Monday, December 1, 2014

The First Step To Being Happy is YOU

For several years, all I wanted was to be happy...I was very broken, felt unloved and extremely unimportant. Part of that feeling came from the lack of ever having a loving relationship and lots of disappointment and the other part came from the fact that like many people, I was fooled into thinking happiness was only defined by having a loving relationship, a fancy house, an expensive car and money to buy all the things I wanted. I would look at people around me who seemed happy and they had loving marriages, were dressed in the best clothes, and had lots of "things". They were taking fabulous family vacations, giving elaborate birthday parties and their Christmas's were like the ones you see on TV commercials with extravagant trees, beautiful decorations and loads of gifts. 

I often felt like a failure with all of this around me, and always wondered why it was not my life. I worked very hard, had so much love to give and yet here I was a single mom who had been divorced twice that struggled to give my kids all of the things that I wanted to give them no matter how many hours I worked because I was doing everything alone for quite some time. We rarely had the money to go on big shopping sprees for back to school like I did when I was younger and I always felt bad for that. We never took a family vacation because I was afraid to take the time off of work. When you are self employed and take time off there is no paycheck waiting for you when you get home so I always allowed that fear to stop me from doing it. Seeing happiness around me made me really sad and I had a hard time being happy for other people who had what I wanted.

Then one day after reading a passage in one of my self improvement books I realized a truth... a fact that changed my life. That fact was that the first step to being happy was loving yourself. I had a self realization moment that very second. My whole life flashed before me and in the end I concluded that I was not happy with who I was at all. I had low self esteem and very little self worth because I allowed things from my past to haunt me. There were decisions I had made that left me feeling unworthy of love and success and because of this I was unconsciously manifesting a life of unhappiness and struggle. I was unknowingly punishing myself for all of my mistakes.

The most amazing moment in all of this was realizing that I was in control of my happiness... that all of the "things" that I thought would bring me the happiness I desired had nothing to do with it at all. That began my path to all that I had ever wanted; a path that I am still traveling Slowly, but surely my attitude began to change. I started learning how to love myself despite all of my mistakes, faults and imperfections and decided that spiritually I was perfect.... a perfect disaster maybe, but I learned to be proud of all that I had done wrong, all that had happened and I started to move on from it all. It was then that I was living in the lowest point of my life and it is also when I decided I would share my story with the world... I wrote my first book.

I began to love who I saw in the mirror and thought that perhaps one day, a special someone would come into my life and appreciate me for who I truly was and what I had gone through in my life. I found happiness in finally knowing and accepting who I was. I no longer hid all the ugly things from my past pretending to be perfect, I became proud of them because it had formed who I was and who I would eventually become. 

Even though I still hope for love and acceptance from someone that I can share my life with, I love and accept myself... and that is the most important thing you can do when looking for happiness. God loves us with all of our imperfections and if He does, so should we. Love yourself like He does and life just gets better.

Something else that happens when you learn to love yourself... you begin to love and accept others for who THEY are... your heart truly changes and when you look at someone, you look at their imperfections and mistakes with admiration, understanding and compassion. When you have accepted your own faults and imperfections you simply begin to judge others less. The most freeing thing was when I stopped caring about what other people thought of me and instead began caring what I thought of me. We will never make everyone else happy, someone will always disagree with our actions, choices and lifestyle but we CAN make ourselves happy; trust me, that is a much easier task. When you realize that happiness is a choice, it's an easy choice to make; it takes no arm twisting. 

So....you have two choices in life. You can get swallowed up with all that is now or you can begin to imagine and glorify all that can be. I ask....which will you choose? 


Have a wonderful Monday... and a wonderful week. Pass this one along, I am sure many people out there need to love themselves a little more, and we ALL need to find happiness.



Until next time...

xoxo

Shells


                                                   

                                                          

















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