I used to never want to celebrate my birthday. I was shy and didn’t like the attention. Part of it was growing up a middle child and never feeling like I fit in. Part of it was that I felt awkward and uncomfortable in the limelight.
But there was a part of me that wanted the attention, that craved it because I never felt I had any. It’s a weird paradox.
I was introverted and scared to have attention called upon me in almost any situation but yet I yearned to be heard and for my voice to matter.
But what I didn’t realize back all those years ago (and even until just recently) is that I didn’t need to be heard by others to make me happy. What I actually discovered is that I needed to listen to myself. My innermost thoughts were the voice that was being suppressed all along.
I wasn’t looking for approval from the outside. That’s where I was mistaken. I needed approval internally. Approval that the decisions I was making, the things I wanted to do, and the people I wanted to be around were all my decisions if I just listened to myself.
What I have come to realize and respect is that the only way to discover happiness is we must first discover ourselves. We must be willing to gain acceptance from within before ever looking for outside validation.
We know what we want. We do. We’ve just let “society” do the play calling for us instead of being in the center of the huddle and scripting our own plays.
That’s where the game can change. We are in control of our happiness if we want to be. What we spend time doing, who we spend time with, how our attitude is every day, where we put our energy, and what we know is our “why”.
It’s in our control if we take the time to block out the noise around us and listen inward.
We don’t have to fear the limelight as long as we show up as our true authentic selves and put into the world what is deep inside us and makes us energized and driven toward a life full of happiness.
What we should all fear is suppressing that voice and following the direction of what others think we should do. What others care about. What others are doing.
Because their decisions don’t affect us.
The people who we want to be around the most and who love, support, and respect us are never making it about them. They are only asking us one question, “What do you want?”
Are we prepared to trust our inner voice and answer?
A hard truth in life is that we can’t be the one to someone else until we can be the one to ourselves.
Most relationships don’t end later on down the line like it appears they do. Generally, when a relationship ends it was going sideways for a long time before.
Really, they end well before they even start.
It will inevitably happen if we don’t learn to practice “self-love” and seek to understand our own inner workings on how to best communicate, trust, support and respect the other person we are with.
It can be easy to blame a significant other when things start to go bad but the hardest part, the most needed part, is figuring out what we are doing wrong and how we could fix it. The finger should only be pointing in one direction until we can figure ourselves out.
If we show up for ourselves first then we’ll be able to show up for anyone else later.
Our world wants big and bold and lavish lifestyles. We see it all over mainstream media. The “keeping up with the Joneses” ideals seem real. That’s at least the stories we were told growing up.
Get a job and work your way up so you can buy things and be happy and then when you retire you can ride off into the sunset. We were told to idolize the Hollywood celebrities and those that were “successful” which really meant those that were “rich”.
We were told a lie.
The loudest person in the room doesn’t necessarily win.
Just because we might happen to hear them doesn’t mean we have to listen to them. It doesn’t mean we have to join in.
We have the choice.
Sometimes silence and separating from the digital world becomes the true gift. Not “fitting in” can actually be a blessing because we don’t have to feel like we are comparing ourselves to anyone else. As we all know, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.
So when the world is shouting “Go left” it’s not a bad idea to sneak down the alleyway and go right. It’s not a bad idea to make decisions that make us happier versus making decisions that make us “appear” happier.
The people that live the most extraordinary lives are often the ones doing it in the shadows, out of the limelight, and away from the noise of the glittering lights.