I recently had a conversation with a friend about her life. She is presently unhappy and afraid of the future.
People ask me for advice all of the time because I have a knack for understanding and empathizing. Over time, I’ve learned that people will do what they want to do, whether it’s right or wrong. I’ve taken a back seat to navigating decisions and instead offer this gem that has helped me: go to therapy. And if you don’t want to go to therapy, read a self-help book. Too long? Visit a zen blog. Still too much? Search “positivity quotes” on Pinterest. Do anything besides listen to yourself. Please, for the love of Jesus, do anything besides listen to yourself.
When I told this to my pal, she was quick to be skeptical. “Are you going to tell me you’ve changed because of some book you read? Are you going to try to tell me you’re a happier person?”
It was a good question but my answer disappointed her. Yes, I did change and yes, I am a happier, more grateful person. Overtime I developed certain tools that help me look at situations from a different perspective.
Self-help blogs helped because they offered solutions that were outside the scope of my own thinking. Of course, a quote that says “be happy” won’t do anything significant but a blog post about what happy people do will. But only if you let it. You have to register the words, the meaning and the sentiment to make an active decision to follow the positive path and that’s all on you.
This doesn’t happen overnight, though. It’s a one-day-at-a-time process where you try to level out the negative thoughts with the logical thoughts. It’s about taking action and doing something proactive to feel better about yourself and your life.
I hate having the sads. I’ve spent my life fighting the sads and figuring out solutions to getting out of ruts. There were and probably will be days where I feel helpless, terrified and unsure. Negative thoughts enter my mind daily and swirl around like an angry shark-infested tornado looking to cause damage. It’s my choice whether or not I let them because the reality is that I am stronger and smarter than my ridiculous subconscious. I can overcome and so can you. Unless you can’t in which case it might be your fault.
Happiness is a choice. Feeling good is a choice. Everything is a choice. My MS isn’t a choice but how I live my life is. Eating healthy, working out, taking vitamins, stressing less – I made the decision to do those things. I am lucky to have Vinny’s support but even so, it’s up to me whether or not I do those things. And even so that too took a while. The path to clarity is sometimes a bumpy journey but that’s life, yo.
Jennifer Aniston recently agreed with me in her interview with Glamour. When Jason Sudeikis, her co-star in “We’re the Millers”, asked her what she learned in her 30s, she said “Thirties. Thirties. Go to therapy. Clean up all of the sh-t. Clean up all of the toxins and the noise. Understand who you are. Educate yourself on the self.”
Well said, Jen. Well said.