By Jennifer Garza
Do you remember what it felt like to be a child on Christmas morning? How the excitement was so encompassing you could barely sleep in wonder of the joy to come? Do you remember the anticipation before opening shiny, wrapped gifts under a brightly lit Christmas tree? Do you still feel it?
We tell ourselves this type of joy fades as we grow older. But this is a lie that allows us to hide behind our disappointments, bad decisions, and un-faced fears. As we go through our journey, we allow life’s letdowns to defeat us. We over-analyze the motives of others; punish ourselves for not being good enough; allow the stress of daily life to overshadow our life’s purpose; and allow fear to paralyze us, take over our choices, and keep us from moving forward.
The only way to find our joy is to acknowledge our pain and work through it. There is so much love and light within the Universe and inside of us. We are meant to experience a level of joy beyond our comprehension. The struggles are indeed a part of the path to learning and understanding, but if we acknowledge the hard lessons, embrace the pain just as we do the happiness – and truly learn from it – there is nothing but joy on the other side.
So how do you embrace the lessons?
* Realize you are connected to everyone and everything. When you feel disconnected from a higher power, you assume you are alone. This is an illusion, and you are choosing it. When you choose to feel alone, this becomes your reality.
* Be honest with yourself. Face your fears and insecurities. No matter how hard it is, there is so much more suffering through denying. Denying your pain is choosing to deny your life’s purpose. When you hide behind life’s vices – whether it be through alcohol, food or unhealthy relationships with yourself or others – you are hiding from your life’s purpose. Don’t be afraid of your purpose – embrace it.
*Make hard decisions. You know, at a soul level, whether or not you are happy. It is no one else’s burden to create your happiness – it is yours alone. If you are not happy, it’s because you are holding on to people, situations, and patterns that create your unhappiness. Remember that letting go of the unhealthy things that bind you can only set you free.
Jennifer Garza, M.S., has a master of science in counseling and psychology. She is a former therapist and has taught life enhancement classes at venues including college campuses, state conferences and prisons. She is the author of the inspiration journal “365 Days to Happiness: Use Your Strengths, Thoughts, and Dreams to Manifest a New Life.” Garza has been featured in Natural Health magazine, AOL, BusinessInsider.com, Young Entrepreneur.com, and on FTNS radio. Visit her website at www.authorjennifergarza.com or connect with her.