Thursday, September 4, 2014

Are you truly happy?

Have you ever stopped to think that we often muddle through life, going through the motions, watching others lives unfold around us? Do you notice that sometimes we complain about things we can't change and do nothing, instead of moving forward with what we can change? 

We go on with the daily work grind, most of the time 8-5, we come home and go through our routine; then get up the next day and do it again. Do you ever stop to think that you might just want to stop and change that way you think?

Often times I find myself comparing myself to others, where I have no business in doing so anyways. I over-analyze things to a fault, and often over-think to the point of just leaving the subject. I am human just like any of you. The difference, at least for me at this point, is I can recognize when I do this and what go me to that point. It has taken a long time. And as much as I could go on about that, this is only something I want to touch on for the purpose of this post. 

No matter what situation you are in, whether it is a "good" or "bad" day, deep down inside can you say you are truly happy? Don't answer that; just think about it for now. Let it resonate. Relate it to your life, reflect, whatever you need to do and let it simmer. 

Lately and really for the past few weeks at least, I have made a point to and have made some changes in my life that will allow me to become and be in general a happier person. Completely. Not just a temporary feeling or state and not at all dependent in any way on the situation I am in. Now Rachel, you may say, I am happy all the time: I have a good job, a family, everything I need...or maybe I am happy all the time, but I don't have everything together every second of every day...I mean who does? Regardless of what circumstances your life may be in, when you say "I am happy" do you feel it in your soul? Or it it just another face we put on as we move through our lives? 

Now you might be thinking, oh this is a negative post, I may as well close this window now. Not yet there friend...this is not a reality check or a pessimistic post (as much as some people want to tell me my realist ways are as they think "negative views" psh.) That is not my goal so hang in there. 

When you were younger your parents or parent may have asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up. My mom did. My parents did teach me one thing that has stuck with me ever since. Besides my Dad always telling me to take care of myself before anyone else (this points to making yourself happy too); that thing was "No matter what you do or where you end up know that you are always good enough." Or something to that tune. Is it sad that I teared up even before I wrote that. Things like that really tug at your heartstrings sometimes; especially when it taps into the invaluable morals that we were taught as young children. My childhood wasn't always prefect by any means but I am lucky to have the parents I do. Anyways, back to the lesson....this topic always weighs pretty heavy on me for whatever reason. I really could talk about it all the time because of how important it is in our lives. 

"Always good enough." No matter what else may be going on. That fragment in itself can dictate whether or not we are truly happy in life. And how can we expect to make others happy if this concept is foreign, no existent, or incomplete in our own lives? We can't. The more I have come through my journey, progressing mentally and physically into a complete state of fitness, the more this concept has stuck every single day. It is impossible to go through life being truly happy without addressing this simple topic. 

And to even get to the point where we can say, "I AM good enough," we have to evaluate where we are, where we want to go, and how we are going to get there. First, you have to apply this to yourself. You as an individual. No comparisons, no situational circumstances, and setting all weaknesses aside; ask yourself this question. And only you can resolve the answer you find. I will say this, even I was at a point in my past where I did not like the answer I found, and still to this day, have to stop and remind myself of the answer I now have. The excellent news is, if you don't like the answer you CAN change it. Simple as that. 

But part of getting to the change, and being able to make the change is answering some of the hard questions, that maybe you never took time to really delve deep and answer before now. I know I didn't always do that or spend enough time on it. And to tell you the truth, up until a year and a half ago and even since then, I thought the path I was choosing was where I really truly was supposed to end up. Funny how things we think we know are too often farther from reality than we think. 

How well do you know yourself? What makes you truly happy? How do I find happiness more often than not? What hopes and dreams do you have for yourself? Even though you may not be on the direct path, do you trust that you can accomplish those things some day? Those are all questions I have asked myself over and over again more recently, and often times more than once in a short time frame. And there are so many more things to ponder when you are really trying to find what makes you tick and who you really are as a person. Nowadays it is beyond easy to get sucked into life or a hobby/interest and not really know why we do what we do or why we really love xyz; or maybe why we hate it. We scroll mindlessly through various social media pages, engage in conversations or conflicts with others, maybe even defending beliefs we hold so near and dear; but do you really know why those things are important to you? 

I have also found that another thing I for one really have to think about is how I let the things others say and do, or other's choices and actions, affect my mental state of being. If you have to like I have done, sometimes you may even need a break or less time spent on social media sites. How can you really know yourself and be truly happy with your self and life, if you are constantly surrounded by others (whether it negative or positive). No I am not saying become a hobbit ;) but there is a fine line, sometimes a crater, between a healthy interaction with social media and such a big distraction that you cannot hone in on yourself long enough to prevent you from checking Facebook. (Yes I am speaking from personal experience as sad as that is). And what is even worse, is it can seriously drain you mentally to the point of exhaustion if you let it. We all have to remember to take that time for ourselves; so that we truly can remember those reasons why we are "good enough." 

As for the negative people in your life, I can say one thing for certain; distancing yourself from them, as hard as it is, will be the best thing for you and your sanity. No one needs that type of influence in their life. Life is already hard enough if we happen to see it that way. 

Sometimes I have to reign my seriousness in with a good gif ;)
I think my husband is wearing off on me...

You can always look at it this way, 

Whatever you have to do, whatever questions you need to start asking yourself -- do it. Start now and really work on you as a person, all inclusive. It is OK to take time for yourself to find out those deep answers that I know we all want to know. I know the more I have gotten to know myself and have been following the path that God led me down, the happier I have been. Wholeheartedly. I am starting to implement things that will allow me to truly be a happier person, outside of everything even fitness, but completely. I don't think before I really realized what the true meaning was until I really got into self-reflection and concentrating on things that are mentally good for me. For example, self-talk every day, time for myself to just think, a mini-vacation here or there, guided-meditation at night, doing more things I love and concentrating on people and things that truly matter most; I mean it can seriously be anything even rocking out to music in the car on the way somewhere and just remembering why life can be so great. Yes that does happen, so if you ever pull up next to me at a red-light, I can't say I am sorry hehe...I am not sure that I can really explain it in less words than I've already typed. :) Perhaps that would need to be another post, "What happiness means to me"...

Earlier today, I saw a blog post from someone I follow and it really sparked these thoughts even though like I mentioned before this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. That person, even though they weighed their options throughout the post and expressed deep down what they really wanted and the conflicting ideas that were going on in their life; the only thing I could think by the end of the post was, "I truly feel sorry for them." And not in the sarcastic, "you're pretty bad off" kind-of way; but the seriously "I really feel for you and wish you could see it" sort of way. Why you ask? Because by the end of this post, and despite all of the red flags that point towards "you should choose a healthier road...," the person still chose to go down the current path and 'ride it out.' You should never feel like you have to continue doing things that are either unhealthy, or that make you in any way, shape or form unhappy in your life. Never. I think that points to this whole concept of knowing what truly makes us happy and being able to choose things that are mentally good for us; in this case the options were clear. 

It is a lot to take in. And it can really make you feel like you aren't sure what is going on or which way is up, or that the options that "are clear" maybe don't seem so clear. Don't let it though. While you are going through this process, believe me I am there too, take it one step at a time and really focus on the little things in life that you truly love and what makes you happy in your soul. What makes your heart smile? If you haven't experienced it, one day when it happens all of this will make sense. And that isn't to say either that we don't have to do things that we don't like-- don't be fooled here -- life isn't always what you want it to be. The major difference we have to remember is how we choose to look at it, no matter the situation. I have touched on this before in quite a few posts, maybe not as concise as I would say it now but there are some great tips for that here! It's all about our thought process and how we look at the world around us.

It all goes hand in hand really, and maybe one day my rambling self will come up with a list (As I can hear Dory saying, "OoO a list!") of these things in a more concise post. Sounds like an add on my blog to-do list! At the most basic level and if you want to take away something from this post, make the most out of everything you do whether you happen to like it or not and do more things that make you smile. Those two things, I guarantee will start to make a difference in your life. I dare you to try it :)

What are your thoughts? I could go on about this all day long...What would you add to this, or what have you done in your life to move towards becoming a happier person? Anything you want to start doing? How are you going to make that happen? Let me know! Let''s discuss, leave a comment below!! 

Hope you all have a wonderful day, and until next time! ~Rachel

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