Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Do You Have the Courage it Takes to be Happy?
Once again, I feel that I'm on the verge of a big change. Actually, I know I am. And as I type this, I'm wondering why I'm even starting this blog this way because so many of my blogs begin like this. Maybe I should just start making the blanket statement that life is just one big transition and leave it at that.
I've been thinking about what's ahead for me (mostly at about 3:00 AM) and trying not to get too nervous about it, but it's hard. I see the end result and I know I'm making the right decisions. And then I think of the months of work ahead to get there and I'm scared all over again.
Oh, well. At least I'm getting my money's worth out of my anti-anxiety medication.
Lately I've been thinking about the times in my life when I've decided to make big changes (not the big changes that have been decided for me) and I've realized how much courage it's taken to do what I've done - there is a lot of bravery involved in following your heart. In my case, I think it's because so many of those decisions have been made entirely on my own without a partner here to put in his two cents, but that's just a small part of what makes finding happiness so hard.
When we envision what we think will make us happy - a new relationship, a new job, a move - there is always a voice within us that I will name Lady Self-Doubt who just won't shut up. She seems determined to keep us where we are (probably because she's lazy and doesn't want to do the work) and she's a hard force to ignore. She seems bigger than us and for some reason we give her way too much credit when she probably doesn't know what the hell she's talking about.
I imagine her in my head sprawled out on a big chaise lounge, rolling her eyes at my every suggestion (and for some reason she's wearing a toga. I don't know why). She's such a bitch.
And then there are the external voices. How many of us don't remember the many people who encouraged us to start dating...but could name the one person who said, "Are you sure you're ready?" How many of us can't name the group that championed our job switch, but remember the exact moment someone said, "Are you sure you really want to give up something stable to do that?"
It takes a lot of guts to shut all of those people up (and maybe out) and follow our hearts. It's isolating when you feel like you don't have support and, let's face it, we really want everyone's approval in what we do. Oh, I know there are many of you out there who say they really don't care, but I think there is a little part in all of us that just wants the people we know to cheer us on whatever we do.
The problem is that we're all so different. What makes one person happy doesn't speak to another and it's easy to judge and say, "Well, that's not what I would do." And the worst part is it seems easier to listen to that than to someone who says, "Go for it!"
Why is that?
There are so many things in the world that we recognize as daring, but I think very few people realize that just the simple act of being happy, finding our bliss in some way, or just having the guts to make a change is sometimes the hardest thing of all. There should be a Hallmark card out there that we can buy each other that just says, "Congratulations! You're living your life!"
I guess we also need one to hand to the doubters (especially Lady Self-Doubt) that says, "I'm taking a step toward happiness. And that might mean I'm stepping away from you."