The thing about life is that there is no rhyme or reason to anything. There is not a single book that you can read which will help you have a perfect life. We just figure it all out as we go. In general, we try to get along with everyone, make everyone happy, and avoid as many downsides as we can. Then, we get older and realize that bad things will happen and the most important person we need to make happy is us. Mark my words, if you are not to that point in your life that you realize all this, then you are NOT happy. And the only way you can handle all this when you realize it, is to stay positive.
I was the world’s worse at making myself utterly miserable, and I didn’t even know it. I struggled with seeing the glass half full. I guess it was because I did not have the best childhood. I was a child of divorce, was dropped off in the worse daycares, and any kind of structure in my home was non-existent. My mother (single mom), bless her heart, just simply survived. The funny thing was, I didn’t know the extent of my situation until I was in high school. I thought my childhood was normal, although I was miserable. When I figured it all out, I was embarrassed by my family. The best way to hide embarrassment- overcompensate. I did that in so many ways from pressuring myself to make perfect grades to finding an incredible job, at least by my standards. And don’t let me get started on how much of a planner I was. Oh my goodness, I was a freak about planning out months or even years into the future. All of this was a part of the ‘perfect’ life that I was striving for. I didn’t want to be judged for not being from some great family. I wanted people to look at me and think, “She’s got good genes”.
Good genes? What? This is where I was delusional. There wasn’t really anything wrong with the people in my family, just their choices. They were all extremely smart, all college educated, beautiful, you name it. However, their choices started a cycle of pain and poverty that I was dead set on stopping. I did not want the same for me or my kids.
Sometime in my thirties, after my grandparents passed and I began to rely on my faith more than ever, something just clicked. It wasn’t the whole, ‘life is short’ kind of reasoning just yet. It was more than that. It was the realization that in this one life we’re given, things or people you love will or could be gone without warning. Loss is a big part of life. Sadness is a big part of life. You can’t control that no matter how hard you try. And the other important tidbit I learned, bad things will happen.
Want to control something? Want to find happiness when it seems like a pipe dream? Well, that’s the easy part. That is the one thing that took me forty years to learn, no matter how many college degrees and certificates I earned. The only thing that you can manipulate, plan for, rely on… is your own positive thinking. That is it. That’s all. Nothing else. How do you think positively? That’s even easier. Just don’t be negative. If something bad happens, refuse to entertain it. Deal with it quickly in that moment, then go home and move on. Why dwell on something you can’t control? In the words of Annie, “The sun will come out tomorrow.” Go to sleep and let that amazing sun come back out tomorrow. Remember, bad things will happen and they are not a reflection of who you are. It is called ‘life’. We are not in Heaven here. There is no Heaven on Earth like Belinda sang about. Sorry to break the bad news to you. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t find enjoyment in our life so many more times than sadness. You can. You will! You rock!!
How do we do that? When the odds are stacked against you and you pull yourself out of a bad situation, that is when you need to sit back, dwell, and enjoy. That is when you need to realize that things are never as bad as they seemed when you were first confronted with them. After just a few opportunities of being able to quickly recover from screwed up situations, you will begin to see how easy going through them really is. And that is where positive thinking comes in again. It will help you. It is your best friend. You got this!
When I studied for my Master’s degree, my thesis paper was on teens in Japan and the ridiculously high suicide rate among them. I finished that degree several years ago. As of 2018, Japan’s youth suicide rate is now at its highest in 30 years. The underlying cause: too much pressure from so many different people in their lives. Adults, peers, etc.. That leads me to the final problem in your life- who are you spending time with? I know you’ve heard it before, don’t spend too much time with negative people. I can not express to you how true that statement is. Are you hanging out with these people because they are all you have? Are you a victim of caring too much about what people think of you the same way I was? Do you really value their opinion? Who are they to be able to have that much of an influence on your life? Are you constantly bombarded with negative social media posts, government problems, media scares? Guess what? It is time to swim to your own island. It is time to be alone. Leave the friends, family, or whoever/whatever is mentally hurting you and just go! It doesn’t matter how long you have to remain there or how much you have to scroll passed all those social media posts. Go! Go be somewhere positive!
Hey, I’ll meet you there! I’d love to be there, and so would everyone else that has decided that enough is enough. Everyone that is tired of listening to people complain, put others down, judge them, or just put off negative energy. LEAVE. If it’s family, then monitor how much time you spend around them. Negativity will drain you and make you into someone that you are not supposed to be. God has better plans for you. So, find your island and exist on it alone until the right people swim over to visit. Make them come to you! Positive thinking, smiling, believing in yourself, etc… are all contagious. Don’t take as long as I did to realize this.
And that brings me back to the adage, life is short. Therefore, don’t waste this precious life God have you. So, what are you waiting for? Take the dive and swim to your happy place. You won’t regret those moments alone. It is way better to be happy alone then be surrounded by people or things that bring you down. See you on your island!!! (-: