The closest I may ever come to enlightenment is knowing one secret I hold reverently: You can choose your life.
This isn’t to say you can control everything that happens to you, but you can control everything in between. You can control whether you are happy or not. The happiness I’m referring to isn’t the short-term happiness you feel when you’re in a good mood, although that helps. I’m talking about your life, what state of being you dwell in.
Maybe this seems like a pretty obvious concept for you, and kudos if you figured it out a long time ago, but I didn’t know the universe worked like that. I just drifted through whatever was in front of me. I went through every day tackling my obligations, or trying to get out of them, and the rest of the time I was fitting into habits and interacting with people in the same boat I happened to be in. I was stuck, lost, surrounded, outnumbered. I dreamed of one day being the person who had everything, the person who was happy with who they were and what they did.
What I didn’t grasp was I inadvertently allowed other people to make choices for me and then I settled. I accepted the hand I had been dealt and sat waiting for the end.
I didn’t understand these people, I dreamed of being like, were happy because they chose to be happy. I had no idea you could seek happiness out, actively pursue it, without being shackled to your mundane existence. You can choose things to put into/take out of your life as if you were choosing what ingredients to use in a recipe. Every choice you make tailors your life to the way you want it, even if that means you settle with what you were given.
For me, I started dropping things I was carrying around, out of some misplaced loyalty, I didn’t want or need. I trimmed the fat, literally and figuratively. I started taking care of myself and letting go of all the garbage I was harboring because I needed room for all the wealth I was to collect. I began shedding different skins like, guilt, regret, sloth, and resentment, some of which grow back and I have to shed them again. Why carry around all this extra crap? Let it go, baby. Release yourself.
Now, I purposefully choose things that add to my peace and happiness and I surround myself with support and independence.
Of course I mean little things like taking a different route to work, or calling your mom, or starting a savings account, or not eating your feelings and having a salad, but further than that… Tackle your biggest problems like what is making you so unhappy. Your job? Your partner? Quit. Leave. I did.
I tore everything down and built everything back, only better.
I’m obviously not responsible for whatever choices you make, you’re your own person, and I would suggest slowly building up to the really big decisions, but my point is, if you’re miserable in your own life, when you have the power to change it, it’s your fault. Some things can’t be changed or helped, but you can still pursue a life you want. Tailor your life and find out what it feels like to walk around in the person you want to be.