Have you ever sat and thought about whether you are truly happy? Not happy because you have material items or because you feel really lucky to have just booked a holiday. I mean TRULY happy, within yourself. Let me put something to you; If you were asked to name five things you love, would you include yourself in that? I’m guessing the answer is probably no. Sounds big headed, right?! I get that. However, a very good friend once said to me; “Hols, the longest relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. So you have to treat yourself right, love yourself and be kind to yourself.” And lord, that struck chords.
I think the start of being truly happy within yourself is learning to let go. Literally let go of anything that’s holding you back emotionally, mentally and physically. By holding on, you’re depriving yourself of living a happier and healthier life. This doesn’t have to be letting go of a person. This can be a job you hate, a business relationship, a family dispute.. but whatever keeps you awake at night needs to be freed. There is so much power in being happy for no reason. That I can’t believe it’s taken me 27 years to realise it. But how do we let go? There are so many questions and so many answers that It would be impossible to write them all down. But changing your thought process can absolutely help when you’re struggling.
I read something which said something along the lines of; “Instead of asking why this is happening to me, ask yourself what it’s trying to teach you”. At first, I thought, I don’t care what it’s trying to teach me, I’m feeling really shit and I sometimes feel like the world is against me. Constantly fighting losing battles. But actually, what made sense was figuring out if my problem was changing my life for the better. If there was no positive outcome to my problem, why am I dwelling on it and making it into a bigger problem? Human beings are really, really good at making a mountain out of a molehill. We’re also really good at being hard on ourselves. We deserve the problem. Incorrect.
Actually acknowledging and accepting what you need to let go of is half the battle. Before I preach to you about ‘being happy’, I’ll briefly tell you why letting go changed my life. I was so angry at myself and at life because somebody hurt me, and they hurt my children. My family had been torn apart and I was left to pick up the pieces. My ex-husband had moved on within weeks of leaving our house and looked the happiest he’d looked in years. At the time it didn’t seem fair. Nothing about this seemed fair to me and I was holding on to so much anger that it was preventing me from living a normal life. I used to think; This person cheated on me and my boys, why was it fair that he was happy, and I wasn’t? Why is he allowed to move on and globe-trot whilst I’m at home taking care of everything and everyone. Even though I thought these things, the thought of being with him again made me feel ill. I didn’t miss him one ounce and I was and have become a much better person since being on my own. But it took a serious amount of strength to let go of feeling so angry.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” - Dalai Lama. And it’s true. The way to let go is to strategically practice nurturing your mindset. Happiness is practice, there’s no science to it. Training your mind to relax, focus and remove all negative thoughts or feelings takes serious mental strength, but you’re so capable of it. In fact, beyond capable. The start of training your mind starts with you being grateful for what you have. Spend more time with people you love. Don’t just be physically present, actually be there. Put your phone away, actively listen, connect. Slow down from whatever you’re doing, find time for peace and seek joy in the simplest of pleasures. But most importantly, you need to be kind. Kindness is the greatest gift in life. When you’re kind to anyone crossing your path, you’ll see how quickly your life changes. Kindness is the answer to this whole spiel. When you’re kind, kindness comes back to you. It changes your mindset on everything you do and see. You’ll start to see the thing you need to let go of becoming a completely irrelevant issue. You start to realise that anything that doesn’t have a positive impact on your life isn’t worth having.
So stop being hard on yourself. Smile always, be kind daily, let go of negative thinking and remember there’s nothing more important in life than being true to yourself. You should always be you.
“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”