I grew up with a mom who wasn't happy and I never could make sense of it. Through my eyes, it looked as though she had everything she needed to be happy but simply refused. She was mostly sad and depressed and a victim of her own life. It was like she preferred to be unhappy. I was baffled by it & frustrated by it and deeply affected by it. At a young age I decided I was going to be different. I remember in my teens recognizing the link between habits and happiness & so filled my days with activities that brought me joy. I loved working and always had a job. I was a cheerleader & had lots of friends. I spent my summers life-guarding and teaching swimming lessons. I went to church & ran track & swam on the swim team. I played softball & had boyfriends and said yes to every opportunity to be connected to a fun active group. Somehow, even back then, I understood that if I couldn't find a way to be happy in the circumstances I was in, I would never be happy. I understood that a life of meaning is linked to a life of joy. I found out that a positive mindset can create a positive life and that happiness was found in the present moment. This belief system has proven to be truer than true and has served me so well for over 40 years. The very best news I can give you is that your happiness is entirely up to you. You have everything you need right now to be truly happy. No matter your circumstances. All it takes is a shift in your mind and a little practice. You'll have to let go of some old patterned ways of thinking. You might be waiting for your spouse to change, or circumstances to change or your money problems to disappear. That's an endless cycle of waiting. Your husband can't make you happy. That isn't his job. Your kids can't make you happy. That isn't their job. Your friends, your parents, your co-workers, your neighbors, the entire world in general will NEVER MAKE YOU HAPPY. You will forever be disappointed. Take that crazy load back from whomever you've dumped it on and let them all off the hook. If you're blaming someone for hurting you and using that as an excuse, it's time to let it go. Forgive them, forgive yourself and move on. Stop using circumstances as an excuse. Life is hard but we obviously were designed to do hard things. Hard things are never ending. Stop giving your power away. Clean up your own side of the street. Notice your thoughts & judgements. Stop the drama. Be super kind and gentle with yourself but get really honest. Find out who you are and what you want because life isn't happening TO you. Stop being the victim. Life is happening FOR you. You get to decide what you make it all mean. Become the hero of your own freaking life. You have everything you need to make it happier.
Start with gratitude. Gratitude changes everything and is always the best starting point. When you get a little lost, circle back to gratitude. Build your new happier life here. You want to create an abundant mindset. You need to know in the depths of who you are how much you have AND YOU HAVE SO MUCH. You are completely beautiful and you have so dang much. Train your mind to know that and remember that and live from that space. Stop talking about your problems. Stop focusing on everything you want that you don't have. Start focusing on everything you want that you already have. That's right. Train your mind to focus on all the dreams you've ever dreamed and all the prayers you've ever prayed that have already been answered & have already come true. Spend a few minutes each morning for 21 days and write down at least 10 things you want that you already have. Everyday find 10 new things and jot them down. Make the longest list you can make and memorize it and celebrate it and smile about it. It only takes 21 days to build a new practice. This habit will shift your perspective and get you out of that dumb comparison/scarcity cycle that has been stealing your joy. Gratitude creates an abundant mindset and AN ABUNDANT MINDSET IS EVERYTHING. It literally sets your soul free to be happy.
Happiness is the joy you feel when you are fully engaged in your own life and when you take full responsibility of your own thoughts, your own feelings and your own actions. Your behavior matters. Your habits matter. What you intentionally practice each day matters. Happiness will begin to come easily for you when you train your eyes to see the potential and possibilities right in front of you. You will always find what you're looking for. You'll become that person you're wanting to be & you'll be contagious. Happy people create a happier world, happier towns, happier neighborhoods and happier homes. Be happier. A happy life is the best life.