I think life is basically the same for most people.
You start out young, full of energy, promise, hope and optimism; a little girl with wings who can do anything!
Whatever the path you take, one day, you find yourself: middle aged; maybe not where you want to be in your career maybe no longer a career; maybe kids maybe not; maybe a relationship, maybe not. You might find it hard to look in the mirror because you struggle to recognise the person looking back at you.
Some of us have weathered storms; death, desertion, divorce.. ‘the three D’s’ to quote that brilliant line from Jack Nicolson in the Witches of Eastwick. Some of us have had a relatively smooth path.
Whatever the case, I think it’s true that at some point, we all wake up, look at ourselves and think ‘what the hell happened to me?’
I remember clearly, driving along one day, happily singling along with Mr Chubs in the back of the car, on the way to pick up Miss Sparky and all of a sudden, completely out of nowhere, this voice popped into my head – “wow, you really are a total failure.. what the hell have you accomplished hey?”
And my immediate instinct was to scoff and say ‘bah, I’ve had a great life”.
But it didn’t take long for that voice to get louder, and stronger, and to make more sense. The more the voice laid out for me all of the failures in my life – the failed marriage; the career that never really took off; the riches that never presented; the house that never came. All that stuff accumulated into pathetic little me, driving along in my car on a beautiful winter’s day, sobbing and feeling sorry for myself.
I can totally appreciate how easy it is to give into this voice. How quickly you can surrender to the nonsense it sells. It would have been so easy to agree with all of these things and to slowly sink into a world where these things were true. In some ways, it would have actually been easier than doing anything else. After all, like attracts like and bad thoughts are soooo easy to propagate and believe.
This is where the choice comes.
I had to consciously pluck that initial thought out of all the noise. I had to isolate it and determine it’s worth.
And it wasn’t hard to do once I got started.
“What have I achieved?” Well, I am a wife, loved and adored by a beautiful man. I have two perfect children whom I love more than life itself. We live in a house that isour home and I’ve made it a safe place where we can spend time being a family. I am healthy; I am strong; I have choices in life. None of these things can be underestimated.
But the most important and critical thing to remember is – and this will sound like a total cliché and you may even feel a little bit ill but – I am me. I am unique. There is no one else in this world who has my looks, my skills, my personality. And there are people who love me and whom I love, to the point that I could not imagine life without them.
These are the things to focus on. These are the things that bring you happiness.
Because, whilst those voices in your head can point out things that are technically true or that you might believe deep down inside yourself, they have nothing on the truth of who you are and what an amazing, special and unique individual you are.
And no-one and nothing can ever replace that.
This is the secret to happiness and contentment. The sooner we realise this and embrace it, the happier we can all be.
Revel in yourself!