Earlier this year, I decided to take bigger – bolder steps to change my life. No, I didn’t resign from my seven-year job, nor moved to a new apartment. In fact, I am still sleeping on the top of a bunk-bed I share with my younger brother since my separation last year. I have pretty much done the big things. I took courses in a university, kept myself busy at work and closed some big deals, traveled to Europe on a solo trip where I suppose to discover more things about myself and meet new people. I bought my first ever designer bag.
That’s what people would usually advise you, say if you want to move on from painful past or merely start anew – to do something you haven’t done before. I couldn’t agree more because it does help; for a while. I tried searching for instructions on how to be happy because I just don’t want to feel the loneliness and emptiness anymore. I couldn’t sense any direction or any point of why I do things. I was chasing the wrong kind of happiness as I looked for it in other people. Despite all the beautiful things that were happening to me, I couldn’t fathom what was missing.
How do you spark happiness within yourself?
What do you need to do for happiness not to leave you again once the lights turned off and you have to sleep alone at night?
I didn’t know where to start. Sometimes, I ask myself if I was doing the right thing or am I dipping myself into greater disaster? I had no idea but anyway, let’s get back to that question later.
The decision of choosing myself over anything prevailed, but it took me months before I can finally say that I did it. I am unsure when the misery ended; I only realized that I no longer care if I would die alone.
I ‘guess’ here are the reasons how I managed to move on from the separation that broke me to pieces last year.
Acknowledge Where the Sadness is Coming From
First, you have to acknowledge where the sadness is coming from.
What are the sources of your misery?
You may think of many different reasons but if you dig deeper, you may find the only main reason why you can’t move forward. You don’t have to make a list and narrow it down although it sounds like a good idea. Sometimes you already know it. Or maybe you are blinded with the wrong reason which hides the real reason. Whatever it is, you have to face the music and dance with it. This is the most essential step because if you can’t find the exact reason what’s making you all sad and blue, then you will keep on doing the wrong things as you try to cure the wrong reasons.
Acknowledge where the sadness is coming from. You have to face the music and dance with it.
Here’s an example: I thought I was miserable because of the break-up. But did I want to go back into the relationship? Hell no! So what was my problem then? What was causing me unhappiness? I dug deeper and found that in reality, I was afraid to grow old alone. I was twenty-eight when my relationship ended, and you know the notion that when you’re thirty, your options as a woman become limited. That isn’t true of course! That was what society wanted me to think. Turning thirty is never a deadline for women – I have friends in their 40’s, and 50’s finding their true love.
Find Ways to Deal With Your Sadness
After finding the real issue that is causing your sadness, find ways to deal with it. You’ll need an open mind for this step to welcome new ideas that will solve the problem. Still, be rational with the options so that when you filter them later on, whatever your chosen solution is, you can smoothly proceed.
I was scared as hell to grow old because of the movies and books I indulged myself in – the happily, ever, afters with my one true love. In reality, however, no prince will save me. The only person who can save me is myself.
Work Out a Plan From Your Options
The next step is to work out a plan out of the options but also remember not to solve a problem with another problem. Thus when you brainstorm, make sure that the solution is feasible and accepted by your mind, body, and soul. Once you got a plan, know that there is no fast-track in executing it. It will be a process that you will have to go through at a pace you are comfortable with.
I confronted the idea of growing old alone and thought it wasn’t really a bad idea. It will be better than compromising oneself for someone who is not the right person. I could visualize myself sipping a glass of margarita by the beach, looking gorgeous. Suddenly, growing old alone doesn’t sound so bad anymore. Each time loneliness creeps in, I would instill in myself that I am the most exciting person I know. I would think of the adventures I have done and the experiences to come.
One morning when I woke up in my hotel bed in Sri Lanka, I found myself finally at peace. The solution to my agony is to learn how to love myself which took months of practice, but possible nonetheless. I wouldn’t say that I don’t get lonely anymore, but at least that level of gloom has stopped haunting me and now, I live a happier, carefree life without caring about being alone.