myself to sleep. The gamut of horrible thoughts ran through my head like a stampede.
When you’re in an abusive relationship (read my story of domestic violence here), you get used to the outside voices dragging you down. So use to it that the inner voices start to mimic those voices. NOT GOOD! 20 years of listening to those voices and you soon realize that this endeavor of silencing those inner voices is going to take some serious work. However, if I’m going to survive this thing called life I need to work on my own happiness and pronto! Making the decision to get better was the first step.
I’ve tried these in the past to no avail. I just felt ridiculous doing them. Plus the things I was saying I didn’t believe. Now I know the whole point of doing affirmations is to tell yourself things over and over again until you believe them. But after 20 years of self-depreciation, I didn’t believe myself. I didn’t feel like I deserved it. But I found affirmations that were true or at least that I could believe and then work up to bigger and better affirmations. For example, I had this recurring guilt that I wasn’t a good enough mom. At first, I tried “I am an amazing mom and my kids love me.” But I wasn’t believing it, no matter how hard I tried. I mean, I knew my kids loved me, but I wasn’t near the place where I thought I was an “amazing mom”.
So I started with something completely factual. “I’m a mom and I’m doing my best”. I kept repeating that to myself. I even said it during those trying times where I was struggling with being a parent. Kids don’t always make that easy for us, especially when we’re struggling with personal issues of our own and have a hard time taking care of ourselves let alone a tiny whiny person demanding your attention. That totally worked. Eventually, I worked my way up to “I’m an amazing mom doing my best to raise decent young beings”.
Holy crap this was THE MOST DIFFICULT thing to do! I didn’t cut myself any slack in this department. Why? I think it was how I was raised. I saw all the adults around me being hard on me, hard on themselves, hard on others, bringing up past grudges, not letting go of things someone else may have done to them. This translation to me was that I need to be hard on myself and I reveled in my guilt of things that I had done wrong.
You can always hear wise people tell you, forgive those even if they don’t ask for forgiveness. You’re not doing it for them, you’re doing it for you. Well, the same goes for forgiving yourself, except you ARE doing this for yourself. You need to let go of whatever crap you’re holding on to. Forgive yourself, move on and live in the now. If you need some help with this you should read this post.
Live in the Present
I heard a quote recently that really resonated with me. “If you are depressed you are living in the past and if you’re anxious you’re living in the future. If you have peace, you are living in the present.” ~Lao Tzu
Of course, depression and anxiety can be more than just that and often times have something to do with a chemical imbalance. But once you realize this statement and realize the truth in it, it’s easier to deal with both depression and anxiety. You just need to find coping mechanisms to get past those things so you can live in peace, aka the present.
The happiness you seek exists right now. The life you want, the money you want to make, the relationships you want to have. They already exist in the universe right now, you just need to wake up to them to realize how to get those things. It isn’t that the opportunities in life that we want don’t yet exist, they do. We are not yet aware of their existence or the fact that we CAN have them. The more practiced you become to live in the present and be focused on looking for opportunities the more they reveal themselves to you.
Last, but definitely not least, gratitude.
It can be difficult to be grateful when so many things in your life may be going wrong. Do you ever notice that when bad things happen they seem to snowball? Do you know why that is? It’s because we’re focusing on all those negatives, therefore, attracting more negativity. Have you noticed the opposite happen? Where did things start to go right in our life? We get married, get a new house, get a new car, get a raise at work and all of it can happen in a short period of time. It’s because that’s where our energy is focused. To be able to attract awesome things we need to redirect our focus to positive things so that we can attract more positive energy to us.
How do we switch our focus to positive when bad things are happening? Gratitude. It seems simple, right? Well, it is. And yet, we simply just forget to do it. That’s why I highly suggest starting a gratitude journal or working it with your current planner. Make this a priority daily. Reflect on these things you are grateful for and the awesome things that happened each week.
Take some actionable steps in your own happiness and join our 5 Day Bliss Challenge!! You will learn …
- Brain dumping
- Goal Setting
- Taking time for yourself
- The one trick I use to beat anxiety
- Paying it forward
- Gratitude (with a free printable Brainstorm Guide)