The story of our lives and how to get back the joy and wonder of ourselves.
A whole new world.
When we’re born and our eyes open to this new world, it’s a world of wonder and joy. Think of it. Everybody around us thinks that we are the best thing around. They are delighted and happy to teach us anything they know. Happy to watch us fall down so they can pick us up and teach us how to get up ourselves. There’s a lot of laughter. A lot of “it’s okay.” A lot of “you can do this!”
Then, somewhere along the way, something changes. Something takes a little bite out of the joy of being you. It could be those around you expecting more of you. Expecting you to act a certain way. Expecting you to be more like them, perhaps. These expectations of yourself and inevitable disappointments accumulate. All of the sudden, that joy that you were born with and meant to live is constricted. Not because of anything that you’ve done, but because of the way others interpreted your actions.
Throughout life, the support, the laughter, the “you can do this!” you had as a baby are shut down. Something happened to the enormous acceptance that you felt. However, that radical acceptance—saying “that’s okay” in the face of disappointment—is one of the keys to living a life of joy. It’s a freedom. The ability to be free, to think freely, to be excited about your ideas, and to pursue whatever it is you want to pursue. Those unfettered ideas are what makes up you. When those ideas, thoughts, and actions are shuttered, we become someone else. The more we please others and not ourselves, the more the identity of who we are is diminished.
How do we get it back? And why do we need to?
Being able to act out of who we truly are in our hearts—the authentic us— lets us flow and become stronger. There’s no doubt that strength is needed to pursue a life of joy. However, when we’ve become disconnected with ourselves, we are lost and powerless. We must first accept ourselves and return to our center. Then, from that place of strength, we can find joy again.
4 steps to find your happy self.
There are steps we can take to nurture our authentic selves. To find power to go forth and live a life that truly suits us.
1. Recognize if you are truly happy in your being today.
In your body, do you feel happiness? If you are, more power to you. Keep doing it. If there are any areas where you are not happy, see step number 2.
2. Take a look at why you’re unhappy.
This is not easy. It generally requires making a list of unhappy factors in your life—the what. You need to look at the impediments to creating that joy and maybe even look at how you landed in the unhappy space—the why.
3. Sit and value yourself.
Spend some time understanding that you are magic just by being. Learn to accept that your value is truly your “you-ness.” And that somewhere along the way, it was taken from you. Know what you are excellent at. Why are you excellent at it? One reason may be that you may really enjoy doing it.
4. Focus on what you truly love.
Finally, make another list of what would make you happy. Fill your life up with all of this goodness. Getting rid of the stuff where you feel constrained, diminished, unsure, and lost will make a difference if you know what to throw out. We’re doing a hard reset on life. We’re taking us back to a world that was filled with joy and supported in being you.
Living is hard, but being truly you can make it easier.
In all, life will never be free of obstacles. However, knowing who you are builds a foundation upon which you can build joy.