You may be struggling through a stormy patch in your life, yet how long and how hard you battle can depend largely on how you manage those challenges.
Even when you feel your situation has been caused through the words or actions of someone else and life is out of control, it is still possible to make choices which will enable you to come out the other side stronger, wiser and happier than before. For whilst you can’t control anyone or anything else, you can control how you think and therefore behave. And it starts with good choices.
1. Choose to love yourself.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ~ Psalm 139:4
Abandonment and abuse as a child had a huge impact on my self-esteem as an adult. I grew up hating myself and living my life as a victim because I allowed other people to define. Consequently I believed was unlovable and worthless. Perhaps you too have internalized those negative labels. Let them go. Today I make the choice to love myself and so can you.
2. Choose to let go.
Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny. ~ Steve Maraboli
When you’ve suffered disappointments, let-downs or betrayal, it’s easy to remain trapped in the past. Remember that you learn from your former experiences, but you live in the day. And whilst you can never change what has happened or been spoken, but you can choose to let go of the baggage of your past and focus on your bright new future.
3. Choose to forgive.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~ Lewis B Smedes
One of the most transforming decisions you can make in your life is to forgive. Forgiveness is both empowering and healing. It releases you from the bitterness, anger and pain caused by others and allows you to take back control of your emotions. Forgiving someone doesn’t release them from their accountability, but it does prevent them from continuing to steal your peace of mind and your joy.
4. Choose to be happy.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Happiness isn’t simply a feeling, it’s an attitude based on taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions. You may feel that life has thrown you under the bus or that others are to blame for your misery, but ultimately your happiness comes from within. That’s good news!
5. Choose to be peaceful.
Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Just as happiness comes from within, so too does peace. Life can be so busy or chaotic that you forget the importance of serenity for your mind, body and soul. Stress, depression, fatigue can all be signs that you are out of balance. So take time out each day to refresh yourself with a period of calm and quiet.
6. Choose to be thankful.
I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude. ~ Brené Brown
Being thankful for what you have rather than what you don’t have; appreciating the small good things in life instead of lamenting the bad; and focusing on the promises for tomorrow not what you are lacking today are all positive ways to have an attitude of gratitude. You may have to dig deep in those times when you’re struggling with adversity, but know that gratitude can be an antidote to emotional pain.
7. Choose to be proactive.
The commitments we make to ourselves and to others, and our integrity to those commitments, is the essence and clearest manifestation of our proactivity. ~ Stephen Covey
Apathy, mediocrity and fear may be robbing you of the chance to live your life as the person you were meant to be. If you’ve been drifting through the years without a purpose, now is the time to reclaim your passion for life. Start making plans, dreaming some dreams and chose to be proactive in fulfilling them.
Unexpected circumstances have resulted in this past year being one of the toughest yet, but I’ve learnt so much about how to empower myself through practices these 7 choices. With faith as my foundation and the support of amazing friends and incredible daughters I have been able to take my journey of healing and hope to a new level.
Today I resolve to be stronger than the pain of yesterday, find peace for today and pursue dreams for tomorrow. ~ The Hurt Healer