Finding Your Way to Happy

Letters from readers, it’s one of my favorite things about this writing project - knowing that sharing a piece of my story and a bit of my heart helps others. Mostly, the comments come from people I don’t know personally, but occasionally, I get a nice note from someone in my past.

This week found such occasion, it was good to hear from an old friend.

She, like me, has had her share of difficulties. I’ve been around for some of them, others I’ve heard about through the grapevine. Our backgrounds are similar – and we faced similar challenges growing up. We were divorced around the same time – we are both raising 3 kids.

Somedays I don’t ever feel like I’m going to make it to happy, most days are just still overwhelming with work and kids.  I understand it the way you word it and I can see it better in words, just hard to put it all into action.  

Yeah, I get that. Being a single mom is so overwhelming. It feels like you’re constantly disappointing someone. That disappointment hits your shame buttons including the shittiest of them, mom shame. Nothing will put you into a full-out shame spiral like the feeling you’re a bad mom.

I’ll tell you this my friend, you’re not a bad mom. You love your kids – you are doing the best you can with what you have, which is all anyone can ever do. I’m sure your parenting is not perfect, neither is mine.

It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s ok for your parenting to suck sometimes. The best thing you can do for your kids is to give them a healthy mom. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. Do whatever it takes to get there.

 I can’t get past the love part and feel like I’ll never find it.

I’ll tell you a little secret, I don’t know if I will either. And, I’ve decided that’s ok. Don’t get me wrong, I hope I will someday – but I’d rather be by myself than with the wrong person.

Because here’s the deal…

My choice for happiness lies inside of me. The next new thing, that next new person should add value to my life, but they cannot make me happy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying and there is a so much disappointment in the trying. My heart gets hopeful and then – nothing. Someday I know it will be something – but that’s not where I’m putting my investment of time, energy, money.

Instead I’m putting it in me. discovering who I am, what I really want out of this thing we call life.

This is hard.

Most people are afraid to do this. And it’s scary. The more I discover who I really am and bring that forth, the fewer and fewer people end up on the inside of my life. Maybe it’s because I don’t relate to as many people or they can’t relate to me – who knows.

That distance and lack of affirmation from others is scary for some. It was scary for me. But like anything, you get used to your new normal. Now, I’ve found my life is much more fulfilling and satisfying because it is occupied with the things, people, and energy that fill and don’t drain. If that makes sense.

Is everyday perfect, no. And, there are times when life seems very lonely. Those are the hard days. But that is all they are, just days – only moments. They don’t define me.

You need support in the form of emotionally healthy friends – you can join my group if you’d like. I’m here for you too, of course.

I am taking the bold steps and have found my way to happy. I know you can too.

Make it great my friend – make it great.