Encouraging words and thoughts toward making the rest of your life the best of your life
Author: Diane Patterson
I am 54 years-old and the mother of three grown children. In the last five years, I left a profession I was in for over 20 years, I moved to a new city, re-married, went back to school to discover a new profession, and became a grandma for the first time. I also am pursuing my passion for writing. I am writing a children's picture book and I started my first blog ever.
For years I was afraid of change but I now I embrace it
Do you ever feel like you have the world on your shoulders? Do you ever feel like if you don’t do it , no none will? So you work so hard to finish the tasks of the day and at times you feel so overwhelmed. If this is you, I want you to think back over your day. Are there any tasks that you stressed over that did not belong to you? Is there anything that could of been put off until another day when the day wasn’t so full?
As women, sometimes we think that the household will fall apart if we do not take care of everyone. I think sometimes we feel as though everyone’s happiness and comfort are our responsibility. If we are honest with ourselves, we get a certain satisfaction from others needing us, right? I will be the first to admit to this. Be careful though, the need to be needed can be addicting. This addiction can be detrimental to your health and your relationships. Examine your motivation for doing what you do for others and be honest with yourself. If you find that you are doing things for others to satisfy the need to be needed, step back for awhile and see if others will step up. There is nothing wrong with doing things for others, just don’t allow yourself to be burdened down with responsibilities that are not yours to carry.
Remember you are not a super human. God did not create your body to carry heavy loads. You may do it for awhile, but someday your body and/or mind will break under the pressure. Give yourself permission to be human. Realize that you are going to make mistakes sometimes. Admit to yourself and to those around you when you get tired or fatigued. Take a break. Take a walk. Take a nap. The people who love you will support you taking care of yourself.
I love the saying, ” If you love someone , let them nap.” I would like to add to that ” If you love yourself, allow yourself to be human.”
Happiness is Defined as a Sense of Pleasure and Contentment
Everyone wants to be happy. We all search for ways to become happy. So if we are always searching to “become” happy, does that mean we will not be happy until we find “it”. Happiness is only a feeling and feelings change quickly. You can feel happy one moment and then something happens that changes the way you feel. So you are no longer happy.
I believe happiness is something you create not something you become. You create happiness in your life by being thankful for what you have. Make a habit of thanking God for the positive people in your life and the blessings , even the small ones. You will find that you will be more content with your life. You will create an intrinsic state of contentment. Circumstances will not defer you from having an underlying happy mindset.
Does this mean you are never sad, mad or frustrated? Of course not, but when those feelings occur, remember they are only temporary. You have the ability to change how these feelings affect your state of happiness. If you have created a “happiness foundation”, these temporary feelings will not take away your happiness because it has become a part of who you are. Pastor Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, says ,” You are only as happy as you allow yourself to be.” So make the choice to create a foundation of happiness and contentment in your life by focusing on your blessings and not your problems.
Below I have included a link to Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope. He is teaching a series called, “How To Be Happy No Matter What”. Much of this blog is based on his teachings. I encourage you to listen to it. Each part is only 20 minutes long. https://pastorrick.com/listen/#
Happiness is a choice- Choose to create it in your life
When you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you see the lines around your eyes and mouth? Do you see the saggy skin around your neck where firm skin use to be? Do you ever wonder where the young girl went who use to look back at you in the mirror? The young girl who use to wish upon a star and believed that if she only wished hard enough the wish would come true. The little girl who imagined that someday a prince would swoop her into his arms and carry her to his castle.
Well, that young girl grew up and realized that life is not a fairytale and wishes don’t always come true. But that young girl also realized that life is a blessing not to be wasted. She learned that difficult times build character. She learned that not everyone can be trusted but there are a few people she could trust with her life. She learned about believing in the person God made her to be. A person with special qualities divinely designated just for her. Qualities that are meant for making a difference in the lives of others by exhibiting a life of compassion. She learned that being apart of this planet means caring about the world and the people she shares it with.
So don’t wish to be that young girl with her head in the clouds. Embrace the woman you are today. Be thankful for the wrinkles because each one represents maturity. Utilize the unique combination of qualities you have to leave an example for other young women to follow. Young women need to see women who are real not superheroes. Women who have faced adversity and didn’t give up or give in to self-destructive behavior. A woman who strives everyday to be a blessing.
Be the woman who the little girl you were would some day want to be.
Being true to yourself is defined as a matter of integrity and self-esteem. It means to not give into what other people believe and how they behave if it conflicts with your own values and beliefs.
Many women tend to be people-pleasers. I know I am. I avoid conflict as much as possible. The less I have to support my own beliefs and values the less conflict there is in my life but this behavior comes with a big price. I have realized by being a people-pleaser, I don’t stand up for who I am. I allow other people’s ways of thinking become my own and I bury the person I really am inside. Sometimes you can bury the” real you” so deep that you don’t even know who you are anymore. You take on the identities of the people around you. Whenever you are being someone God did not create you to be, you will feel discontented with your life. You will feel like something is missing.
Try to discover you again. Think back to when you allowed this gradual transformation to occur. Where did you compromise your beliefs? State those beliefs to yourself and write them down. Why do you believe what you believe? Does this belief still hold true in your heart? If not, discard this belief and fill it with one that is connected to who you are now. Now start living your beliefs and values. You will find, as I did, that people will respect you more for being you. There may be some conflict at first as you stand up in areas you never did before, but it will feel right. You will discover a contentment and a satisfaction with your life.
Guard your heart. Recognize the signs and the people who you allow influence over who you are. Stand strong. Be courageous and live a life of integrity and in the process you will find the real “you.”
Have you ever met someone that you instantly felt a connection to? There is something almost magical about connecting mentally and emotionally with another person. Studies show that people who have strong and positive connections with other people are healthier and happier. It is easy to make a connection with people who have similar interests and personalities but what about the people you seem to have nothing in common with.
Building connections comes from positive communication between two people. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is important. Listening to what a person says and watching his or her body language can help you determine the appropriate response that will encourage more conversation and therefore a greater connection.
If you are the type of person who tends to monopolize a conversation, stop yourself and listen to the other person without responding right away. Listening shows you care. Consider a question you can ask the person about what he or she just said? Instead of trying to show how much you know about the subject, think about what you can learn through or about the person.
Don’t be afraid to make a connection with a stranger, you never know how that person can change your life.
As you change your life and try new things, disappointments come with the process. You may not succeed at everything you try. Sometimes the effort required to succeed is more than you are willing to commit to at this time in your life. Sometimes re-evaluation is required. You began changing in a certain way and in the process discover the change is not going to work for you. That is ok, keep trying until you find something that works.
Sometimes disappointment comes from inside you. I recently tried something and failed but it wasn’t because of the situation, it was because of me. I only put the minimal effort required and when it failed, I was disappointed. If I am completely honest, I am not disappointed because the situation did not turn out how I thought it should, I am disappointed in my lack of effort. So where do I go from here?
I am going to start over and try again. This time I am determined to complete the task wholeheartedly. I believe in the value of lists. Writing down every step needed and checking it off as I go. Every day reminding myself why this goal is important to me. Renewing the passion for making my life a life of no regrets.
Disappointment blues got you? Re-evaluate your reason for the change- Remind yourself of the purpose of the change- Renew your passion toward achieving the change
When problems come along, do you crumble emotionally or do you stand up and fight? Maybe not literally fight but you get control of your emotions and look for solutions instead of allowing your emotions to handicap you. If falling apart at life’s changes, disappointments, and failures has become your default mode, you can change. Resilience is built from the inside out. Change your mindset. Resilient people think differently. If a trying situation comes along, resilient people have a optimistic perspective. They know that if a situation can change for the bad it can also change for the good. Sure, they may get angry, frustrated or sad but the key is they don’t stay in the emotion. Your emotions are only as powerful as you allow them to be. The more you stay in the emotion, the more power you give it over you.
Where to start if you want to change your resiliency level? First of all, realize that you are not a bad person because you struggle with being resilient. Like every skill, it takes practice. Talk to someone who is resilient? What characteristics does the person have? Read books. Amazon has some great books on building resiliency.
Once a person gains control in this area, she can live a happier life. The change may come from you having to take action where before you would of allowed the situation to paralyze you. Draw emotional strength from your support system, your family and friends. Do not isolate yourself. Pray and ask God for peace and wisdom. Take one step at a time so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. If waiting is involved, then busy yourself with something that is productive and meaningful while you are waiting.
Be like the tree in the water. Instead of drowning it reached toward it’s life source and stood strong.