|Life can rain down us but we can still be happy!|
When my parents and two sisters decided that it was best to go our separate ways, I struggled with my right to be happy. I didn’t think I deserved happiness. After all, my family, the people I loved most in the world, were fine to go on without me.
In some ways, it really hit me as worse than death. I know some of you will protest that thought, but when someone dies, it wasn’t their choice. For a loved one to choose to leave you, that one really cuts deep.
Thinking back on this emotion (I have worked beyond this one at this point), I remember thinking when I was having a bad day, ‘oh they’d be happy today.’ I attributed negative emotions as coming from them, that somehow they were feeding on my lows. I came to realize that’s not the case, and really, what would it matter if it were.
I have the right to be happy.
Repeat that to yourself many times if you have to, until you believe it.
For me, this realization came at my first book signing. I was in my element. I shared the event with other authors and it was terrific to get to know them, and I had face-to-face contact with readers. How amazing! I was so happy and high from this experience, I realized that I not only do I have the right to be happy without them, I was.
When I realized that I was happy, my thinking changed.
It’s ironic, as you work through the healing process, you will have good days and bad. But when I reflect back on how I used to feel—unworthy and undeserving—I found that I got angry that I ever felt this way.
The anger was directed at myself for ever handing over control of my happiness to another person. And the thing is, I was doing this all from within myself. Like I said, I attributed these negative implications as coming from them. As if I didn’t have enough that I was working through—rejection, a broken heart, guilt, etc.—I thought I’d add ‘I deserve to be miserable’ to my list.
In fact in preparing this post, I had to utilize another thing that I have come to learn as a powerful tool to recover from loss—forgiveness. I had to forgive, not them in this case, but me. I was the one hurting myself.
Here’s some things that may help you realize you deserve to be happy:
- Do something that makes you happy.
- Think of the last time you were really happy and focus on why. Remember those feelings.
- Take back control. Don’t let yourself be a puppet on strings.
- Don’t project intentions on other people.
- Write in a journal what you are thankful for. (I know this has been said before but it can’t be stressed enough. When you start focusing on the positive, you’ll likely realize that you already are happy.)