Because running away is not working anymore
There’s one question I get asked more than anything:
Alida, how do you stay so happy all the time?
The answer is the same each and every time: Because I wasted the first 20 years of my life NOT being happy. I don’t want to waste another second.
And for the record, no, I’m not perfect.
I know…hard to believe lol
But really, we ALL have those days. It’s just that now, those days are VERY few and far between!
In 74 days, I turn 40.
Do I feel it? Good gawd NO! I’m happier, more patient, more open, more raw, more loving, more curious, and more graceful in my approach to life than ever before. I spent the last 19 years doing the inner work because running away from my problems wasn’t working for me anymore!
I was an emotional, spiritual, physical and mental wreck.
When people say ‘happiness is a choice,’ they’re absolutely right. The only issue with that statement: when your mind is programmed to choose misery you can’t just flip the switch and call it good. It takes time, effort, sweat, tears, inner reflection, conscious action, and a repeat of this pattern over and over and over again.
In order for it to be an easy choice it must first be a DAILY choice.
THAT was how I created/currently create my high level of happiness.
In life, we have obstacles. How we face those obstacles determines who we are and what level of success we’ll be able to achieve. And while many choose to see these as ways of proving their loser status and/or validating how unlucky they are, the most successful people in the world see obstacles as opportunities for growth beyond their current mindset.
Come at it like a victim (life is happening TO me) and you’ll be knocked down; proving you are in fact a victim.
Come at it with humility and curiosity (life is happening FOR me) and you’ll be lifted up: proving you’re are truly victorious…even IF you don’t “win” as intended.
In my work as a coach and as a student of comparative religions, I’ve learned that the obstacle is a GIFT. It’s a chance to shed the necessary layers of mind that prevent me from reaching the next level and forge me to a greater level of ‘showing up’ for life.
Anything we want, that is different than what we currently have, requires us to be something and someone different than who and what we are now.
Does that make sense?
The same you that got you to this stuck place won’t be the same “you” that gets you out.
We can pray on it. We can create the intention for the universe. But until we perceive each obstacle as the higher power preparing us FOR that thing we’ve asked for, we’ll continue to get more of what we have rather than what we want.
An obstacle can be our biggest teacher, yet so many of us…including myself for MANY years…would rather avoid challenging our own system of beliefs because we don’t want to be wrong.
Fight for our survival by defending our POV…
Then, run like hell in hopes of avoiding any more conflict and try to pretend it never really existed at all.
But what our highest and best self REALLY needs is for us to face the obstacle with courage, grace and tenacity despite the outcome. Go for it, do it anyway, learn along the way, and have fun in the learning process.
Same way a baby learns to walk: stand up, wobble, fall, giggle, repeat.
Can you imagine how much flow you’d achieve if lived life like this? If you stopped running away from conflict? If you stopped procrastinating when things get tough? If you stopped holding back your truth to please others? If you stopped judging yourself because you have more obstacles than others?
Mother Theresa once said,
“I know God only gives me as much as I can handle, I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.“
Ever feel that way?
I sometimes do too.
What keeps me going is the knowing that I ASKED for this! Even if not directly, my heart calling for a new reality also called the obstacles that I’d have to overcome to get there. If it weren’t for those challenges to forge me in preparation for the new reality, I’d never get to my end goals!
So now, when times get tough, I may get stressed but I am aware of the gifts.
I make a conscious effort to acknowledge how I show up…frantic or graceful.
I choose to approach conflict with less defensiveness and more compassion.
I look for ways to be humble when my ego takes a blow rather than attacking.
And the more I follow this process, the easier it becomes to let go of old concepts in order to move through adversity as an explorer.
Am I happy?
I’m happy because I choose to stop running from the gifts of struggle. I AM the butterfly, the baby chick, the little seedling…pushing through to the surface and embracing the struggle to build adequate strength. I’m happy because that gift of today’s struggle prepares me for tomorrow’s blessings.
Running away may keep you safe from the pain of outer conflict, but it won’t protect you from the inner war you’ve waged against yourself. Once you can see your struggles as gifts instead of a curse, you’ll begin to flex and build that happiness muscle too :)
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