One of the reasons I’m so passionate about the topic of personal happiness is because of how much I have, at times, struggled to honor my own. It’s easier said than done, folks, as I have re-discovered again and again.
Right now I am dealing with a situation in my life where many warning signs are flashing. It is actually a good situation to be in, but I’m starting to get really nervous because there are signs within me that I recognize: the fear of unhappiness, a pattern of withdrawing, being resigned, and settling for dissatisfaction.
I did these sorts of things for years in other situations, and when it starts up in me again, I get very nervous. I have such a strong aversion to being unhappy, and I suppose I have a fear that I will do I to myself again.
One reason I have left so many situations and people behind is that I have so often gotten myself into situations where I felt trapped in dissatisfaction. Trying to please people, not speaking my mind, or settling for things that I don’t like has repeatedly ruined situations, especially because I never raised my voice and expressed myself. Time after time, I struggled with expressing myself and being truthful. It’s easier to think about in the abstract than to actually do sometimes. And the alternative to expressing myself and being truthful–which I have repeatedly done—is withdraw, tolerate misery, and eventually bolt from the situation.
Leaving the situation behind is probably better than tolerating misery, yet I usually end up regretting it, at least to some degree. I have burned many bridges and closed many doors that probably did not have to be closed because of my own challenges in this department. I would rather not leave people behind. I would rather instead learn to ask for what I want, treat myself as an equal who gets to work things out with others…. and hang in there!
Obviously this is sometimes still a challenge for me. In this particular situation I am dealing with now, I have decided to hang in there and practice speaking my mind, as honestly yet fairly as I can. I am honestly so inexperienced at this that it is highly uncomfortable. Also, I am experiencing doubt about the chance of me getting what I want. Instead, mind chatter terrifies me with thoughts that things will get worse, and that I will end up miserable and unhappy once again….
Down the rabbit hole I go.
That things will be that bad is an exaggeration, I’m sure. And yet, once the fear came over me, it was quite uncomfortable. In the past, I did sometimes let myself get truly miserable. But I did not have a personal blog back then, where I honestly talk about what’s going on. I did not have friends and loved ones I could confide in. I was not so reverse-paranoid about unhappiness that big red alert lights flash inside of me whenever things aren’t working for me.
It’s not going to be like it was in the past.
I gain comfort in this. And also, I will make sure it isn’t like then.
I remain vigilant on my own behalf. I will guard my happiness with my life.
I can count on it 🙂