You know, it’s easy to be happy when everything is going right in your life. I’ve been there. I had a really sweet spell going for awhile. In fact I remember saying more than once that I knew it was a Golden time where everything felt EASY and GOOD and BLESSED! I remember how extremely grateful I felt!
Funny thing is I also knew it wasn’t going to last.
I had a strong feeling something was going to happen, that there would be rough waters ahead.
Ha. I’m glad I appreciated those good times because little did I know when the tide turned my world was going to turn upside down and inside out, Fast.
To put it accurately my world erupted. Or at least my colon did (it perforated) and I got so off the charts septic that I almost died. Seriously. But I didn’t… and it led to a whole slew of unpleasant complications including four major abdominal surgeries, losing most of my hair, being in extreme pain for months on end, and needing to have drains and an ostomy bag for eight months. Then just as I was getting back on my feet (literally) my oldest daughter unexpectedly died. Talk about unplanned for shock and grief. And two months later, I lost my dad.
And in between two family deaths I got the flu and coughed so hard it tore open my not completely healed incisions and caused a grapefruit size hernia. AND in the process of getting the hernia repaired I had to have a lung biopsy and found out I had a “concerning” case of sarcoidosis. (Thank you doTERRA because thanks to my daily oil habit I am not the least bothered by the lung issue… and my doctor is AMAZED that I have no dehabilitating symptoms. ha I’m sure I’ve healed so much I don’t even have an issue by now 🙂
Anyways, it was all in all an ordeal and A LOT to deal with!
Then twenty two months after the health turmoil began and two weeks before my fifteenth wedding anniversary, just when I was starting to feel really good about life again, my husband whom I absolutely loved and adored (the man who stayed by my side and took excellent care of me when I was so sick) announced that he was choosing to “close out our relationship”.
Talk about the ball crashing down and knocking the wind completely out of my sails. Again. I was devastated to say the least. His news was so unexpected and unbelievable I had to process it in stages.
I felt. S H O C K !!! Major Shock! Disbelief. Denial. S A D. MAD!! Bitter.
So S A D. More shock.
I cried. Tears automatically squeezed out of my eyes. I hardly slept, and when I finally did drift off I woke up shaking with a feeling that something was horribly wrong. I went through the motions. I put on a smile and kept going. I faced the world and did what I needed to do, but on the inside I felt like I was collapsing. Again.
I felt unsettled, un-happy and sorry for myself. I was in a funk. Accepting and letting go was a process I didn’t go through lightly. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
Each day seemed to bring up a deeper level of pain and I allowed myself to FEEL the emotion as it surfaced. I am wise enough to know it is important to grieve, and if I just glossed over the pain it would still be inside eating at me and surely come up later to wreck havoc and extend the misery. So I let myself go through it.
Having a perforated bowel was body hell. It was rough! The process of absorbing my new reality and adjusting to it was every bit as hard and challenging. It was the energetic and emotional equivalent of the physical trauma I’d gone through earlier.
Both times I struggled more than I even knew was possible. In between bouts of mad and sad I felt exhausted and (the second time around) totally cheated and rejected. None of it seemed fair. I didn’t have choice in the matter. It happened and I felt like it was put upon me. I didn’t like it. I admit I wasn’t very graceful or gracious about how I handled it. Especially in the beginning.
It took me awhile to accept THIS was my new reality. But finally I was able to come face to face with it and realize that the only productive thing I could do was surrender to the experience and choose to adjust and UPGRADE MY ATTITUDE about it.
I wanted to feel happiness and JOY again….so I chose to cultivate it.
I chose to turn away from the pain (close a door on my past) and put my energy into creating a brighter future for myself. As much as possible, because it was uber challenging to do I kept my mind on what was right with my life in the here and now. I thought about how I wanted things to look and feel in the future.
I determined to spend the majority of my time and energy thinking about what I wanted my new life to be like!
And yes, the painful door on my past kept opening so I had to keep re-closing it. I had to keep re-making the choice to let go and move forward victoriously, instead of trudging along as a victim.
I kept choosing to see future bliss in my mind’s eye and to FEEL grateful, joyful and happy… even excited about my life!!
Choosing to do whatever it took to feel satisfaction and joy it in my heart again made all the difference because it enabled me to rise above the sad crappy feelings… and feel (most days) like my positive optimistic energetic self again!
So here in a nutshell, is what I did every day (over and over again, as much as I needed to!) to CREATE JOY in a joyless feeling life.
1. Use doTERRA essential oils often because they are the fastest and easiest way to perk up low energy. Diffuse them, put them up to your nose and SMELL them (important!), and rub them on the back of your neck and throat and earlobes! Seriously, keep oils nearby and use them (first) and often because they will help lift you out of a funk and make it easier to do everything else I’ve listed below.
2. PRAY for peace!! I couldn’t have gotten through any of the hard stuff I’ve been through without mighty sincere and heartfelt prayer! My heart was bitter and super sad and only God’s grace could soothe and soften it. Seriously, heartfelt prayer, where you turn to God and pour your heart out to him and ask him to heal it, is the majic bullet.
3. Choose to forgive and forget. Pray and ask God to help you forgive and let go so you can feel peace. Choose to forgive. Say out loud “it doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t matter”. Even when your brain is telling you it does matter and wants you to keep dragging your old energetic garbage around like a hungry dog gnawing on a meaty bone, keep telling yourself that it really doesn’t matter. That you are choosing to let go because you want to be happy. Do it over and over again. Keep choosing to forgive…. and keep telling yourself it doesn’t really matter until you start to believe it. Choose to get out of a sewer swirl! Cut the energetic cords attached to it and LET the old crap GO. Rise above it and move to higher (happier) ground!
I can not do this alone! I NEED God to help me all the time about all sorts of things, really. The only way I can keep forgiving and letting go, is to keep on having one on one heartfelt prayer sessions about it!!!
4. Practice gratitude! This is so important because when you can see all the blessings around you, it helps you remember that life really is good… and yours is too good to waste by being a sadsack! Choose to FEEL GRATEFUL every day, and remember that gratitude turns what you have into more than enough!
5. Hold your chin up and SMILE. Literally do this, because it will change your energy (uplift you) and make you look and feel brighter. And even more youthful which is always a good thing! Practice smiling in the mirror, and work on bringing your smile up to your eyes. Keep checking yourself out in the mirror and make sure your chin is up and your mouth and eyes are still smiling 🙂 And while you’re there, say I love you and tell yourself that you are beautiful and amazing!
No matter how hard and rocky your life gets, you have the power in you to change your heart and your circumstances.
Joy can be cultivated… Woo Hoo, and just by choosing (over and over again) to uplift your attitude, YOU CAN turn things around and get yourself feeling happy and good about life.
So go make your own joy.
I’ve done it, I’m doing it, and I know you can do it too!