The most important thing to me is my joy. To ensure that I am joyful, I need to maintain my personal happiness, be grateful for what I am, and be satisfied with what I have/where I am. This means saying no when something doesn't make me happy, appreciating what I have, not being envious of what others have, making things happen that I want to have happen, and realizing that life is a process and not everything happens when I want it to. I need to accept things as they are.
The largest facet of this is my personal happiness. The key to my happiness is laughter and love, 2 things I am capable of spreading with minimal effort. This means I am potentially able to spread happiness and love to others, even strangers, possibly contributing to their joy and sharing my own joy.
I've written about gratitude before, but I'll say it again. I'm grateful for everything about my life. My good choices, my bad choices, every single experience that got me where I am today. Not everything has been roses, but overall, I have an amazing life and if I hadn't been through the trials, I wouldn't be who I am and where I am today.
Satisfaction has a lot to do with gratitude for me. When I am grateful for what I've been through and where I am in life, I am able to be satisfied with how things have panned out and how I've become the person I am today. I won't lie that some days I have to guilt myself into satisfaction, "You have it better than the starving children in Africa with the flies on their faces. You can survive waiting 30 more minutes for lunch that you have in the fridge. Oh you don't want that? Well, a starving kid wouldn't care what it was." But those days are few and far between because I've learned that being satisfied with what I have means less self-guilt trips and helps me be grateful for the fact that I'm not starving and I am able to put whatever food I want on my table.
These things also have a lot to do with perspective.
PerspectiveIt took years for me to figure out that my problem was me. I was miserable because of ME, not because of my circumstances. Again, starving children in Africa still had happiness, but I couldn't figure it out. But then one day, it clicked. I was looking at my circumstances from the wrong perspective.
But that wasn't the only thing I had to learn. I had to also learn that we don't all have the same perspective. Not only that, but it is OK that we have different perspectives.
I also remembered that I'm not the only one with my problems. I'm not the first human on this planet to experience the things I'm experiencing. I just need to find people with the same experiences who could give me different perspectives so I could better understand everything, thus leading to satisfaction and gratitude and eventual joy.
All of these things were outside of my circumstances and the control of other people, leaving only one person holding the responsibility of my life: Me. This shift in perspective helped me to learn to say no to things that didn't make me happy, which lead me to truth.
TruthThe most important thing about truth (/honesty) is that it's easy. If you're been a Gentle Reader for a while, you know that I pride myself on my exceptional laziness. So you'll find this fitting:
This is a very common theme in my life and it has been for as long as I can remember. I have always been the person that will tell you the truth, even when it sucks. Lies are hard to keep straight. Who knows what story? I can't keep up with that mess, so I just tell the truth. When someone says to me, "Don't tell anyone, but..." I stop listening. If you don't want anyone knowing, then don't tell me. Also, if you don't want honesty, don't ask me.
That said, it took many years for me to learn there are multiple ways to tell the truth. You can nicely tell the truth or you can tell the truth like an asshole. I was the asshole for many years and sometimes I still am. The biggest thing about telling the truth is having the ability to be honest about what you think and/or how you're feeling. I don't have to be rude about it, but if your gathering doesn't interest me, I can politely say, "No thanks." I don't have to say, "Yeah, that sounds lame. Kthxnope." It also means telling people when they've hurt you and being honest about your feelings.
Which leads me to.. Confidence.
ConfidenceIt takes confidence to be honest with people. It takes confidence to change your perspective. It takes confidence to feel joy. Sometimes, I don't have that confidence, but during those times, I fake it. Here's the crazy part: no one knows the difference, except me.
|or he. or it. whatever.|
This was the hardest thing for me to learn, but this is the most important thing I want people to receive from me. I want people to know that every day is a lesson in confidence for me. I didn't just show up this way, I had to work to be who I am today. I struggled and I fought for who I am. In fact, that struggle will always continue.
Even when I feel like I have a leg up on my insecurities, they roar louder. My confidence is shaken. But my confidence is stronger than my insecurities, even if I had to fake it at first to believe it.
Once I started faking being confident, I actually became more confident. It was kinda like having a virus that never goes away. In fact, it even spreads. Confidence is contagious. The more confident I was, the more confident the people around me were.
Being confident in ourselves, in our truth, and in our perspective is powerful. Having that confidence is the secret to having joy. But still, I want to share my joy and the key to that is being confident about sharing that joy with others, a never ending loop. It seems like something so simple, but for so many years confidence wasn't in my grasp. But once I started to question why it matters what anyone else thinks, I was freed from many insecurities. At the end of the day, I am the only one who to live with myself. If I'm speaking truth, hurting no one, and making myself happy, why shouldn't I be confident about my life and the way I do things?
Confidence was the hardest thing for me to find on this list. Confidence is something I will continue to struggle with until I die. There will always doubts and insecurities to haunt me, but not letting them is my ticket to leading a full and happy life.
Linking up with Alyssa.