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A wise woman once told me, “no one gets out of life for free.” Despite how wonderful and joyous life can be, every one of us will experience betrayal, pain and loss in one capacity or another.

If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us. There’s a lot we don’t have control of, but we do have the ability to manage how we react to our circumstances.

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” –Robert Anthony

What separates truly happy people from the “misery loves company” category is taking responsibility for everything that occurs in their lives and pushing hard to live with positivity despite the heartbreaks, failures and stumbles.

You’re not unique. Your problems don’t make you special, they make you like the rest of us who also have problems.  We will all encounter this kind of thing because it’s part of life. However, you do have a choice: when life comes knocking, are you going to play the victim, or will you step into the role of warrior and find your joy despite the pain?

Feel the Pain to Return to Happiness

Growth comes when we allow ourselves to feel the highs and lows. When you can embrace your feelings and understand that they’re just that – feelings – you will expand as a human being. Numbing those feelings with food or alcohol won’t help, in fact, you’ll just end up fat with a bad liver.  How happy will you be then?

I was distraught in 2019 when my daughter had a catastrophic skiing accident. Her innocence was lost in an instant and we are still dealing with the ramifications of the accident. In the days, weeks and months after we knew she was going to heal and we were through the worst of the crisis, I had to set aside time to grieve the accident and what had happened. That meant some therapy and some time to just be alone to feel my emotions.

This was not easy and some days I’m still mad about it and all it took from her. As we continue to move through, I try to reflect on our gifts and accept that this is just part of a life well lived.

The Rainbow Doesn’t Just Appear

When the time is right, make a decision to move on. It’s not about faking your emotions, but it’s about realizing that the Universe isn’t out to screw you over.

Baby steps are key. It’s possible that there are some things that you just won’t ever get over, like the death of a loved one. You’ll always miss that person, but you will find a way to operate from a place of understanding and appreciating the natural cycle of life.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” –Dr. Seuss” I love this saying!  Embrace all the love and joys you have experienced in your life.

Write it Out

Journaling is also an incredibly powerful tool for releasing your feelings. Recently I’ve been struggling with a deteriorating relationship that’s been under strain. Although we have been friends for so long, she didn’t acted interested or supportive of my personal goals or other events in my life. I started to notice that, actually, she hadn’t seemed interested or supportive of my life in a while.

At first it hurt to realize that the friendship had run its course, and I became disappointed about the lack of support. I started writing down the things about her for which I am grateful; all the fun times we had together, and some great gifts she gave me (I mean emotional and experiential gifts here, although she did give me my favorite sweater!).

Through writing about it, I was able to release the hurt and wish her well through good vibes I sent into the Universe.  This felt much better than being disappointed in her inability to be the friend I so desperately hoped for.  I will always love her and want the best for her in all that life has to offer.

“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.” –Unknown

As the quote states, not every relationship is for a lifetime.  Letting go of people that no longer serve you will open up your heart for even more love in the future.

The bottom line is that happiness is a choice. It’s totally within your control, and it’s like a muscle that needs to be developed and worked on.

Victims drive their friends and family crazy and push people away. Warriors change the way they look at the world and attract more warriors. Are you going to be a victim or a warrior?

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