Family or Self Happiness

One of the toughest questions many have to face is, do we do what we can to make our family happy or what we need to do to make ourselves happy?

For many the answer will be different and for some it will be the same. However, only one answer will help you on your own path.

I have gone through so many situations in my life where I have chosen to help family and do what I have to just to make them happy, but I always suffered for it, just like I suffered last night. Let’s just say my mother decided to drag me into her problems and I was faced with either helping her in a time of need or forfeiting and doing what is best for myself. I wanted to do the latte, but I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I was in the middle of a drama I had no part in and my mother didn’t appreciate it. No, I had to stay and pick up after her. But I was done. I wasn’t going to pick up after her mess when I had my own problems and life I had to deal with.

My entire life I had spent trying to make others happy and this year I decided to make myself happy and stronger and focus on what will make me happier, my own life, and fixing my own problems.

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So when faced with the aforementioned question, for me, choosing my own happiness is the right path.I have been hurt and scorned too many times to do what others think I should and trying to get others approval. I am done with that because I realised that I don’t need their approval at all, especially not to be happy. I am not going to risk my mental health and happiness for anyone. Sure I may sound like a bad person, unappreciative, etc., but nothing anyone says is going to change or deter me.I am always there for those I love, but sometimes, for their own well-being, as well as ours, you have to put your foot down and say no.

In this life, many want us to be their very own enablers and then they will stab you in the back when they don’t get that. (I don’t mean literally or even to the extent that I make it sound.) You have to be the strong one, the thinker, the empathetic yet strict one. You cant give everyone what they want and lose yourself in the process. I will not do that to myself anymore.

One of the reasons I started this journey is so that I can find my own strength and happiness not so that I can keep throwing myself under the bus for others.

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Open Minds; Open Hearts

Depression*. Such a heavy topic, but one that needs to be addressed.

*This is a very real topic and there are real situations in this post that may trigger and or bother some. Please read with caution, understanding, and an open heart.

 


I suffer from major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. The only way that I can function like a normal person is by taking medication. It doesn’t always work and someday’s are better than others. It is an illness and there is no cure. I am fine with that because I have accepted it in my life and have learned how to live a happy and healthy life despite the struggles that it causes.

Now that I have addressed my own personal mental illness, let me just say that mental illnesses are no joke. They are illnesses that tear apart the lives of people we love and sometimes we don’t even realize it.

This past week, a beloved son and friend killed himself because of depression. He was a man who loved and cared about the world and the people in it. He loved making others laugh. Nobody really knew how bad the world affected him.

This hit close to home because there have been many times where I have sunk deep into this illness and wanted no more. Fortunately, I learned how to love myself, but that is a process I fight to keep each and every day because I am not cured. I still suffer at times, but I can control it better. One of the reasons that I started this journey of radical soul cleansing;this is why I read books that help me learn to deal, why I read books that help me learn to love myself and become stronger. I was and am fortunate, but not everyone is.

Last week, in one of my education classes in college I had an argument (for lack of a better word) with my professor (whom is currently working on a Ph.D). She stated that everyone has depression and that through higher education (a.k.a. going to college) you can overcome it. After having a friend who committed suicide and suffering from mental illness myself, I could not excuse her uneducated analysis of mental illnesses.

My hand shot up into the air violently and my mouth opened with a harsh “excuse me, but no.” I clearly explained to her and everyone in the class, who prior to my interruption seemed to find the topic hilarious, that depression is not something you can cure with higher education. Sure, being educated allows you to learn about the illnesses and learn how one can better deal with it. I have been educated my entire life and am still seeking education (I am working towards becoming an elementary school teacher) and I suffer from depression, along with another mental illness.

It is unfortunate how many people have no knowledge or understanding of these illnesses. How they can laugh about it because they have never had to deal with it. They have no idea how much people suffer and what it can lead to. To them it’s a joke. “Just get over it!” they say. “Stop worrying.” If it were that easy, don’t you think we would stop? Don’t you think we want to stop? Of course we do. It’s not fun. But it’s also not easy.

I have started this journey to help myself and realize how strong, beautiful, and amazing I am. To stop myself from worrying about yesterday and about tomorrow. To one day help those around me. And to have a happy and healthy life that I can be proud of.

I have become very outspoken since I began. I will no longer be a bystander, but I will stand up and fight for what I believe in. I will do the things that make me happy, feel stronger and more confident despite what everyone else may think or be doing. I am going to be the person I should have been from the beginning. I am going to please my soul before anyone else. I think that is the path to becoming truly happy and truly oneself. I hope others can follow this example and be the amazing people that they want to be despite the struggles. It is hard, but it is worth it.

Time is not of the essence

“Give yourself five minutes to be upset or angry or sad, then tell yourself ‘can’t change it’ and go about your day.”  

(My best friend wrote these words to me.)


This morning I was a mess. 

I let myself think, my mind wander, dredge through a swamp of uncertainty. Every thought landed on the past: What I could have done better, what I should have been grateful for, more loving and empathetic, and accepting.

I remembered each and every memory as I put away each article of clothing. I cried. I cried my heart out for the happiness of those times that I wanted back, times that I may never get back. I cried because the future was so uncertain and I didn’t know how much time was left. I wanted the future to come already, but not just any future, the future I had created in my head, the one I had full control over, the one where everything was was fine.

I cried some more and let the heartache wash over me until it didn’t. 

I’m worrying about a time that no longer exists and wasting my life crying over something I cannot control.

Things to think about:

  • End the delusion of time.
  • Stop trying to control what you can’t.

In the words of Eckhart Tolle: how to stop creating time?

“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

I’m sure I have said it before that our future is never guaranteed. Tomorrow is not a certainty and guess what, it’s not written in stone either. You have the chance to do anything that you put your heart and soul into, but it starts by living and working in the now, not putting it off or worrying about what can happen tomorrow.

“Why leave something for tomorrow that can be done today?” I know we’ve all heard it time and time again.

So how do we end the delusion of time? You remove it from your mind. 

I know, easier said than done. Stop thinking about it, just stop. When a thought of the past comes up, stop. When a worry about the future comes up just stop. Change your train of thought. Think of something else, something right in front of you. 

When time is the only thing on your mind it becomes all you can think about. It becomes an obsession. 

Tolle puts it this way: “to be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time. The compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honour and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be.”

What does this mean?

It means that if all you do is focus on the past and the future and wondering when and if , then you forget to think about and live in the now. Your mind becomes so muddle-headed that nothing else seems to matter.

“The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfilment in whatever form.”

Many of us affiliate with our pasts. Sure it has formed who we are today, but we must realise that we are not our past. We have transformed and learned since our earlier time so we are much different that our past. That is if we haven’t stayed stuck in a cycle of repetition. 

The future, on the other hand, we seek salvation. We think that everything will be fixed in the future, that everything will come together, and eventually what is meant to be will be, but not without you working on it, focusing your attention on the now and actually doing what needs to be done.

Earlier today, after I got my head out of the chamber of despair, a.k.a. my memories, and the looking to my future for answers, I read part of the Radical Self-love Almanac by Gala Darling.

The real problem was that I wasn’t doing anything about it. I was too busing hoping and wishing that all my problems would go away or get resolved somehow. I felt like I was doing so much yet I was doing nothing at all.

“Were these rituals just a way of making me feel like I was ‘doing the work,’ when really I was just being lazy and expecting a candle to change my life? Was I REALLY getting in there and getting my hands dirty, or was I hoping a candle would manifest blessings without any effort on my part? (Gala Darling)”

I am guilty. I have lit candles and prayed, held crystals and tried to manifest what I wanted into the world without getting the results I wanted. Not saying that it doesn’t work or that it’s a waste of time. No, this gives you something to hope for and helps you project what you want in life. But the problem is what are YOU doing about it? I did something yet nothing. 

“You’re thinking about making changes. You’re not actually doing the work or committing to it in the here and now.”

That’s exactly what I wasn’t doing. 

“I’ve since come to a deeper realisation that magic is not about lighting some incense and crossing your fingers. Magic works when you do.”

I can’t sit around and say I haven’t done this. 

I have sat around, wished and hoped, but did I ever really try, get my hands dirty? No, not really. There was honestly much more I could have been doing, for myself and others. But I was lazy and unwilling, complacent. I did things half-assed and made myself believe that I worked hard. I’m pretty sure that if I had actually worked hard, even just a little bit harder, I wouldn’t be where I am today, at least not in the same situation I am today.

Not that I know where I would have been had I done things differently, but if I Had put more focus and effort into doing: finding a good job, finishing school, etc., I would have been further than I am today. But as I said before, I was lazy and complacent where I was never moving up.

To be completely honest, I had let time constraints tell me where I should be, yet I haven’t actually done anything to get there. I’ve been waitin and expecting others to push me into that direction when in reality that is my responsibility. I need to stop and focus and do.

Go to school [and finish], find a job, make more money, actually save my money, learn to cook, clean up after myself, take responsibility, etc.

I’ve been acting like a child. 

I’ve always had someone else take responsibility for my life and having to keep after me, but aren’t I a grown ass woman? Why should everything be done for me when I am old enough and capable enough. I should be doing more and helping out more especially those who always help me and do things for me. 

What I mean by this is not spending a shit ton of money on someone, but actually emphasising, caring, and being grateful. 

I know I’m getting off on a tangent but it’s all relative. It all comes back full circle. 

When you do what needs to be done and help others you show your gratitude and you feel much more fulfilled.

I am guilty of this. I took it for granted. I was (am) a spoiled princess who helped out once in a while, just enough, but never really doing much. Unfortunately, I can’t stay stuck in the past and regret all my wrong decisions just because things have turned out they way they have, but I can learn from it and start doing more now, today and every day. 

Which brings me to the illusion of control. I am a control freak. It’s a nasty habit that I need to cut. I may be able to control my actions and feelings and words, but I can’t change the past and I can’t control the future or others. Everything will happen just as it should and I need to learn to be patient. I can’t always control everything and I have to stop worrying about what I can’t control, about what isn’t even there. 

Lessons for the soul and mind:

  • Stop letting thoughts and emotions control you.
  • Stop worrying about the past and future.
  • Work hard and put in the effort.
  • Be grateful.