Oh. My. God. Can’t you just be happier? My About page literally says: “Here’s a little secret you probably already knew: being a mom is hard work. We manage a million things a day, often on a shoestring, and the pressure is to be flawless.” No matter what, especially moms, we can be at zero and still expect ourselves to be perfect. Happier. In general, people can force a smile when really, they are not happy. That is the stuff depression is made of.
I mean honestly, would we yell at a car on empty and expect it to keep going without fueling it up? No! So, why are we so hard on ourselves? We have this pressure to be Happier despite our sadness. Be a “good” girl.
How Can You Be Authentically Happier?
First, take our free seven day challenge (below) to get more happy in your life and minimize the worry.
Second, remember, your vibe is your tribe. So let’s get real. How many people are we hanging out with that we do not like? Are you hanging around with women who are not themselves and then we are not ourselves around them and vice versa. Or maybe that is not what is going on at all.
Let’s take off our polite glasses and take another look.
Identify how you see people
For example, what most people do not know about me is my mother left me when I was 12 and my father left me when I was six months old. Guess the lens I was looking through? You do not have to guess, I will tell you: no one loves me. If they (my parents) loved me they would not leave me.
That was my life in a nutshell and still can be if I do not keep my story in check. Guess who got close to me? No one. So, I was either blocking being hurt or being hurt if I wasn’t blocking. It was exhausting. I was not open to the pain or connection with anyone.
Be Open to What IS Happening
So when it feels bad. Identify it. Do not write a story about it. By this I mean: describe the situation exactly as it is, not as your “baggage” glasses see it. This would look like:
My mom left me when I was young – when I needed her most and now I don’t know what to do. I can’t get close to anyone because, they are going to leave me too. It is so very painful. No one loves me.
That is my translation of what happened. Now I am seeing the world through that lens.
What was really happening? Nothing.
That’s right, nothing. I do not blame the moon or tell a story about myself every night it leaves the sky.
It is just not there.
It does not mean anything about me.
So why does it mean something about me when my mom leaves physically or emotionally (e.g., drinking).
Her leaving does not mean anything about me that I do not make it mean. When I can separate those two things I become present to what really is happening, no story filter.
Recognize You Are Shrinking
There are two things in this world: fear and faith. You can put your faith in the wrong thing (eg., fear) or the right thing. Either way, it is as much your decision as the story you tell. Fear will make you small; if you acknowledge it you are set free. What is brought in to the light is it’s actual size (think about the boogie man under your bed).
To take that example further, I recently started listening to this podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin. She has a system at the end with her sister where they talk about a weekly Happiness Demerit and Awarding a Gold Star. That is what inspired the video above (and this post).
Now, y’all know I have four kids. As a mom you can get bogged down with guilt trying to manage one or 10 kids.
Recently my cousin gave us a sandbox. Mind you, my nine-year-old had been asking for one for two years (and I had been saying no for as long). Once I got that bad boy home and set up my son has played with it every day, which has been a while.
Queue the shrinking.
The guilt had me believing he didn’t love me because I short changed him for so long. Ridiculous; emotions can run high, so don’t beat yourself up (or me).
Treat yourself like a toddler Gretchen says. Her podcast is packed full of gems. (On a side note: I just hope she’s not right about this sandbox war scene I am seeing him play at 10 years old, which could end up being his adult career.) You wouldn’t yell at a child for being tired or hungry. You wouldn’t have yelled at me for feeling insecure about my mother leaving me, so I won’t beat myself up for feeling bad about my nine-year-old potentially not liking me… like my mother remember.
Set Yourself Free
You hold the key. Man I seriously hate that saying, but there is a reason is has stood the test of time. I had to stop telling my story. Give yourself the Happiness Demerit and move on. Seriously. Here is the conversation that is different from the video above; powerful none the less. “Mom, I made you leaving mean a lot of bad things about myself. I have lost a lot of time and relationships to that story, but I am putting it down now. ”
So, if you are feeling sad, as so many of us do because we are only human. Stop, listen and release. Give the Happiness Demerit and follow it up wit a Gold Star. Forgiveness and grace are some of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones. Time marches on, so leaving as much of it where it lays will help you travel baggage free.
If you are carrying all this stuff, these stories, how can you possibly get your arms around anyone else? How can you get love if you can not give it? Put the baggage down. You can be happier!
Now, after forgiving myself, when I look at these pictures or walk outside and see him playing, I am happier. No effort required. More then that, I see him in a new light… his own. I gave myself the demerit and now I’m available for every bit of his amazing designs. It is a perfect world he lives in, especially when he “injects a little fiction” (the green snake with arms) into what he does.
Give it a try! Check in on yourself. Identify your Happiness Demerit and Gold Stars when your energy feels low. I think you will find your day will turn out a little more amazing.
Until next time!
If you are feeling like you just can’t get or stay “charged” up during the day take our 5 Point Assessment (to Stay Charged Each Day).