I've Decided To Put My Happiness And Wellbeing Above Anything Else And You Should Too

I've Decided To Put My Happiness And Wellbeing Above Anything Else And You Should Too

Don't worry, be happy.

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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."
Dalai Lama XIV

First off, what is happiness? According to Merriam-Webster, it is a state of wellbeing and contentment. To some, it's a person or place. To me, it's finally feeling free after being trapped for so long.

While we all can easily point out what happiness feels like, sometimes the difficult part is attaining it or figuring out how to.

I may only be 19 (almost 20), but I have seen and been through a lot of things in life that has taught me some very hard but meaningful life lessons. One lesson, in particular, has really resonated with me recently and I feel like I've done a lot of growing from it.

Sometimes in life, you hit a wall and you don't feel the happiest or that you are where you should be. Everyone goes through this, so know that you are not alone. But one of the best things to do during these times is to make sure that you are doing everything that makes YOU (not someone else) the happiest you can be.

Growing up, I have always had this need to put others before myself, their happiness was first. While that is not necessarily a bad thing it caused a lot of the trapped feeling that I had felt for so long.

I was a giver. I was the one always there for everyone (and still am today), even if it meant putting aside the feelings I was experiencing, whether they were good or bad. I was what my dad liked to call the peacemaker. I made sure everyone was happy and always tried to see both sides of a situation.

It could easily be said that I started to constantly push out my feelings and my emotions for the sake of others.

Happiness doesn't just come from what you do, it comes from within. While everything may be going great in life and you have everything you could ever ask for, sometimes you will wonder why you still don't feel truly happy. What I've found it that you won't truly be happy if you aren't happy with yourself first.

Don't risk your happiness for that of those around you. This means that sometimes you NEED to put yourself first, especially if that is the best thing for you to do.

You never know what someone else is going through in their lives and the friend that you think is fine may not be. The co-worker you always joke with is going through something. Even the person that was rude to you is going through something too. When we are truly happy we learn to not let the ideas and opinions of someone else affect us because they are not responsible for our happiness.

Life is too short to be anything but happy, so it's time to to get in that mindset. The more you believe and tell yourself that you are happy, the more you will not only start to be but feel too.

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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To Whomever It May Concern; It's Time To Forgive Yourself

Personal growth is cultivated through successes and mistakes, beating yourself up over the latter is counterproductive to progress.

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We've reached that point in time again where it seems that the general population in its entirety has recommitted to improving themselves with the start of a new year. While it's refreshing to have a renewed determination to eat better, be kinder, or achieve the goals you had attempted at last year, the beginning of a new year can also prove to be a source of anxiety. As many sit down to put their goals on paper in hopes of making them more attainable, it's all too easy to be bombarded by all of the reasons that ones' ambitions are beyond what that person is capable of.

Memories of past short-comings and words of self-deprecation uttered in moments of perceived failure are compounded by a general fear of the unknown for what the future holds. In my own experience, I've come to understand that the limits we place on our capacity for achievement, happiness, and growth are the direct results of not forgiving ourselves. So many goals are set with the intent to receive some form of external validation to indicate that the world has forgiven our flaws and deemed us worthy, but if we can't forgive ourselves and see our own worth, then how can we possibly expect anyone else to?

In the safety and comfort of your own imagination where you are free to envision your best self, living the life you have always hoped for, the only person that can condemn those ideas for being unrealistic is you. When we allow that sardonic voice from the back of our minds to inhibit our dreams, we permit that voice to embed itself in our conscious thoughts and put trust in our inadequacies rather than our capabilities.

For those who have yet to forgive themselves of their own trespasses, failures, and mistakes; the next time you have the thought to better yourself or your life and find it being attacked by memories of deficiency, do not concede to those assailants with the belief that you are incapable of becoming and achieving anything you choose. Instead of willing away those thoughts that remind us of what we are trying to grow from, face them, face your old self with forgiveness, and decide how you're going to become someone better because of who you were.

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