Happy Monday friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend. If you don’t mind I’d like to get a little personal today and talk about happiness. This is a personal reflection, I am not a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, just sharing my journey.
I’ll start by telling you that for the majority of my life I have struggled with depression. Not the kind of depression that keeps you from daily activities because I have always been motivated to keep working. But instead the kind of depression that makes you sad daily and wondering why do I keep waking up every morning? My depression has never been debilitating which I am thankful for. I no longer struggle with depression but I do get little depressed inklings every once and a while. Thankfully, I have learned (with help) how to adjust my outlook and my lifestyle so that it does not turn into a full on state of depression.
I’ve never had high self esteem to begin with, then when I was in junior high school there was a large group of popular kids who taunted me for looking like a monkey. I was the only brown girl in an all white school and yes my face does have monkey-like characteristics. Nowadays when I look at my monkey-like face I think that is the prettiest, cutest monkey ever! But as a pre-teen it was rough. Around the age 18, I developed a serious case of body dysmorphia and then got into an unhealthy relationship at the age of 21 which only amplified it. These were the larger moments in my life that caused me depression which are common and similar to moments in most people lives. I won’t go into the single moments of depression, because really, who needs to hear about that. But I would like to share with you how I manage to find everyday happiness and keep depression at bay. This task was not an easy one and required a lot of help from my family, friends and a couple professionals. My mother is a happy person by nature and I am so incredibly lucky to have her in my life as role model. It took me about 20 years to learn how to maintain everyday happiness but I am thankful for my path and happy I have learned so much (read more below).
Let It Go
This is the hardest lesson of all to implement. Letting things go can relate to so many aspects of life. I like to start with the present and work towards the past. Let it go, forgive yourself, move on, make amends, if need be. If you live in a world where you can not let things go it will devour you. It’s hard to explain ‘letting it go’ because it is such a vague topic but I can give you an example. When I was 12 years old and the other kids were making fun of my monkey face I could have (maybe should have?) focused my attention away from their taunts and towards an outlet that would make me feel stronger and more content. Often people looks towards sports, arts, crafts, writing, music, or a job, anything to direct your attention away from what is seemingly unbearable. When it comes to letting go of the past I try to focus on what I have learned from any given situation. Even if you can not find a positive about a situation of the past it’s important to reflect and put it to bed. Say to yourself “I am am done with that”. Let it go.