So many people ask me how it is that I stay so happy. Some even ask if it is “real” and how I maintain this joy daily. This post is for YOU. For those of you who may be looking for “more” there IS more to be had and you are not crazy for wanting it! I have to say that I have had quite the “roller coaster” life. I have had so many up’s and down’s and it really formed me into the person I am today. However, this is not your traditional “use your pain to make you better” post. I want to give you the deep things that I had to do in my life to achieve joy, happiness and to truly heal in the deepest of places. I am not superhuman either! I have pain and tears and am continuously a work in progress. Anyone who says they are NEVER sad or unhappy is probably not being honest with themselves. However, you know you are a recipient of the true reward when you are “sad” or in turmoil over something yet under this temporary emotion still flourishes pure joy. Make sense? Despite the day-to-day emotions, decisions and sometimes sadness lies pure and utter JOY that can’t be shaken. Man! Makes me want MORE just saying it!
Just as anything in life, if you want to experience the “reward” there is work to be done. This includes feelings of joy, happiness and overall abundance, these are rewards! Have you ever met someone who (by society’s standards) has so little but seems to have “so much”? Here is a secret: they probably DO! Achieving feelings of peace, joy, happiness, wisdom, knowledge etc are the true REWARD of life! I have been on both sides in my life. So poor I had to pawn items just to buy food and pay bills and also so blessed at points that I spent pretty lavishly and drove luxury cars. Want to know another “not so secret”? At the peak of my financial success, when I drove a BRAND NEW BMW and had thousands to spend per month (not bragging!) I was at the peak of my UNHAPPINESS and my marriage was crumbling. REALLY? YES! I know you are asking how this could be. My bills were paid, money wasn’t an issue, I had a thriving business yet I was so unhappy. Let me just clarify that I am not saying being “poor” makes you happy either. What I am saying is that whatever your economic status is, you can be happy and joyously abundant through it all!!
No longer do the “circumstances” or “situations” of life have to dictate how you feel. The goal is to be rooted in JOY and HAPPINESS so that the “temporary” emotions of life do not sway you. You can experience various emotions while being grounded on a rock solid foundation of joy. So many people get this part backwards that most of their day-to-day decisions end up being based on past pains and hurts. Relationships, careers and major life decisions are based on trying to fill a “need” or a temporary solution to a “temporary feeling”.. making sense?
I am here to help you uncover the JUNK and pain of your life so that you can fill it with the “good stuff”. For me, I was always “extra” appreciative for the things in my life and grateful because I came from so little. I will never forget the first time I started making really good $ in sales. I dove in 120% because I was so grateful to have income and I didn’t want to lose it. I took something that can come and go in life (career, $) and made it the “be all, end all”. I remember when I met my husband, in the beginning of our relationship I just could not believe I “landed” such an amazing man. I had so much dysfunction from my life and formerly (very) abusive relationship that I lost my bearings and thought I had to do something to “earn” good treatment. Thankfully, I had a husband who helped me work through all of this and I am here writing about it today. It is so powerful and so common that it is my duty to share this with you. Grasping this concept is KEY to leading a fulfilling and emotionally stable life.
You see, gratefulness is a wonderful thing! Yet, when formed from “dysfunction” it can even turn to something less than favorable. I am getting to the good stuff soon but before I do, there are a few more things I want to cover to help develop this picture a little bit more.
Here is a basic (quick) timeline. I grew up lacking basic social skills and family dynamics so when I was old enough to be on my own and make my own decisions I started to OVER and ABOVE everything! I suffered from “survivor” syndrome which MANY people have. To the survivor this can mean working more, making more money, being dissatisfied, working harder and striving for MORE MORE MORE! Get it? In the life of a “survivor” relationships come and go because there are basic things that are taught from being a part of a family unit that are not taught. If the “survivor” does have a relationship that lasts, it is often times abusive. You attract what you “feel” and if there are “broken” pieces from your life you are likely to land an abuser. I did. He was verbally and physically abusive and I began to form even MORE bad habits. Instead of leaving and saving myself early on, I tried to “fix” a problem that I would never be able to fix! I thought I could “fix” him or CHANGE myself to make him love me. In addition, I started to form subconscious thoughts that I had to “earn” basic things that should be freely given in a normal and functioning relationship. Basically stated, dysfunction upon dysfunction.
By the time I met Alex I was overjoyed and so happy to have such an amazing man but you know what started to form? More dysfunction! How? First off, a normal argument could not take place above a certain decibel or I would be fearfully shaking and crying just waiting for a “punch” that praise God never came! Only more love and more attention from my husband. I was young, broken, insecure and searching for MORE. While God gave me the solid foundation with this man (and a future very successful business) I was not healed so I could not enjoy these gifts in a healthy manner. I managed to disintegrate valuable pieces of my life slowly because I was still HURTING inside (and NOT dealing with it!)
How many times have you met someone who seemed to have “everything” yet they kept messing it up. You sit there scratching your head trying to figure out how someone can mess up such a simply awesome thing. Well, imagine this: we are a world full of people functioning in many different situations and these situations (no matter how great they may be) or opportunities (no matter how fantastic they are) are often times contingent on the PEOPLE functioning in them. If the people are not healthy, the situation is not healthy.
So, this leads me to the real meat of this blog: what is it that you can do to achieve feelings of health, happiness and pure JOY? Start by looking INSIDE OUT. I always say, “anyone can make their outside to appear a certain way, yet if the inside does not match up it will always come out”.
Basically, just because someone looks “put together” and appears happy, this doesn’t mean they are. In my life, I started to focus on the fact that no matter what the situation in my life was (good OR bad) there was a common denominator. What was it? It was the fact that years of pain and hurts stayed secretly tucked within my heart and I would not let them out for anything in the world! No one needed to know my problems or pains…. I could survive through it! Right? WRONG!! Years after much of the pain and turmoil had passed I was still broke, bitter and angry but didn’t even acknowledge it because I was too busy “surviving”. In my life, it took almost losing EVERYTHING to realize something had to be done.
Thank God for this too, because I am here to share it with you. I started to mentor and counsel with dear people who cared for me and my feelings. People that I must say are a huge part of my success today and have played a vital role in my life. I started to go back and analyze the things that happened in my life and how to process through these things instead of locking them away. Depending on the person and perception, this is usually better done with assistance than alone. I highly recommend finding someone who is rooted and trustworthy and someone who focuses on things from a biblical principle as well. You do not just need “worldly” clinical advice. You need to learn how to have the most important relationship of all, one with Christ and yourself. Someone who can offer you support, assistance and advice based on a strong Christian foundation is key.
I had to go back and “relearn” basic family dynamics that were never taught and how to function within my own family unit. This is SO crucial to a lasting marriage and secure family life. It is not fair for your spouse or children to suffer the consequences of your pain or unwillingness to face the “junk”. I realized that my husband was human and could only do (and take) so much. I realized too, that this relationship meant more to me than anything. I wanted to break CHAINS and desperately wanted to create a new way of doing things so that future generations would reap the benefits and prosperity that God wants for us. This required me letting God go into the DEEPEST places of my heart and remove the infection so that I could slowly heal again and never have to keep “going back”. You see, with survivors, it is common to keep re-reading chapters and reverting back to old habits. It is like a vicious cycle that left unattended will slowly suck up your whole life and leave you empty and always wanting more.
Now, I can attest to the fact that this process can take many months (or in some cases) years. It is up to you to be diligent, focused and determined to not give up. When I was going through my healing process it hurt so bad that I was nearly close to giving up several times! Yet, perseverance was key. I kept pressing forward towards all that God had for me and my life, and I am SO glad I did!
The next thing I would suggest is really sitting down and focusing on who your “core” network and community is. Your friends, family and those you choose to spend your time with MATTER. Are you surrounding yourself with healthy people who want to see you grow and flourish? You have to be careful not to keep reverting back to old ways and unhealthy people. WHO you choose to spend your time with and around is a vital part of your health and ability to heal. Start to seek out a strong church family and friends who are motivating, supportive and want to see you at your best. If you are engaging in unhealthy relationships, this would be the time to consider eliminating these from your life. You can “care” about people without “enabling” them and sometimes, the best way to do this is to realize that you can’t fix people. You can only work on fixing yourself.
I have gone through ALL of this in my own walk. I have fought long and hard to achieve true deep joy and happiness and I am deeply rooted on Gods promises for my life and my marriage. None of this came easy, I had to WORK for it and I can say, it was worth every painful moment of healing. Now, the things I lived through do not “define” me rather, they are my tools for living an abundant and AWESOME life! I share these motivations with people daily not because I “read” about it but because I LIVED IT.
Lastly, I want to leave you with this. Christ died so that YOU can live! He paid the ultimate price so that you didn’t have to! If you are doubting His existence because of the turmoil you’ve lived, I encourage you to look again. It is satan who wants you to believe that lie and to doubt God. You must ask, you are still here. Living, breathing and reading this post. Why? Because God is speaking to YOU and wants YOU to have more.
Here is to happiness, joy and ABUNDANCE for us all!