We choose how we react to things.
That has been the simplest and most revolutionary thing I have realized. When I feel angry, I am choosing to feel angry. When I feel sad, a part of me is making that choice. Even when it doesn’t seem like a choice, I find it’s important to identify the choices being made. When my depression is telling me that being sad is all there is, it often feels like a part of me is making the choice to let the depression take control instead of fighting back. This happens when I choose to sleep instead of taking a shower, or buy pre-made food because I don’t have the spoons left to cook. Even if I don’t make a different choice, acknowledging that I am the one making the choice gives me a sense of control.
(Obviously there are times when mental illness can be so bad that you are not in control and at that point please reach out and seek professional help.)
For the most part, it is so much easier to remain in a fixed, victim mindset than to take responsibility for the things in our lives. It is much easier to feel like things are happening to us instead of acknowledging the ways in which we are the ones making our reality. It is easy for me to say that life is treating me unfairly because I can’t afford to go to my top choice universities. It is much more difficult for me to take responsibility for my happiness and take control of my reactions to my remaining options. Since I have decided to accept my place at NAU my life has felt so much simpler and so much happier. I no longer feel like my life is out of my control and that I am destined for unhappiness. Instead I feel the power and joy that comes from choosing to be happy and make the most of the option I have chosen.
Permanently existing in the negative is exhausting. It’s exhausting, but it takes all of the responsibility off of yourself. I’m tired of existing in the negative like I have been for the past few months. I felt like life was treating me unfairly, that everyone was out to get me, and that I would never be able to find a life that brings me joy. I’m realizing, as the sun is returning, that those feelings were choices that I was making. I was allowing myself to be convinced, by myself and by others, that I was a victim of life.
At the time it felt like the only option available to me, even when I was told the exact same advice I am writing in this post. I could not accept that I was choosing my unhappiness until I finally chose something else. I still have a lot of stress, anxiety, worry, and negative feelings about situations in my life, but I know that those are passing feelings and that I can choose not to be stuck feeling only them.
This will be a year of big things for me. I’m moving across the ocean again, starting graduate school, a new job, and turning 25. I also want this to be a year of removing the negative things I’ve amassed and let become a part of me. I am choosing to remove the negative from my life this year and return to the place of peace and happiness I know I am capable of inhabiting. It’s scary to admit that everything you do, feel, and experience is a choice, but it’s also incredibly freeing.
Or at least that’s how I’m feeling today.
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment!
This post is day 1 of a 30 days of blogging challenge.