I used to think happiness was a place you ended up. As I got older, I began to think happiness was found in the journey you took to get there, the process of actually getting to a certain place. What I discovered was that happiness isn’t about the destination, and it’s not even about the journey. Happiness does not magically happen when you get to a certain space, nor does it happen on the way there. Happiness happens when you sit exactly where you are and you choose exactly what you let go of and what you hold on to. It happens when you mold the framework in your mind and in your life to accommodate room for the happiness you are looking for.
Here are 11 things I let go of to become genuinely happy in the present:
1. The belief that I’m supposed to be somewhere else.
You have to believe that there is nowhere that you are meant to be more than where you are at right this second. Create faith and a foundation around the idea that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and when you’re not meant to be there anymore, you‘ll find yourself somewhere else.
2. Energy and people who make my thoughts and spirit feel negative and heavy.
I’m talking about even certain people on the news. The energy from a cranky person at the grocery store. Anything heavy, let go of. Let the negativity flow through you and exit, not get stuck in you. Be conservative with who you allow access to your mind, body, and spirit.
3. The desire to have common ground with everyone.
Not everyone is meant to be in your close circle. You genuinely aren’t supposed to thoroughly like everyone you meet and not everyone is supposed to like you either. Don’t be hard on yourself or take it personally when you don’t have common ground with absolutely everyone, you aren’t supposed to.
4. Fear of rejection and being alone.
Rejection and the fear behind it lead to the behavior and life you will never want for yourself. You have to support yourself enough to know that just because you lose something, doesn’t mean you’re losing yourself too. Remember that rejection is the greatest form of redirection. Pure magic is born in your own solitude.
5. Trauma from the past.
Easier said than done, I know. If you can’t let go of the pain, trauma, or horror from the past then learn how to work with it. Learn to acknowledge it when it comes up just enough to sit with it, but don’t give it permission to make a home in your life. Those times were in the past and they must be treated like a visitor in your home, not a resident.
6. The idea that I have to know everything.
You might know what’s best, especially for yourself, but open yourself up to the idea that there are some things you actually might not know. There will always be things you think you know until you know better.
7. Complete and utter control.
Control feels good because it feels safe. Control also sucks the freedom and life out of all of us. Be intentional with the things you need to be in charge of, not all of it can fit on your plate and still be manageable for you to carry.
8. The pressure to always do more.
Be proud of your dreams while simultaneously finding ease in knowing that what you’re doing right now is more than enough.
9. The notion that I’ll never have to sacrifice anything.
I used to think that sacrificing was bad. I grew up being taught that only weak people sacrifice things and people who were capable of doing it all never had to compromise anything. What I have learned is that it’s not that weak people make sacrifices, it’s that humans make sacrifices. Whether it’s your time, money, hobbies, business, or attending a cruise and a music festival at the same time, you actually can’t have it all. And that’s okay. You have to be intentional and mindful of what you are sacrificing so that you see the purpose of why you are choosing the things you choose. The only way you’ll ever be able to have it all is by conditioning your mind to know that what’s right in front of you is enough simply because that’s what you decided was.
10. Everything I did or chose in the past.
Forgiveness will set you free, it really will. Forgive yourself for everything you did, were, and chose in the past. You aren’t that person anymore, and you aren’t choosing those things. Give yourself permission to start fresh and start over.
11. The idea that I have to feel happy all the time in order to actually be happy.
I used to think that I had to feel happy all the time to actually be happy. That’s not how that works at all. You can still be happy and feel grief, insecurity, loneliness, anger, and every other emotion. Let go of the idea that you have to only feel joy in order to be happy. You can be happy and still be a thousand other things at the same time.