Do you feel like you have life figured out? I had never felt that way. I honestly didn’t think it was possible for me. But then yesterday happened and the imaginary light bulb in my head lit up and I realized, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling these last few weeks; I feel like I have life figured out. It’s an incredible feeling of walking on cotton candy clouds and not worrying about them breaking and plummeting to the ground.
I think it can be summed up in one sentence, a few humble words spoken by Cinderella’s mother, “Have courage and be kind.”
That’s it. That’s the secret to life.
To have courage is to have confidence. You need to found out who you are and embrace it. What do you want out of life? What drives you? What makes you the most happy? It’s okay to focus on yourself. It’s essential. PUT YOURSELF FIRST and be okay with it. Have the courage to find that out who you are and then be that, do that. Embrace your true self and live life whole heartily.
Let go of who other people want you to be. Let go of who you think you are supposed to be. Stop beating yourself up, stop judging yourself. Have the courage to acknowledged all parts of you and let them breathe. Let them be. Don’t try to change or ‘fix’ anything about yourself. You are unique and beautiful just the way you are. Be kind. Not only to others but to yourself. LOVE yourself, just the way you are.
I believe one of the biggest lies our society dishes out is the idea that we have to sway from who we are in order to please someone else. As a little girl I was loud, really loud. I talked and talked and talked. My mom had to get me a talking doll so I could talk to it instead of her. She would take me to the grocery store when she couldn’t take it anymore and I would have a blast flirting with all the old men we passed. I was a ham. I was the center of attention. I loved laughing and making people happy.
All that ended when I started kindergarten. The best I can figure out in my limited memory is that I cared so much about making people happy that when the teacher said, “Settle down and be quiet.” I obeyed. I have a very adaptive quality about my countenance and I used that strength to turn into the student I thought I was supposed to be. I thought by changing, I would make people happy. I didn’t realize that by preforming that change, I was denying the world, and myself, of all my other wonderful gifts. Sure, my teacher was happy I fell in line, but I wasn’t happy anymore. I let a small part of my natural desire overpower and ultimately destroy the best parts of me.
I became the child who always stared at the ground. I refused to talk, even when spoken to. I developed social anxiety. I lost ALL my confidence. I lost myself. In sixth grade I was so depressed I contemplated taking my life. I was unhappy but I didn’t know why I felt the way I felt. I thought something was wrong with me. I thought I was incapable to being ‘normal’. I tried so hard to fit in only to fail time after time because I wasn’t made to fit in. I was made to stand out! We all our in our own ways.
The summer between my sixth and seventh grades I went to girls camp. A week long church camp in the mountains with girls between the ages of 12-18. It was at camp that I found my testimony in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. During that week I felt a feeling I was unfamiliar with, unconditional love. God revealed to me that He loved me just the way I was, no matter what. That small amount of confidence got me through the rest of my school years.
When I was 19 I meet Dan. I dropped out of collage, moved across the country, and married him. He was my first kiss, my first love, my first everything. He became my entire existence. My every move was made with him in mind. Nothing brought me greater satisfaction than to see him smile. His hugs were like breathing. I loved him with a fierceness beyond comparison. People commented that our connection was stronger than any they had ever witnessed. He was mine and I was his. His nickname for me was, “Self.” The line where he ended and I began was practically non-existent. We were one. Heart, body and soul. For nine years he was all I cared about and all I knew. Then he died.
With two babies under the age of two to take care of, I had no option but to survive. I relied on my faith and let God take control. I’ve always been the type of person who believes that things happen for a reason. I’ve always looked on the bright side. I’ve always valued gratitude. All these things I pulled to the surface and they helped me swim. Little by little I started to rediscover who I was and what would make me happy.
It wasn’t easy. It wouldn’t have meant anything if it was.
I got worse before I got better. But God brought the people I needed into my life and I learned. I realized that the mind is a powerful thing. I realized that no matter what our circumstances are, happiness is achievable if we want it badly enough. I wanted it so I got it and now I can’t imagine living my life any other way. I’m awesome! I love myself! And I’m learning to use the best parts of me to positively impact the lives of those around me.
I believe life is a journey that is constantly evolving but we as people, deep down at our core, are who we are. You may argue with this but I don’t think our core selves ever evolve. Some qualities about our beings are the things that make us us and no mater how much those qualities get shoved down, they will always be there. Lurking. Searching for light.
Find them! Bring them to light! Be your true self, it feels amazing.
I don’t promise that your life will change, but your heart just might. I was told yesterday that I was radiating. Apparently I was glowing so brightly something had to be said. A question of “Why?” had to be asked. I told them the simple truth, it’s because I am so happy. I’m still learning. I still have a ways to go. But I feel like I get it (for the most part). The kinder I am to myself, the more courage I have to embrace my true self and live that truth. The more I embrace my true self, the happier I am. The happier I am, the kinder I am to others.
Have courage and be kind. That’s all there is to it. Secret revealed.