Last week a friend of mine who is a life coach posted on Facebook a link to an article I needed but didn't know I needed to read. Titled "15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy", I assumed there would be things like coffee, a stimulant that can sometimes induce or exacerbate anxiety. Instead, there are "let go of the past", "let go of your need to be right". Whoa.
Back up. I consider myself a happy person who finds life exhilarating and defined by one adventure after another. My approach to conflicts with others is that life is too short to...fill in the blank as you wish. "Spend it with mean people" or "allow others to rob you of joy." Most of the time, I'm not bothered by other people's behavior and I don't hold grudges. I'm pretty adept at maintaining objectivity, even when someone I love is treating me unkind. Still...I have some unresolved hurts.
If you have followed any of my three blogs you know about the mobile odyssey my family began almost two years ago. Our guiding principle through that journey and our continuing path toward sustainability has been to peel back the layers of life to discover the core of happiness. We began by purging possessions and streamlining our business so that we may live.work.travel together. As I read this article -- in fact, I have re-read it a few times -- I expected to simply read and share with people in my life who might need a little reminder about being happy. What I discovered, however, were a few obstacles in my own path toward happiness. This mobile-then-sustainable journey has been filled with adventures, joys, firsts for our little girl, and experiences to last a lifetime. But, as I always say, you have to put up with a little poison to live in paradise. Believe me, as rewarding and profound as this odyssey has been, there have been a handful of doses of poison littering our path.
People I believed were part of my inner circle revealed that they are not, in fact. People I love who I was led to believe loved me too, do not. People I thought I shared my vision and mission in business, and also pretended to be my friend, do not and are not. Betrayed. Bitter. Yes, I felt both. After reading this wonderful article my friend shared, I was able to let go of these parts of my recent past. You know who you are; and you are forgiven. Just as I did with tangible possessions, I am purging emotionally. Moving on...