I haven’t always been happy. But today, I can authentically say, I am happy.
I have heard so many times in the past that happiness is a choice. I never actually understood what that meant until I went through one of the most unimaginable experiences of my entire life.
I’m sure we can all agree that life is not always easy. I used to think that it should be. I used to think that things should come easily, that happiness was a natural thing, that being who you are was just who are. I used to think that if you laughed, you were happy.
With my back against the wall, I was given the choice. The choice between staying miserable, depressed, embarrassed to be myself, feeling worthless or the choice to come out on top, dig deep and wear my happiness out loud. How could I possibly make the choice to be happy when I was dying inside? Where would this choice to be happy come from? I had tried so many things that just didn’t work. The list starts with just smiling and grows from there and goes on and on and on.
I’m not sure which “thing” actually made me realize that, yes, happiness is literally a choice. I began by writing on my mirrors, “I love myself.” I went from that to forcing myself to smile to meditation, to forcing myself to wake up early and start my day, to going to church and working hard at my relationship with God, to seeing a shrink, to making my self aware to positive things only, to reading every single self-help book on the shelf.
I can’t honestly tell you that one or more or all of the things above made me realize that I can sit here and dwell; dwell on things I wanted, the things I thought I would have forever but no longer did, the things I worked so hard for and easily lost (almost overnight), the things I was so anxious about that hadn’t even happened yet. What I can honestly say, is that I made the choice; the choice to live my life being myself, freely, openly, unapologetically, spiritually, happily.
I began to recognize the support system I had around me as a blessing. I began to understand that if all of these people loved me then it was certainly possible for me to love myself. I began to understand that I could be that beautiful person I always wanted to be; that compassionate, give you the shirt off of my back person. I wanted that for myself. I wanted that for my unborn daughter growing in my womb. I wanted that for my friends and family who never gave up on me. I wanted that for the rest of my life.
So I sit here, sharing a little bit of my vulnerability with you guys because I want you to know that I’ve been there. I’ve been in that deep dark hole that I never thought I would crawl out of. I want you to know that you can get out of it; you can crawl out of that hole. YOU can dig deep and wear your happiness loudly and proudly. I want you to know that you’re not alone. I want you to know that you owe it to yourself to try hard at this! I want you to know that there are so many people who are lost, unhappy, miserable, feeling worthless. But I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be that way. YOU can be happy.
Do yourself a favor. Write something on your mirror in your best shade of lipstick. Write, “I love myself” or “I can be happy” or “I deserve everything that this life can give me.” Go ahead, write it. Look at it every single day. Start to believe it because it’s true. Then, go from there. Dig deep inside and bring that happiness out to light. Choose to get up and go, choose to love yourself, choose to push through those minutes, hours or days that just don’t feel right. It doesn’t have to last. You can choose to be happy!