Hey guys! It has been so long since I’ve last written and I am truly sorry about that. I have been working on growing in my spiritual journey and lately I’ve been taking a lot in, but I haven’t been putting much out. I feel that one of these blog posts is well overdue!
Since graduating college in December, I’ve had some struggles in regards to figuring out what comes next. In college everything was very structured and I had a consistent schedule to follow, which has all since gone away. This has thrown me off a bit, so for the past few months I have been doing things to help me receive guidance on what’s next for me and to figure out what’s been leaving me feeling stuck.
While I’ve matured quite a bit and and feel much happier than I used to, I knew there was room for improvement, and I sensed that something was off within my internal world. When I dug deeper, I became aware of that one of my biggest issues has been that throughout most of my life I have always blamed my discontentment with ‘what is’ or what you might call my current life situation on someone or something else outside of myself.
Some common patterns of thinking I often thought included things like:
“It’s my parent’s fault that I didn’t begin working toward a better life right after high school because they didn’t push me hard enough, they didn’t help me enough.”
“It’s my boyfriend’s fault that I’m unhappy in our relationship because he doesn’t understand me.”
“It’s God’s fault that I have anxiety and my life sucks”.
The list of blame went on and on, everyday. I also believed that if only my circumstances or life situations weren’t so shitty, or if I lived somewhere else, or if I had more money/ opportunities, then I would be happy. If only everyone and everything else around me would, change, then things would finally be better! (Is that too much to ask?! Lol.)
That mindset obviously got me nowhere, and upon reflection it’s even comical now. Embarrassingly enough to admit, it took me until recently to truly realize how pointless and wrong this kind of thinking was. After much time spent with myself, my self-help books and listening to my favorite spiritual leaders through videos on YouTube, I came to discover one of the most important things I’ve ever learned, which is this: The only one who is responsible for my life situation is me.
I must say, I did not want to accept this at first. I’ve always struggled with admitting when I’m in the wrong, and so I went back and forth for awhile. It was very hard for me to understand that what I had always perceived as other people’s ‘bad’ actions were in no way the cause of my unhappiness. Somewhere along the way, I developed the false belief that the things I experienced in my life and the deeply ingrained habits I had were out of my control. I thought that I was either born with these traits, or I couldn’t help it because of the way I was raised, or I didn’t have enough opportunity where I grew up. I thought that I had to live the way others around me did, and settle for a mediocre life I didn’t want because who was I to make a change? I went back and forth between the belief that others were just lucky, and that God simply loved certain people more and didn’t want to give me good things. I’m serious. I was in major need of some help and a new way of thinking!
Clearly, I was burned out on life. I felt stuck, sad, and fearful that I would never accomplish anything that felt worthwhile to me. I had hit rock bottom. But as I’ve said before, rock bottom isn’t a bad place to be because it is there that change is inevitable. I knew that I could not continue living the way I had been, thinking the thoughts I did of blaming everyone and everything around me, and ever be happy.
So how did I quit blaming others? I was glad to find out that it didn’t have to be a long, drawn out process that took years in therapy to overcome. If you are in this place yourself, you can actually begin to take back your life right here and now. So below, I want to share with you three ways you can overcome the feelings of blame, guilt, and stagnancy, in order to create the life you’ve always wanted.
1. Forgive the people that you’ve been blaming. I almost wrote “Forgive the people that hurt you,” but then I realized that statement is totally contradictory to the whole message I’m trying to convey! In order to complete this step you must understand this: Nobody can hurt you, unless you let them. And even then, it’s really just you hurting yourself through your own allowing.
We are perceiving beings who like to categorize and judge things in order to make sense of our world. We like to label some things as “good” and other things as “bad”. By doing this, we feel a sense of control and understanding of the world around us. However, this kind of labeling is problematic, because due to everyone’s wide variety of differing beliefs and life experiences, we are all bound to see things differently at some point in time. Therefore, when we are perceiving someone’s actions and we don’t like or agree with them, and we think they should be some other way or do something else in order to please us, or that they should know better than to do what they did or didn’t do, we get upset and it becomes the other person’s fault that we feel bad.
In reality, the majority of the time those people that we think hurt us didn’t even have that intention at all. We can never truly know what someone is thinking or seeing because we do not share the same experiences or set of beliefs. Once we realize this, we can forgive that person, because we can see that that person is not their actions, and that they see the situation from a different vantage point than we do. We can choose to see them through loving eyes.
Even if someone did intentionally try to hurt you or did something that was absolutely malicious to your physical self, you don’t have to let it affect you any longer. You being upset at them forever, or letting their past actions keep you from moving forward will never punish them, it will only hurt you. Whether you can see it or not, even if they seem completely happy on the outside, if they did something terrible to you they are obviously no in a healthy, loving place themselves because it is not possible to be happy, healthy, and loving and do hateful things to others. Ultimately, you can trust that they will have to deal with that on their own, you just may not ever visibly see it.
You will never stop the cycle of pain and negativity by not forgiving that person. It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with them or even have them in your life at all. It’s simply about witnessing your feelings of blame and hurt, seeing how these feelings are of absolutely no benefit to you whatsoever, and letting them go so that you can move on and get on with your life. Unforgiveness does nothing but hold you hostage. So, forgive that person. Don’t let their actions, which are never really about you anyway, affect your well-being any longer.
So how do you forgive? Your heart will know the best way to go about it for you, so I suggest spending some time alone and praying/meditating. In the silence, you will receive the answer. The last time I had to forgive someone who I felt hurt by, I decided to contact them and be really honest about my feelings. However, I also acknowledged where I had been wrong (which took awhile to see, but usually it’s not just a one-way street!) and I apologized for those mistakes. I also asked if there was anything else I’d done that they felt hurt by, and then apologized for those things, whether I agreed with them or not. I then asked for forgiveness but told them to not feel obligated to forgive me. Finally, I let them know that even if they did not forgive me, there was absolutely no hard feelings or resentment from my end and I wished them nothing but peace and love.
I understand your experience may be completely different than mine, so make sure you do what is right for you. Contacting them may not always be the best method. If you feel that getting in touch is definitely not the appropriate way to go about it, then simply praying about it and then wishing them the best might be all it takes.
I also want to mention that forgiveness doesn’t have to be a one-time process. If you start to feel old feelings of resentment rising up, which is not uncommon, then you can say to yourself, “I choose again. I choose to forgive this person.” After that, think about something you do appreciate about that person, even if it’s just the lesson they’ve taught you. You can also send them love and happiness through your prayer. Once you release resentment, you will feel so much lighter and freer. Let that heavy burden of unforgiveness go so that you can experience true joy and peace!
2.Forgive yourself. Often when we start to realize that we are the only one responsible for the way our lives have turned out, we start to feel bad and begin blaming ourselves. In turn, this brings up a lot of bad feelings like guilt, shame, and regret, which just continues the cycle of negativity. You realize you aren’t happy and it’s nobody’s fault but your own. However, hating yourself is not going to make things better so you must forgive yourself.
So how can you forgive yourself? When you start to notice yourself feeling these negative emotions toward yourself, you can simply pray, “Thank you God for giving me the ability to witness that I feel bad in this moment. I don’t want to feel this way, so I forgive myself, I love myself, and I choose to be grateful for all the mistakes I’ve made because they’ve led me to this moment. Help me see myself through your eyes of love. Help me choose again.”
Remember: BLAMING YOURSELF FOR YOUR LIFE RESULTS WILL NOT MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER. No amount of guilt or anger toward yourself can ever fix things. Punishing yourself won’t somehow compensate for your mistakes. See yourself in a loving way, knowing that you did the best you could with what you knew, and be grateful that you have grown and can now make even better choices. You have to love yourself if you want your life to be a joyful one, and you cannot love yourself and be mad at yourself simultaneously.
3.Take full responsibility for your experience. It can be hard to believe how everything in our lives that we see currently is a result of our thinking and emotions. Where you live, your relationships, your job, your financial situation; every one of these things you’ve attracted through your thinking. The universe doesn’t delineate between good thoughts or the things we want, and bad thoughts or the things we do not want. To the universe, if we are giving our attention to it, we must want more of it. Even if we are just thinking about how we do not want something, more of it is what we are going to get.
This idea sounds scary when you first realize it, especially if you’ve done a lot of thinking about what you don’t want. The good news is that there is almost always a time delay before a manifestation, so you can quickly jump off the train of negative thinking if anytime you find you are on it. Author and speaker Abraham Hicks always says, “Reach for a better feeling thought.” You may be in a very low place right now, but if you can just get some momentum going in the right direction, it is guaranteed that you will get to feeling better.
It is important to note that you may not be able to go from feeling intense depression to being overjoyed in a few minutes, but you can take small steps, perhaps going from depression to anger, from anger to indifference, from indifference to hopefulness, from hopefulness to optimism, and from optimism to joy, until eventually you get to where you want to be. It is hard to make such a huge vibrational jump from a very bad-feeling emotion to a very good-feeling emotion. But, if you stay determined to feel better and keep reaching for what makes you feel better in the moment, eventually you will find the joy that you want.
The basis of this step is that you are the sole creator of your reality. If you are unhappy, you made yourself that way. If you don’t like what you currently see, you can either change it, do something else, or accept it and change your mindset about it. You cannot depend on others to change or things outside of yourself to change in order to be happy, because you might be waiting forever!
You can have or do anything you want, but you must take personal responsibility for how you feel. It doesn’t matter if you messed up or never felt happy in the past, make that change now. The universe will give you what you want, but you have to see it and believe it before you receive it, and doing that entails feeling good now.
The universe responds to your vibrations (feelings) constantly, so how you feel is what you are going to get back. Your feelings are indicators that let you know if you are on track with your desires. You always have the choice, so choose joy, in every moment. Choose to see the good in every situation. Be thankful for what you have, while also being expectant and eager about where you are headed. Whether you believe it or not, moment by moment you do get to decide how your life goes. No one can take your joy or peace away, so don’t give it away!
I hope that helps! If you still have questions or need to talk to someone about the topics in this post please don’t hesitate to reach out, that’s what I am here for! 🙂
P.S. With summer coming up, I promise to be writing more often and I would absolutely LOVE to know what you guys would like to read next! Some topics I could possibly write about include anxiety, panic attacks/panic disorder, derealization disorder, positivity, mindfulness, being an introvert/INFJ, how I find inspiration, or anything about music to listen to or books to read! If there’s something else you’d like to read that I didn’t mention, just let me know! Sending you all lots of love and light, always ❤
4 thoughts on “Three Steps Toward Living a Happier Life”
Excellant and extremely powerful advice.
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Thank you! 😊
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Great advice! I haven’t posted for a while and would really appreciate your thoughts on my new piece ‘family’ https://malisehoney.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/family/ 😊
Taking responsibility rather than pinning the blame on someone else is challenging, but so incredibly necessary and beneficial. Otherwise you stay bitter and lose your faith.