A lot of people would say my mother taught me to give up when she divorced my father. Others would say she taught me the importance of being happy. What I remember of my parents’ marriage as a child is the anxiety, loneliness and sadness that I feared coming home to every day. The only happiness was when either my mother or father were gone leaving the other with my brother, sister and I. I remember the happiness I felt when they were free from the weight of another lingering fight. The heaviness would lift from their hearts leaving more room to love us as they wished. All too soon though, the other parent would come home and the darkness would again consume all happiness.
When my parents finally divorced, it was a scary and uncertain time for everyone but slowly that heavy sadness that had weighed us down for so long lifted and the happiness and love that took its place is what I wish for all of you.
The love that can be felt in a relationship is one of the best feelings in the world but only if you have the room in your heart to allow it. You have to learn to cherish what makes you happy and let go of what makes you feel heavy. When you’re happy, your heart is light and there’s room for love but when you’re scared, anxious and unhappy, you feel heavy and there’s no room for anything else. My mother set the grounds for this lesson to be learned by never giving up on her own happiness. Once she let go of a toxic marriage and her fears, she had the room in her heart to let in the kind of love most can only dream about. Ever since, she’s been one of the happiest people I know. So how do you do it? How do you start letting go of the heaviness so that you can make room for love?
Love is Happiness. First of all, let me say that to me, love and happiness are synonymous. They are one in one. If you have true love, you have happiness and vice versa. They are the feelings we should all live for. Love and happiness are everything that is beautiful and free, light and carefree, the opposite of heavy and fearful.
Feel and Identify what weighs you down. Don’t be afraid to bring to light the things that are heavy in your life. They are what makes you want to stay in bed when you wake up instead of being excited about starting your day. They are the stubborn fears that keep in the corners of your mind threatening to hurt you when you start to feel brave. They are the things that hide your smile and the things that occupy your heart so nothing else can. When someone or something makes you feel any less than whom you truly are, ask yourself why. Why are they still in your life? What are you afraid of? We so often push our feelings aside because we are afraid to deal with them but like I remind myself, the sooner you face them head on, the sooner you can move on. Don’t be afraid to face what weighs you down and brings unhappiness in your life.
Your happiness comes first. I used to stay in relationships with people who made me unhappy just because I felt like they needed me. If only I could just be there for them a little longer until they got through their own issues, they’d change, I thought. So I’d continue to let them hurt me until they eventually left me. People don’t change for others, they change for themselves. So it doesn’t matter if you stick around or not because if they’re going to change something for the better, they’re going to do it regardless. You have to look out for yourself first. Put your happiness first and let go of the people who are toxic in your life. They have to take care of themselves before they can give any concern to your feelings.
Promise to love and be kind to yourself from now on. To be happy, you have to make a commitment to yourself. You are worth being happy and you are very valuable to others. You are not perfect and it’s okay that you make mistakes. Your mistakes don’t make you any less valuable so don’t be hard on yourself. From now on, be forgiving of your mistakes because you are worth all the second chances in the world. You are amazing and unique in your own right and you deserve to feel loved. But if you don’t believe this, no one else will, so start treating yourself as though you are valuable. Do things for yourself that make you feel good about whom you are. This may be indulging in some alone time and not worrying about what the rest of the world is doing for a night or refusing to join in a bashing session about a coworker behind their back because it makes you lose respect for yourself. When you make a commitment to do the things that make you feel good, you will start to feel loved no matter who is in your life.
Shake things up a little! I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to move on from a hurtful situation is to make changes to my daily routines. For instance, after a breakup I rearranged the furniture in my living room so that I didn’t have the same view of the TV while sitting on my couch that I used to have when he was sitting on that same couch watching TV with me. Every time I sit on my couch to watch TV now, I feel like I’m in a whole new living room! Now I just need a new man to compliment my new view. Change up your look a little and get a haircut or wear your makeup differently. These new changes symbolize the emotional changes and they will empower you to leave old memories behind.
Don’t look back. You’ve made the decision to let someone or something go because they were weighing you down and keeping you from being happy. One of the hardest things to do now is to not look back, to keep moving forward and to be confident in your decision. You’re going to question and doubt yourself but understand that a lot of times, there is no right or wrong answers. There’s only faith. Believe in yourself and have faith that your decision to let go of a heavy situation will lead you to happiness. It may be scary but deep down; you know you’re doing what’s best for you. Don’t look back. Life is full of uncertainty and doubts but having faith will get you through any darkness because faith is what keeps you from giving up. So don’t look back because the past is full of pain but the future is full of love and endless possibilities.