Am I A Happy Person Now?
For good portion of my life I have felt a lot of self doubt and low self esteem. Was it derived from being bullied or did I inherit the natural tendency to be depressed from my parents? Was it something I learned or something that I let happen? Was I chemically imbalanced?
I think it was a little bit of all of those things. When the teacher asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, all I could think was I wanted to be happy. As I was naturally inclined to be cynical, it was a tough row to hoe. It is hard to see the silver lining when all you can think about is how dark and depressing things are.
I relegated myself to be the "fat funny friend." People tend to like me because I say things out loud that people normally only think to themselves. I deal with my insecurities by making jokes and being ridiculous to get attention. Since I have a strong penchant for sarcasm and no filter, sometimes people find me funny, but rarely take me seriously. I don't even take myself seriously. I get the laughs and then go home and feel depressed because it didn't mean anything, there was no lasting happiness to that kind of attention.
Gradually over the years I have stopped seeing things that way. I am still plenty of ridiculous but it is not the only value I have to offer. Through a lot of prayer, conference talks, trials, and a few self-help books I have become better. I have become aware that I am in charge of how I feel. I decide if I want to feel crummy. I decide to be friendly or nice or even happy no matter what the circumstances are. I am not perfect at this by far, not even great at it, I am just better at it than I used to be.
It is amazing how losing just about everything can make you a much happier person. You never quite believe it until it happens to you. That is, if you learn from it instead of letting it make you get more depressed. A few year back I lost my friends, my health, my car, my job, and almost my house. It is a slow process to build it all back up but it sure taught me a great lesson. Some things are really just not that important. Stuff is just stuff. Being able to walk or grow hair or even just use the bathroom by yourself are miracles! I have an eternal family that loves me very much. I have great lifelong friends who will always stand by my side. I am beautiful and smart and strong. I am so strong. I can do hard things!
My value is not defined by whether or not someone wants to marry me! This is what the world or even sometimes the church pressures you into thinking. IT IS NOT TRUE. Yes, it would be great to find a best friend to share a life and a family with, but it is not an indicator of my personal value. Whew! I said it!
Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. He wants us to have the righteous desires of our hearts. We have to decide that we want them too. We have to work and be patient and pray for the things we want. It takes faith. A LOT OF FAITH, but we can have it. I truly believe this.
Here is a list of a few of the mantras, sayings, or ideas I have heard over the years that have helped me, (mind you I am still working on following them!):
I can do hard things!
There is no failure there is only feedback.
Only think of and visualize the things you want, not the things you don't want. The ideas and thoughts you put out into the world come back to you. Instead of saying "I want to get out of debt" say " I am financially free!"
If you tell yourself that you are fat and ugly and worthless than you are going to believe it and so are other people.
Nobody wants to be with someone who complains all the time, it doesn't matter if you are a good person at heart.
Confidence is beautiful.
It is a complete and utter waste of time to worry about things you can't control.
Only you get to decide how you feel.