My husband Shaun just showed me a video he took of me when we were in Belize on a wheelchair project with Rotary International a few years ago. It was during an absolutely terrible time in my life.
But on the video, I’m swimming with some sharks in the warm water, thrilled. In another one, I’m at a restaurant laughing at the amazingly beautiful dessert I’m about to eat.
“This time sucked for you,” Shaun said as hunkered over the laptop screen, watching. “But look at how happy you are.”
“I’m pretty resilient,” I said.
The reason I’m resilient is because I know exactly who I am.
My daughter Em said on Thanksgiving, “Last summer was a bad time for you. I was a little worried.”
“It was. But I bounced back,” I told her.
Litany of Terrible Things Paragraph
Like a lot of other people, some terrible things have happened to me in my life and I’m not the most prime physical specimen. I have to wear knee braces to hike or run. I have no depth perception, epilepsy caused from a virus that a rapist gave me, constant shoulder pain. I’ve seen a lot of people die in person. I have no parents or grandparents left.
Enough of That
But there’s a reason I bounce back and can usually find my happy place again. It isn’t because I’m awesome or special in any way that is different from anyone else.
Why Do I Always Find My Happy Again?
It’s because I know who I am. My values and beliefs? They are so strong that they can be pretty damn annoying, honestly.
Let me rephrase that: I can be pretty damn annoying, honestly.
I don’t know how to be who I’m not. I don’t pretend on social media and I don’t pretend in real life.
Live In The Moment
I live in the moment, every single moment, and occasionally worry obsessively about money or the health of the people I love or the state of the world, but when I do? It’s always a worry consistent with my values and beliefs.
That’s the secret.
We can’t wait for something huge to happen and shake us out of the monotony of our lives or our selves, to make us evolve into someone who will behave in a way that actually reflects their values.
We have to put in the work every day.
And sometimes (Okay, a lot of the times) I screw up and when I do?
I get sad and disappointed in myself.
And sometimes the people I love screw up and when they do?
I get sad and a little disappointed but then I forgive them.
Why? Because that’s one of my values: forgiveness.
And that forgiveness that we give to other people? It has to extend to ourselves.
Your Values And Actions And Happiness Are Connected
Your values have to dictate your actions if you’re going to be happy. That’s going to annoy some people in your family or your coworkers or your friends. But there’s no other way. To be happy, you have to live the way you think matters, you have to hold onto your integrity.
And so does your happiness.
LET’S HANG OUT!
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