Happiness. It’s a tricky thing…and what I’ve learned is that it’s actually ourselves that can stand in the way of it. It’s so easy to blame others or situations on the fact that we are not happy. But I don’t believe that to be true. I have been there…where I find myself wallowing in the unhappiness, blaming everything and everyone for it. And guess what…blaming didn’t make me any happier. What did, though, was looking in the mirror and realizing that I’m unhappy because I’ve let myself feel that way. Once we own it and find out that WE are in charge of our OWN happiness…we easily find moments that truly make us happy.
I often get asked how I can be so happy and light hearted when I have gone through a lot of negative in my life. For awhile I really didn’t know how to respond. But I’ve given myself time to sit in that thought and really reflect on why and I found it’s because I made a choice. I have a great friend who says it best: We Can Either Be a Victim or We Can Do Something About It. I chose to do something about it. I chose to be a survivor. I chose to find the happy moments. I chose to take my experiences and say ‘Yes that happened to me, but now I’m going to take them and work to ensure they don’t happen to others.’ I chose to learn from my mistakes and share them so that not only I don’t do them again but others learn along the way too!
This past Fall was a pretty heavy time for me and a crazy emotional roller coaster that I was all too ready to get off of. I decided, though, that I needed to actively seek out happy moments so that I didn’t get swallowed up in the pity party. One that I’ve shared about quite a bit is finding a moment in the morning to dance. I don’t do this every morning now, but in that season I was waking up, turning on a tune and dancing it out in my bedroom. I needed to do this for me so that I could kick start my day on a happy note. Because my day was quite possibly going to be filled with emotions, tough decisions, and some pain. But it could also be filled with happiness if I let it.
Don’t get me wrong…you do not need to be all happy, bubbly and full of life 24/7…it’s valuable to have those other emotions in our lives because they help shape us and teach us about ourselves. And seriously…we need to have times where we are sitting on the couch eating ice cream while watching some sappy love story hoping it makes us feel better…you haven’t lived if you haven’t!
So if happiness to you is eating dessert for dinner, dancing solo in your bedroom, watching TV in your underwear, going dancing with your girlfriends **almost** every Friday night….then do it. For me, it’s those happy moments that have made the biggest impact on my life, have pulled me out of the darkness, and are the ones I never forget!
Courageous. I hear that word said a lot to me…especially lately. Hmm..was it really courageous of me to stand up for what I wanted and fight for what I thought was good for me? Maybe. But it really shouldn’t be considered courageous to go for what we want in life. We shouldn’t be seen as courageous when we take steps, albeit sometimes dramatic ones, to get there.
I see it more as doing what is right for our souls. I came to a point this past year where I realized I wanted more for me. Damn…did it ever seem selfish…but why?? Why is wanting more for me selfish? And then to take that step in putting myself first is suddenly courageous? It just seems strange to me.
It should not be abnormal or come as a big surprise to others when we start to put ourselves first. But, being someone who has been recently doing just that, I don’t want to give the idea that its easy. It’s hard. Like insanely hard. You end up hurting some people along the way, friendships start to change, YOU start to change! And it can be hard to keep up with it all. But one thing I can tell you…it’s worth it.
Through all the dark moments…and let me tell you there have been PLENTY…I still feel a sense of peace I have never felt before. Why? Because I’m doing for me. I’m making choices for ME. That’s not to say where I was before that all I ever did was always for the other person…I don’t want to give off that impression. But I spent a lot of my time wanting to please others, wanted them to really like me! But what ended up happening was I lost a part of myself…I wasn’t really being me anymore…or in actuality…I wasn’t even sure who me really was! Then a shift started happening inside of me. I wanted MORE. I was starting to tap into deep parts of my soul I had never discovered. I started to feel a sense of confidence in myself that I had always wanted but was too afraid to reach for it. And with all this discovery came some really big life changes. Some of them really sucked…some of them left me with moments of crazy loneliness. But I can tell you that it was in those very dark times that I really truly got to know the real me. Because I was left with just myself and I had to figure out whether I was going to like being with me or not. And what I found is that I really like Meaghan…the new Meaghan that is budding up and starting to bloom.
I know not everyone will understand the decisions I make, that even in the middle of a divorce I’m finding time to dance every morning, and that sometimes I eat dessert before dinner and don’t go to the gym the next day. But that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that I’m finding the happiness in my choices…and my choices are what are bringing me happiness.
So yea..maybe it was courageous of me…but that doesn’t mean we don’t all have courage inside of each and every one of us. Discover what you need more of in your life and don’t be afraid to go for it! And remember to spend time with YOU. You may find you like yourself more than you realized 😉
I took this photo on the last morning of my California adventure. Many asked and pondered why I was jaunting off to one of my favourite locations solo, and from recent posts I’m sure you can put two and two together.
On my last morning I woke before the sun and headed off to Huntington Beach aka Surf City to watch the sun and surfers roll in. I remember all the emotions I was feeling in this very moment as I sat on the beach, sand between my toes…the salty air blanketing my skin. The knowledge that a new beginning would start as soon as I stepped off the plane hit me hard. A new adventure was about to begin and I was embarking on this one…solo.
If I could go back to that moment in August, where I sat looking at the ocean with what felt like the weight of the world sitting on top of my shoulders, and tell myself one thing it would be : You’re Not Alone. The knowledge of that has brought me the most comfort. Knowing there are more out there just like me, who get it, have been through it, and have come out of the other side of it. That is what gives me the strength and encouragement to lift my head up and keep moving forward.
So no matter what you are struggling with today, my hope is that you have the comfort in knowing that: love, you’re not alone.
My 2016 motto has become this: I will say YES to things I would have normally said NO to, and NO to things I would have said YES to. Of course I can’t paint everything with that brush but to break it down, I’m saying YES to things that I feared I wasn’t either good enough for, knowledgeable or had the strength for. I’m saying YES to new experiences, a year of exploring, not only of myself but of others and our world! And I’m saying NO to things that take more out of me then it’s worth. NO to people who ask and ask but never give in return. After declaring this motto out loud all week to people, I then found this gem! So far my Yeses have led to some wonderful excitement! Here’s to much more in 2016! Who is saying YES with me?