I had one of those light bulb moments last night, in between tears, too much wine and stress (you know this is going to be good). As I was lying in bed puffy-eyed, sleep deprived, and mind racing, I had this small moment of clarity when I realized that I am my own worst enemy.
Sure, we are all influenced by the outside world: friends, family, work, but in the end, we are the only people who can control all of this. We get to be in the driver's seat of our own lives. I do believe that God has a plan for all of us laid out from beginning to end, but we do get choices a long the way. The test is what we do with those choices. The bigger test is what we do when we make the wrong choices, how do we deal with them--do we wallow in self-pity, go into anger and hate, or step back, evaluate the bad decisions and work on fixing the problem and moving on--getting back on the path set out for us.
I also realized that fear cannot drive us. So much of my life I have been forced into decisions by fear. Growing up like I did, I was used to fear-driven decisions. I saw "string-pulling" at its finest and had to become the puppet master to get by. As I got older, I noticed that I still made decisions this way. Instead of embracing change and what lay ahead of me, I constantly looked backwards, and made decisions out of fear and anxiety. I took a path that was safe and wide so as not to wreck, so I could see the world from every angle. Sure I took chances (law school, pageants, marriage), but I missed so many smaller moments to take a leap of faith.
I let fear put me in a "stable" place where I could be content. Fear, however, has kept me from being happy. Yes, there is huge difference between content and happy. Content is mediocrity at its finest. Happy is life on fire. Content allows you to wallow and loathe; happiness allows you to see and experience the world at its finest!
So, the light bulb... happiness begins and ends with me. That's right, I have to be happy with myself in order to be happy with anything else. The first step begins with me. How is that for perspective?
A Madeline Island getaway
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