In my life, there have been many times where it felt as if the darkness would overcome me. In those moments, it was not fear or anger that saved me. It was love. It was light. It was letting go of all the things that bothered me and using them to grow and move forward.
Since then, I have learned something important: when there is fear and darkness within you, the best way to get rid of it is to focus on love and light. If you are full of love and light-towards yourself and to others, then there will be no room for anything else. If you focus on the love and light that is around you, from the smallest things to the biggest things, you will feel that much happier.
This isn’t about ignoring the bad things in the world around you or the weaknesses you have. Don’t do that. I can’t stand it when people do that. That’s not how things work. You don’t find happiness by trying to cover up your sadness. You acknowledge your sadness, you let it out, and then you remember all the good things in your life for a better perspective of where you are. You need to acknowledge the bad if you want to acknowledge the good.
This is about recognizing that there are good things around you even if it feels like there isn’t.
For example, I used to play piano, but quit because I thought my playing was horrible and it discouraged me. All I ever heard were my mistakes. All I was ever told were my mistakes. It took being asked to play piano at church for me to realize that I was wrong. My playing was actually not a blight upon all of humanity’s ears like I had formerly believed. It was actually pretty decent. While it’d been years since I’d last played and I was really rusty, I could grasp most of the songs within a week as long as I was diligent in practicing.
Interest piqued, I later looked through the score pages I got from past piano festivals. The comments from the judges did not actually say anything along the lines of “Wow you sucked! You should quit, you sad child” like I remembered. In fact, they praised my talent, pointed out my mistakes, and then encouraged me to keep going.They were saying things like, “you have a lot of potential/talent” or “I enjoyed your playing”. I was flabbergasted. I had no idea that I wasn’t a complete and utter failure. I was surprised to be realize that it was actually the opposite.
I was miserable when I was younger. I thought I was a horrible person. I thought no one liked me. I thought everything I did was never going to be good enough so I should just quit. Hindsight has led me to realize I was wrong. I was a good person who always tried to do what was right. I was liked and admired by many of my peers. I was good enough. I was always good enough and that included everything I tried. It wasn’t all perfect, but I tried and that was the most important part.
The only reason nothing seemed good enough was because I was obsessed with perfection, choosing only to focus on my past failures instead looking at them within the context of my successes. Of course I thought I was a failure! Who wouldn’t if they only looked at where they messed up and never what they did right?
I spent so much time focusing on my past and worrying about the future that I forgot to be happy. I forgot to enjoy the present. What’s the point of life if you’re not learning? What’s the point of life if you’re not happy?
Today, I realized that 1) not only is there no point in bringing up the past all the time (since it feeds into my regret and despair), 2) or in worrying about the future (since that feeds into my anxiety and panic), 3) it is very important to enjoy the present by looking at each day as if it is going to be the best day of my life.
Maybe this just makes sense in my head, but if you look at each day as if it’s a defeat, then you’ve already lost. However, if you look at each day as if it is a victory, like it’s going to be the best in your life, then you look at it with new eyes. It allows you to notice the things you wouldn’t normally notice.
Before, I had been of the mind that every day was going to be a good day because I was going to make it a good day and that no one can stop me. It’s good, but I think this might be better since it doesn’t rely on my stubborn competitiveness to not let “them” win. I’m really…I’m just like that as a person, ok?
So here’s my list of good things today.
- I was reminded that I was not alone. I tend to need a lot of these reminders. I’m not alone and never was even if it felt like it for most of my life. Even though there’s a lot of horrible people that bothered me recently, I had someone important to me remind me that I’m not alone. There are people that love me and want to see me succeed. Those who are hoping I fail are not worth thinking about. It doesn’t matter what they said. Why would you want to listen to people wanting you to fail? Don’t let them bully you. If they were so afraid of me that they were willing to harass and insult me and those I love to such an extent all- for the sake of shutting me up, then I must be doing something good. I must be doing something amazing. I’m going to keep at it.
- I’ve been given a gift with words and it would be remiss of me not to share it. We all have our own gifts. When we develop and share them, they improve even more. We help others and in doing so, help ourselves. I firmly believe that both good and bad things have a way of coming back to us.
- I woke up completely exhausted and so drained of energy I had trouble getting up. However, through great miracles, I was able to pull myself up and do what I needed to do safely and without doing anything stupid.
- I got to take a nap today. I still felt like I was going to die, but it helped a lot.
- After I took my nap, I was able to get a moment to exercise and regain my energy. Exercise doesn’t have to be the hard core workouts portrayed in media. Mine was slower, but no less straining. This is mainly because I am a soft, turtle like person who prefers things to go at a slower pace.
- I got to assert myself today. Someone was bothering me today so I told me to leave. I didn’t say it out of anger or desperation or anything. I just told them to leave because they were rude and needed to stop. I am so proud of myself you have no idea.
- My grandmother fed me today. It was so good. It helped that I was hungry. My stomach loves me again.
- I had a little bit of custard ice cream left over. There were flakes of chocolate and entire strawberries in them. I’d been craving chocolate so that really helped even if it was only a little.
- My younger brother is getting better at driving. Soon, he’ll be able to get his license. Then I won’t have to wake up early so he can practice driving my car and then drive back home after he goes to school.
- My friend has had some good things happen in his life. It makes me happy. I hope more good things can happen in his life.
- Said friend also gave me a link to a book he thought I’d like. Did you know Tor.com has some sort of free ebook club? You sign up and get a free ebook every month. The ebook’s premise sounded really good. Politics and alternate universes? Yes please! I did not know this was a thing, but I am so glad I do. I had no idea. Mind blown. THen, I told another friend who will be looking into it so that’s fun.
- Vocal Point is a really talented acapella group. I like their rendition of O Danny Boy. I think it’s my favorite version. Even more than Celtic Woman, which is saying something since I love their music. Their Newsies medley is really good too. I was listening to them today on YouTube.
- I get to ramble on this blog. I don’t decide ahead of time what to write. I will honestly just sit down and write whatever pops in my head. Editing is minimal. This is 100% real. It makes me look forward to it every day since it’s a surprise to me too.
- The weather is beautiful today. It’s cold out, but it’s beautiful. The sky is a lovely shade of blue. I think the sky is the first thing I like to look at when I got outside. It’s so big and open. Sometimes, I really wish I could fly. It must be nice to be a bird sometimes.
- Today is just a beautiful, wonderful day.
- I think I gained a little more confidence today. Yay!! I leveled up today!
- I have improved at blocking out the inner voices that like to criticize everything I do and dwell on where I could’ve done better in human interaction. I’m really proud of myself. It took me years to get this far. Years and a lot of prayer.
- I have my faith. I believe in something greater than myself and this world. I believe in those who love me unconditionally. I honestly need this more than I need anything else in the world. There’s just something comforting in knowing that there’s more to this world than we see and hear, you know? Well, maybe not, but that’s fine too. I really think we should be free to believe what we want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.
- This world is beautiful. There are so many different cultures and beliefs, so many different perspectives! We all look, think, and act differently. I love that there is always more to discover. It’d be boring otherwise.
- There’s so much we don’t know. There’s so much we can discover. There’s so much I can learn. There’s so much I can grow. I have a lot of weaknesses, but that just means I can jump higher than where I am currently. No worries about plateauing here!
- This world is also beautiful because it’s just beautiful. I like looking at pictures of different places. It’d be nice to travel, but I’m broke.
- The internet exists. I will forever be grateful each and every day for this fact. I can look up whatever I want. Memes exist (actually…I have mixed feelings on those. some are truly awful). I can look artists up on Youtube and listen to them whenever I want.
I think everyone should have a list of good things. We’d all be happier if we did. I mean, sometimes the things on my list are kind of sad. Like “Today I’m grateful that I’m not alone and that not everyone in my life hates me” or “Today, I got to talk to someone and not feel like a walking disaster”, but it’s happy to me so it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. We are all on different paths in life. If this is a step up for me, then I should celebrate it no matter what others think. You should too.
It doesn’t matter what others say. They don’t know what you’re thinking and feeling. They don’t know all that you’ve worked to overcome. They don’t know how much you’ve grown. You do. So don’t let them turn a momentous occasion into something to be ashamed of. Let yourself feel happy. If you don’t then you don’t, but if you do, don’t let others shame you for it.
Don’t let them tell you who you are or aren’t. Only you can decide that. Only you can make it happen. There are some things that only you can do.