For many years, I felt as though I was good enough just the way I was. There was no reason to improve on anything because whatever I knew would get me into the jobs and places I needed to be in so that I could reach my full potential. My full potential would make me rich and I could then buy all of the things I ever wanted and all of these things would make me happy. By no means was I ever a materialistic person, but I did like having nice things around me. I was content with my life being roughly similar for the rest of my life, and I was ignorant. I had learnt a lot about becoming a better person and how to behave in different situations but it took me leaving my full time job and hitting rock bottom to discover that I could improve my own life, just by changing small things like daily habits, my outlook on life and by choosing to be happy.
This last week, I did Habits for Happiness, a 5 day live workshop run by Jay Shetty on Facebook. I did a similar one last year with him but this year he said something that really stuck with me. Happiness is a choice, happiness is a habit. I thought about how many days of 2019 I chose to be miserable, to only see the things that went wrong and ignore all of the things that went right, or all of the situations that I was in where I could have learnt the lesson and change the entire situation around and made it a positive experience for me.
Over the past few months, I have really begun to focus on dealing with everything that I have been through emotionally my whole life. I did not grow up in a good environment, it was constant stress not knowing when the next outburst would occur and you don’t really realise that all of the things that happened to you and around you when you were younger affect how you make decisions and how your body responds to the trauma. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend watching Heal, a documentary on Netflix about the magic of the body and how it heals itself. Watching the documentary made me realise how I got to this point in my life where my first thought is usually me wondering what the problem is. See, I was the problem solver for the majority of my life. I was the one family members were sent to when they needed to be healed. I was the person you could tell your whole life story and I would help you make the pain go away, I would give you the advice you need to hear. I was the support structure that held my family together after my parents got divorced. I was the one who had to grow up and be responsible and constantly give up everything I wanted and accept only what I absolutely needed while everyone else had their needs and wants fulfilled. This is the reason why I have a bad relationship with food, and with many other things. This is the reason why I ended up in debt, because when I started working and I was earning my own money, I had to buy everything I always wanted. I learnt that I have to forgive my parents and the rest of my family for everything not for their sake, but for my own. Most of the things that happened have long been forgotten by them, and the chances are that they don’t even realise the impact it has had on me.
I learnt that people will not always have the same respect for you that you have for them and that is okay. Don’t be a bad person just because someone else doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. That is more of a reflection on them than on you. We need to stop dropping our standards to those around us and start lifting each other up. You have to teach people how to treat you and that starts with how you treat yourself. If you keep putting yourself down, don’t be surprised when other people start doing that to you on your behalf. We need to learn to speak up for ourselves. If someone says something to you that does not sit well with your soul, speak up. As the saying goes: Those who matter, won’t mind and those who mind don’t matter. For too long in my life, I have allowed people to treat me however they saw fit. In 2019, I realised that I deserve a lot better than I have been receiving. Now, I demand respect from myself so that I can demand respect from others.
In 2019, I learnt that I need to manage money better. I do not need more than what I already have and don’t need to fill my life with things in order to be content. I learnt that my life is full of good things and good people and that I should focus on that instead of the people who don’t appreciate me.
I learnt to appreciate myself and my emotions above all else. We all are going through things, I learnt that it is sometimes better to keep your struggles to yourself because sometimes you can overwhelm friends and family with your emotions which sometimes causes unnecessary arguments. I learnt that people will always try and tell you what to do without knowing your full situation and while that means they care, we shouldn’t always listen to their advice. Advice comes from a good place but is usually biased.
This year, I learnt that I actually need to implement my plans or I will end up planning my entire life and have nothing to show for my plans. Planning out your day is super important and while it is nice to go down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos, there is a time to work and a time to play. I learnt that I enjoy a lot more creative work than analytical tasks on certain days of the week and at certain times of the day. I started laughing again, at stupid videos, I started smiling at sweet or funny thoughts I had, I learnt that it is okay to smile and be happy even on dark days, those are the days when they usually are the most sincere and most needed.
This year has definitely been a year of learning, and with two months left to go, I hope for the learning to continue!
What are the lessons you learnt in 2019? I would love to hear about them!
-The Uninspired Blogger