Is Selfishness the Key to Happiness?
In talking with one of my friends last night, she mentioned that my focus on my happiness and self-care. I will not repeat the past and I have to have the courage to deal with and to heal from my own darkness. Nothing or no one will stop this process. I deserve the beauty of my Spirit to shine and for life to embrace me like a mother’s hug.
Freedom is mine and I must be fearless. I will never overcome my past if I live with fear and with bitterness. I must apply my beliefs to my own life. Truth to power, truth to movement, and truth to happiness is the way. It’s never about perfection but a love of self that is unmoved even when challenged. I give myself permission to be happy.
When I decided that my life will be different and that I will be happy, I developed what I call my “freedom plan”. I had to take action to regain my happiness.
• I’m honest. I was/am honest with myself even if it hasn’t been in a positive light. We cannot ignore our internal anger, bitterness, and strife. We must be honest about who we are and where we are in our lives at any given time. We mustn’t fear the monsters that we see.
• I must ignore my ego and focus on me. In sharing stories of triumph we need to remain humble. The work isn’t over. The Universe celebrates with you and hopes you’re in a better position to address other external and internal barriers to happiness. It’s about growth.
• I returned to therapy. After a series of emotional and stressful moments came about, I noticed that that I could not get a handle on them. Stress began to affect my body. I was sick. I was gaining weight. I’ve committed myself to therapy for as long as it takes and feel no shame or secrecy.
• I’m accepting of love. I found myself rejecting love from friends and family. I coping negatively. If I rejected love, I didn’t have to worry about anyone disappointing me or leaving me. I rejected any potential romantic relationships. The thought of rejection was unbearable. Now, I’ve opened myself up to all love, in all forms. I deserve it.
• I pray. I meditate. I believe in something greater than myself. My spiritual health has to be healed and nurtured.
Happiness is an internal journey. Self-care is a vehicle to that happiness. Don’t afraid to be selfish. If it gets you to a better place then it’s worth the ride.
Rhonda L. Bayless is the Executive Director/Founder of the Center of Wellness for Urban Women (CWUW) in Indianapolis and an HIV/AIDS advocate. Through addressing the intersection of race, class, and gender and other social determinants of health, Ms. Bayless works to empower women and their families to live healthier lives.
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