The secret to happiness.
So many people live with insecurities and fear what others think of them. I was reminded of this a day or so ago when I found an old poem I wrote. It was prompted by a mother at the school gates. It seemed the only acceptable problems were a child getting sick or dying, a flight being canceled, a miscarriage — depending on the gestation time.
No one talked about an argument, a mother-in-law who they found difficult, divorce, debt, or other more ‘usual’ problems we have. Absolutely no one had low mood or depression, fear of being rejected, OCD, or any other mental health problem. No, we all hid those issues if we had them and lived in pretence.
If you relate to the paragraph above, you cannot be happy. You are not comfortable in your own skin.
So, how do we change that?
- First, we need to admit that we fear what others think
- Then we decide that thoughts and opinions of others do not matter
- We decide to learn how to become our best selves.
We cannot keep doing this. We need a demarkation. I recommend throwing a pebble into a river, lake, or sea. Plant a rose or a tree. Do something that marks out your decision.
Then write the date, and briefly describe your decision somewhere.
We are powerless over people, places, and things. Accept that.
We cannot read the thoughts of others, so why pretend to be something that is not the true you.
Write down every negative message that you got from your parents, teachers, and other significant people.
Go to your painful memories and feel the pain until there is no pain left to feel. Sit with them until no pain is there anymore.
Accept your past and decide to move on.
Start looking at your qualities. We can all be genuinely kind. Don’t be kind to impress someone. Be kind because you are kind.
Decide how you will manifest generosity, patience, hospitality, housework, and other things involved in daily living. It will be a process, so don’t sweat it.
Begin to live as though no one is watching. Dance, laugh, cry, give things, smile. Don’t iron if you don’t want to. I can count how many times I’ve ironed since I was twenty with one hand.
This is the start of living in surrender. The judgment and opinions of people you don’t love do not matter.
I started this process when I was in my twenties as I had to survive my mother. The school gates were indeed a challenge. I did not fit. Nevertheless, I volunteered at school events. I was appointed to the ‘board’ of the high school while my children were still in elementary school.
I have always volunteered my time outside of my work. It is satisfying and very challenging to living in surrender. I wept over it but continued. My fulfilment is more important than what I imagine others may be thinking.
No one will ever stop me living in surrender. I have inner peace, genuine happiness and find joy in everyday things.
Gratitude is my attitude. Therefore, with so much to have gratitude for, I am content, happy, and know inner peace,