This is what I tackled last year. As you know I battled depression and self-loathing for most of my life. When I reflect on my life there were moments when I got out of my head to enjoy myself but they never lasted for any length of time. I spent a lot of time pretending to be happy.
Last year I was guided to read a book by Tara Brach – Radical Acceptance which had such a profound effect on my journey to happiness. I discovered one of my deepest fears was that I would never be happy – I would always pretend.
This discovery shocked and empowered me at the same time. Facing the thing you fear is the first step in transcending it. I have always been a prolific reader, always seeking to understand and heal myself, more so as I started coaching, it became less about me and more about how I could serve my clients in more deep and meaningful ways.
I knew happiness is not a destination – it is a state of mind, but I could not really find it inside me. I felt ok, not bad, but I wanted joy that had nothing to do with anything external, no pretending; really contentment no matter what I was going through. I ‘knew’ it but I did not ‘know’ it.
Facing my fears, being brutally honest with myself has cleared away a layer of muck that has been weighing me down. Transformation is like an onion, you clear away layers at a time. When you level up in consciousness you never lose it. Washing away that layer of gunk meant all the wonderful helpful seeds I planted could take root on nice fertile soil.
Everytime I level up I get so excited about life. Why? Because everything improves when your level of consciousness deepens. One of my major wins is learning to pause, so I respond rather than react. My temper used to be a thorn in my side. I read about the pause years ago and it has taken me YEARS to get it right.
This one thing has led to increased feelings of happiness because:
- Circumstances or people do not control me – when you lose it you give your power away to them/that.
- I no longer say or do things in the heat of the moment that I spend days regretting (as often as I used too – yes I do sometimes – work in progress over here 🙂)
- I don’t feel stressed as often as I used to.
- All my relationships are better.
- I can walk away from anything that doesn’t serve me.
- I feel really good about myself with every pause and all the good decisions that follow.
The fuel for our fears is the story we tell ourselves about them – we judge ourselves: “ I shouldn’t feel this way”, “I should know better”, “If only they knew how I really feel”.
The answer? Take time to sit with it. Carve out quiet time daily and sit with it, feel the pain, the anguish,the judgement, the shame, the guilt until you accept that this too is part of you.
From this space you will be guided to the message that’s right for you. My message was I am love. What will yours be?