StLSass

Archive for November 2014

I have been attempting to write a meaningful and impactful blog for approximately 3 months now. I have started and abandoned at least 20 different posts during that time, because nothing I wrote could quite capture the essence of everything that I wanted to say. Mostly because I wasn’t quite certain exactly what it was I was trying to say. You see, I have this vision in my head of how the world is supposed to operate, how society is supposed to function, and how we as people achieve true happiness in life. However, every blog I have started so far has inevitably ended up sounding like I am just bitching at the world about everything that everyone is doing wrong, which is not particularly the direction that my soul wanted to go towards in order to make an impact on the world.

So tonight I am simply going to share my own story and my vision in the hopes that it strikes a chord with people and encourages people to examine their daily beliefs and actions, and evaluate what they can do within their own lives, to achieve that magical happiness that everyone is so desperately seeking in this world right now.

Two years ago, at the age of 26, I found myself in my first adult job, struggling to keep my head above water from all the stress in my life, when I let my emotions get out of control, and I decided to give up on life. I walked into my boss’ office and told her I simply couldn’t do it anymore, and that I sincerely appreciated the opportunity, but I had nothing left in me to continue on. I had already lined up a position with my former employer – a great company that I had worked at for 3 years until I decided that it was time for me to pursue a more challenging career, because I was bored there. Now here I was, failing at the new challenge that I had sought out, fleeing back to the safety of a job that I knew would bring me no internal satisfaction, because hey, at least it was easy…

I left my big girl job that day feeling more defeated and miserable than I had ever felt before in my life. I went home to my apartment and sat on my living room chair in silence, not moving for hours, just screaming at myself in my head trying to figure out just what the hell I was doing. I knew giving up was the wrong decision. I knew that taking the easier option was not going to make me happy. I knew all of this, and after the initial paralyzing fog wore off… I knew I had to fix my mistake.

I called my boss the next morning and told her I had made a huge mistake, and if there was anything that I could possibly do to correct that mistake – I would do it. She agreed to meet me that afternoon and talk. After talking with her that afternoon it became very clear that I was struggling with a number of things in my life, which coupled with the stress from work, had just become too much for me to handle. What my boss was able to show me that day was that this didn’t mean that I wasn’t cut out for my position, it just meant that I needed some help and some guidance on how to better understand not only myself, but life in general. My boss offered me a deal –  I could have my job back if I agreed to start seeing a counselor – someone to help me deal with all of the issues in my life that were clearly limiting my ability to live a happy life. I agreed, I got my job back, and I set up my first session with a counselor.

That is the moment where my life change began.

I have been seeing my counselor for 2 years now, and I have transformed from that girl who was depressed and struggling to make it day to day – to a strong and confident woman who sees no challenge as something too big to overcome. I have to say, it is one of the best feelings in the world knowing that there is nothing in this world that cannot be achieved when you put your mind to it.

Previously, I would let my emotions run rampant and create perceptions that I accepted as reality, which then influenced me to make decisions based on things that weren’t even true. Everyone goes through things in their life that shape their perception of reality. What I learned is that we have to overcome those false ideas and always focus on the facts. Look at what you know to be true, and forget everything else. Assumptions, made up facts, and flat out lies – are easy to see through when you really focus on achieving the truth in every situation.

Once I focused on finding the truth in my life, I found that I had been lying to myself about a lot of things for a long time. As a natural born people pleaser, I always wanted to appear as though everything was great. This behavior led to me never acknowledging things that were in fact not great and not ok in my life. I had unresolved issues going all the way back to my early childhood. There were decisions that I made as a child that I knew were wrong, but I couldn’t see the harm that they were causing, so I lied to myself and convinced myself that it wasn’t wrong and that it wasn’t hurting anyone so it really didn’t matter.

Looking back I can see that those choices and situations that I let myself be a part of… shaped everything about the person who I grew up to be. My issues created a lack of self esteem, a lack of confidence, and a misguided perception of what I deserved in life. I didn’t believe I deserved good things, so I never pushed myself to do better or to make better choices.  I spent my life subconsciously sabotaging myself. With the help of my counselor, I finally confronted those decisions that I had spent a lifetime pretending I didn’t make. I finally dealt with the pain that it had caused me and admitted to myself that it was in fact a big deal, and it did matter. Then after I admitted them to myself, I told my close friends as well. I knew it wasn’t anything that would impact their perception of me, but I had never told anyone these things so until that moment, I never really knew if anyone would ever truly accept the real me.

My friends not only accepted me, but they gave me the support and feedback that I needed in order to know that I was doing the right thing, and that I had nothing to be ashamed of. My shame, my burden, and my guilt all almost completely faded away in that one day. I think of that as the day that my long time depression finally lifted, and I finally felt free to truly be happy.

Coincidentally, that happened right before I went on vacation to Florida for 8 days of R&R on the beach. I spent that vacation in the most serene and relaxed state that I have ever experienced. My mind was clear, my conscious was clear, and I was more relaxed and unburdened than I had ever been.

I came home from that vacation more enthused and ecstatic about life than ever before. I found myself pursuing goals and passions that I had thought about previously, but never had the motivation to go for. I  joined an improv class, I started meditating, I joined a writer’s group, and maybe most importantly… I found God.

After a lifetime growing up with my religious to a fault mother, 14 years of private school, and countless summers spent at vacation bible school – I found God at the age of 28 while I was meditating on top of a hill in Forest Park.  After focusing my mind, finding my mental happy place of calm and relaxation, I opened my eyes… and I just saw God. I suddenly felt his presence in everything around me, I saw his face in the clouds above me, I saw his connection with all of the living things around me, and simply put: I felt the power of God as the Master and Creator of Life. In that one moment everything I had ever known or heard about God the Almighty, God the Great, and God the Omnipotent Power – I suddenly knew it all to be true. I not only knew it all to be true, but I immediately felt a connection to this Greater Energy force, and in that moment, I knew that all the power that I saw around me… was also within me. That moment of realization is hands down the single best moment of my life so far. That is the moment that I realized that there was nothing in this life that I could not conquer.

… That experience is something I may never have achieved if just two years earlier I had let myself give up, taken the easy way out, and never admitted that maybe I needed some help to figure out my life.

Don’t ever be afraid to seek out help. The greatest minds of our time had plenty of help figuring life out. Every person can use a fresh perspective at times to help you see things a little bit different. Perhaps even a little bit clearer.

We live in a time where the easy button is a real thing, and it is incredibly easy to set your life to auto pilot, and just sail through life without ever actually living.

Which is why more than anything else in this world, we HAVE to push ourselves to face the hard truths and do the hard work in order to find our TRUE happiness.

Don’t let life pass you by on easy street.

Find your truth in life. No matter how hard it is to face at first, I promise it will be one of the best things you ever do for yourself.