Because I overanalyze every little detail, struggle with letting go and not caring about what people think about me, the idea of having to find and share a happy highlight every single day was incredibly intimidating before I started this blog and corresponding Instagram account. I wondered why I’d made this finding happiness ‘work’ for myself on top of everything else I have to do.
Thus far, this personal challenge has helped me to realize that throughout the positives and negatives life may throw at me, I can find some reason to smile every day and most importantly, my happiness is worth defending.
Sometimes there are people in our lives that we may like or even love (most of the time) who feel the need to constantly share their feelings on a particularly uncomfortable moral or social issue. There are certainly a few people in my life who fit this description but I am growing tired of their unsolicited rants. For so long I have wanted to keep the peace and not have them or others start up an argument or debate with me about my personal beliefs or life choices, I have remained silent. I thought that in letting them ramble on (even if their words brought me down) I was preserving their happiness. I thought that in my silence, was showing my respect for them as individuals who deserve to be able to voice their opinions even if I might disagree. After all, who was I to tell someone they were wrong?
I’ve realized this week that my silence was a form of cowardess. Through my silence, the only thing I have expressed to these people is that I am passive, perhaps even opinion-less on issues they might believe me too unqualified or uneducated to talk about. This is not the person I was meant to be.
I am tired of staying silent while these select few trample on my happiness and reduce me to someone I do not want to be.
I owe it to myself to speak up. If these people knew how I felt about the topics they never fail to bring up, they may respect me enough to refrain from bringing up the topics in my presence. In expressing myself and standing up for my contradictory ideas, I might even be able to give these people a different perspective from which to view the topic.
Armed with this realization and newly-found confidence, I have recently spoken up and with some of these people, and to my surprise, sharing my ideas has inspired thoughtful and respectful debate from which all benefitted. These select few may disagree with me but respect me and my opinions enough to honor my wishes and leave particular topics out of our conversations.
Unfortunately revealing my opinions and ideas to others has been less rewarding. Those within this group now seem to go out of their way to bring these topics up in hopes that I might see things their way. We argue almost every time we see each other and that in and of itself has become tiring. They refuse to respect my ideas, feelings, and personal happiness and I think if only I’d spoken up earlier, things might be different.
I can’t live dreaming about ‘what ifs’, I have to be in the present – my happiness depends on it! It is sad but the only way I can think to move forward on my journey to find happiness is to let them go.
“Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace” -Dalai Lama