In order to experience life’s greatest joys we must also experience its deepest sorrows.
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It’s easy to be happy when things are going well but what about the difficult times? If we only allow ourselves to be happy when things are perfect we’ll be waiting a long time! How do we still cultivate happiness when times are tough? Imagine having a peaceful, happy mind regardless of circumstances, even in the bad times.
Many happy people have grown from their darkest times and are a product of the experiences they’ve learned from. Sometimes they come from a place where they have lost everything in order to gain where they are now and their happiness. “It’s through the cracks that the light gets in”.
Happy people are not buoyant all the time. Nor are they in denial about bad things or living perfect lives. They have learned the tools to help them navigate the ups and downs and feel life’s range of emotions. So when we’ve learned the necessary tools, how do we ensure we apply them when storms set in?
There have been times when everything I thought I knew disappeared and the resilience and courage I thought I’d cultivated seem to go on holiday! It was all well and good whilst I was living the dream and doing things I loved. But then I returned to the real world, tough times came. I ran out of money, I began to get unhealthy again as I was sucked back into my old habits. I was struggling to get work and it felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall. It was hard to motivate myself and it felt like I was floundering in a world I knew nothing about! I also found that as a result of being more self aware I was discovering who I really was and that was very different. I wasn’t sure this was going to go down very well with those who’d known me all my life.
As I struggled through this rough patch I found that my inner peace and positive thinking seemingly went on holiday and I instinctively reached for all the things I now knew did not make me happy; food, alcohol, parties, buying myself things and guess what? They didn’t make me happy! Not only that but I was so disappointed that I was letting the side down. I knew this stuff, I knew it worked yet here I was failing to practice what I preached and it made me feel a fraud.
I felt like I’d failed. I felt lonely. I was scared of the future and the unknown. I was a little lost and some days had no idea which way was up. These fears fueled my limiting beliefs; that I would never make it, I wasn’t good enough, who was I to blog about life when I couldn’t even find a job. I began to believe I wasn’t worthy of success. These fears and limiting self beliefs are key in holding us back.
I’d lost touch with my soul, my intuition and my inner guide. During this time I spent a lot of time on introspection, in meditation and getting in touch with the real me. This process helped me learn to love myself again and I was put back in touch with my true self. I began to see my potential and my self belief returned. I went through a process of letting go. Coincidentally very shortly after this process of letting go things started to fall into place for me and began working out.
It taught me that sometimes we just have to breathe, trust, let go and allow things to unfold as they are meant to be. I also learned that it’s important we give ourselves a break! We are all human and we’re all allowed to have tough times and falter along the way. Don’t expect perfection and give yourself a break when you slip up slightly, get back up and find your way.
I realized that it’s okay to have bad days, no-one is positive all the time. Sometimes in this day and age we seem to have conditioned ourselves to ‘keep calm and carry on’ to put a brave face on and admitting to being unhappy or not coping is seen as a sign of weakness. We display the best bits of our lives on social media and when asked how we are we daren’t reply negatively even if we feel like we’re dying inside. Sometimes it’s okay to say we need help, to admit that things aren’t going so well or that we need support. We don’t always need to cover up the cracks and pretend to be strong, we are human after all.