I recently wrote in a birthday card for one of my good friends my wishes for her in the year ahead, the most important being that she love herself. Once I penned the rest of my wishes and tucked them away in an envelope, I had the nagging feeling that my words would cause nothing but an eye-roll and not work the magic I hoped was sprinkled on them. I couldn’t exactly blame her for not taking this sentiment seriously; after all, I had recently discovered a journal (I have volumes tucked away seemingly everywhere!) in which I found a particularly disturbing entry called, “Why I Hate Myself”. For almost five pages, I explained, in detail, several bullet points of my self-loathing. While these were the words of a younger me, I had to face the reality that some of those points still plagued me to this day. So I wondered, if I was not 100% comfortable or happy with myself, how could I tell my friend to be? And I quickly realized that I wasn’t wishing for her to reach 100%, but merely to just try.
Therein lies, what I believe to be, the key to happiness: To try. I think being happy is not something that just happens, I think it’s something we strive for, whether we are working towards it in the right way or not, happiness is attained when we are determined to be so. The easiest thing in the world is to be miserable. I can think of nothing more simple than giving up, hanging your head low and accepting a life of sadness. If you want to be happy you have to try to be happy. You have to open your eyes and recognize even the tiniest moments of your life and see them for what they are, because many of them are little miracles or blessings. Whether it’s the unconditional love you get from the snuggle of your pet or the fact that you have a roof over your head to call your own, we each have little victories in our lives that we should be thankful for and proud of. Life is hard and yet we make it through each day to the next. How happily we do so is dependent on our attitude.
My attitude isn’t always sunshine and lollipops, I’m the first to admit. I can get caught up in my own anxieties quickly, living under my own personal storm cloud. But what’s a constant is that I’m always trying to shake if off (thanks Taylor!). I want to be happy, I want to see the brighter side and I want it to become a habit. But wanting something doesn’t necessarily equate to getting something. Hating myself doesn’t motivate me to be better; it only perpetuates depression and doubt. But loving myself, or rather, trying to love myself, gives me hope, a tiny surge of confidence and a determination to keep going despite what any evil voice inside my head might want me to believe.
So I hope that the birthday message I sent is taken seriously. I hope that we can all take a moment to smile about how awesome we are. If we don’t believe in the good in ourselves, who will? And would we believe anyone who told us differently? If you want to be happy, then be happy. Wanting a change isn’t always enough, you have to work at it and be proactive. So find happiness and seek it out, it won’t always come looking for you. In the meantime, I plan on revising my old words and compiling a different list, “Why I Love Myself”. My first reason might be because I keep trying. I don’t want to be a sad sack. No one enjoys the company of a Debbie Downer, no matter how hilarious those SNL skits might be. My aim always is happiness and positivity. I know it won’t be a 24/7 kind of life, but who knows, maybe one day it can be, if I keep trying.
Check out the about link to see my post featured in this latest linkup. I hope it inspires you!