The Path to Joy

Ever read one of those posts on Instagram and thought shit yeah today is THE DAY. I am going to stop letting the toxic people in my life do whatever is that they’re doing, and I am going to start making decisions based on MYSELF. I am going to start saying NO to what I don’t want and a big FAT YES to the things I do want.

Yeah, me too.

But then do you get a job offer and hesitate taking it because it doesn’t suit someone else in your life? Get an email or phone call asking for you to commit to something you don’t want to do, but say yes because it will make someone else happy? Do you decide to keep quiet when someone says something hurtful?

Yeah, me too.

After that, do you get infuriated because that person didn’t realise how much you actually wanted that job? Get frustrated with yourself because you’re in the same situation you didn’t want to be again, and because that person you said yes to is blissfully unaware of how you feel? Do you get angry that the person who hurt you can get on with their day, while you spend three days brooding over it? 

Yeah, me too.

I mean, we all know it’s just easier to keep someone else happy, isn’t it?

I am an expert at keeping other people happy, I’m also an expert at being at pissed off about it after the fact. Getting better has been a recent goal, though. I’ve been tending to a little fire inside, and it grows every time I choose to do something that’s right for me.

Creating this blog is one of those choices. I thought about doing it for a very long time and always hesitated, for years in fact. I spoke again and again with my counsellor about feeling misunderstood and lonely, feeling that no-one ever truly knew me. After all, I expected them to know me and was ultimately disappointed when they didn’t. It’s now after taking a deep dive within that I know that they could never have known me the way that I wanted because I was never truly myself around them. It’s a weight I was unable to bear (and still struggle with, to be honest) because my biggest fear was that if I were true to myself, they’d reject me.

The truth in this scenario is that I’d be no more lonely if they rejected me than how lonely I’ve felt anyway. So why not take the leap and just see, perhaps those in my life would embrace the part of me I’ve always kept hidden. Through choosing courage and speaking my truth, through choosing authenticity, I have chosen me - and that is what will ultimately lead to my happiness. 

Choosing yourself is not easy, it is not comfortable. But here are some ways to help you get there:

  • Stop and take the time to think about what it is you actually want.

  • Face your fears and think about what it is you could be scared of - is your worst-case scenario that someone might not like you? Maybe it’s that they’ll be angry with you. Think about whether or not this is realistic, and if it is - think about how long it might last. Is it worth making the decision anyway?

  • Try not to look to other people for approval and instead look for it within. What might be stopping you?

  • Remind yourself that this is your life.

  • Remember that this is a work in progress, and even a small step in the direction you want to go in is a fantastic achievement.

Mainly, this all comes down to our self-worth. Our biggest fears of what people think of us are actually deep down what we believe about ourselves. We will never find our self worth or joy in others, it can only come from within. You must choose joy and happiness, and to do this, you must choose courage - the courage to face that inner voice, the courage to listen to it, and courage to answer it with love, understanding, and compassion. 

J x