Through it all, I keep loving. I keep smiling. I keep moving forward. How do I do it? I remember that I am not a victim, and I take control.
To those who ask, how are you so happy?! And to the lovely individuals who imply that the only reason I’m happy is because I’ve had it too easy in life…. Here you go… It’s going to start off pretty lousy, but I promise this has a happy ending. I’m only going to go into the nitty gritty honest detail to really prove a point! So if you can bear with me for a moment, I promise there is light at the end of the tunnel and hope the end message was worth your time!
Here is the magical secret to the start of my happiness…
I’ve had my fair share of turmoil over the years… I’ve known addiction for as long as I can remember, as a significant person in my life has struggled with addiction for years. Let’s be honest, I was raised by an addict for goodness sakes. A heart of gold and one of the most beautiful souls on the planet, but unfortunately those qualities never proved to be stronger than the pull of the bottle.
I’ve been in a car accident that should have taken my life. I’ve slept in hospital rooms, waiting on results for loved ones after life-threatening accidents. I’ve held a frantic stranger as her pre-teen daughter’s lifeless body was carried out of their home following her suicide. I lost a cousin who was more like a brother in freak accident. Days later, I held his young children as they broke down. One sobbing in a bathroom, hiding from the world. The other in the middle of a driveway screaming into the wind and all who would listen. I lost a family friend the day before his birthday in an accident and got to celebrate his birthday with the family as they planned his services.
I spent years with a deceptive manipulator with an anger issue. I’ve was threatened multiple times that if I were to ever leave, no one would ever find my body. After finding freedom, I lost my house, my car, and pretty much every material thing I had. I hit rock bottom financially and had to start over with two tiny children. I’ve trusted a friend who betrayed me in one of the worst possible ways. I received the last text a friend ever sent, seconds before he crashed his vehicle and lost his life, then talked to his mother about it as we over his headstone as we both fought back tears. And these are just the really big blows that are currently coming to mind…
Not A Victim
Through it all, I keep loving. I keep smiling. I keep laughing. I keep moving forward. And I continually have people either implying that my smile is fake or asking how I do it.. Well here’s the secret. Are you ready for this?! …I am not a victim. That’s it. Plain and simple. I. Am. Not. A. Victim.
Here’s the deal… The hardships I’ve gone through, we all have to go through… It’s life! Bad things happen to good people. People can be cruel. People make terrible mistakes. People get sick. Accidents happen. Death is a part of life. Bills are never ending. Being an adult is hard … There are some things in life that we just can’t control. But what we can control is how we react to it!
We can complain constantly and get sucked down by the negativity. We can let it break us and succumb to the mindset of a terrible life, all the while losing sight of any greatness. Or… we can focus on all of the positives that surround us every single day – children, friends, family, wisdom, sunshine, love, laughter, growth, art, hope, beauty, nature, whatever! Obviously grief isn’t something that you can just ‘snap out of’. We have to deal with our feelings. But I’ve realized over the years that there are way too many wonderfully beautiful things out there to let the lousy ones win all of our focus. Sometimes, it is what it is, and we have to keep moving forward.
Power in Perception
As for the rest of my story? My perception on all of that changed pretty drastically when I finally admitted to myself that I am in control of my own life. I am in control of my own actions. I chose each of the people I brought into and kept in my life – the good and the bad. I’ve had people let me down and treat me unfairly, but I’ve also let others down and treated others unfairly. I gave up great people for lousy people. I had a period of time where I wasn’t proud of myself as a human. I chose to give up control of my life. I stood next to things I didn’t believe in. I stayed when I should have walked away, and walked away when I should have stayed. I was careless. I was lazy. I let my life spiral out of control. No one forced me to do anything unless I gave them that power.
Blaming everyone and everything else for my troubles never solved anything. You can complain about where you’re at or you can do something about it. Once I was honest with myself and able to admit that maybe I was the problem, I could work to learn from it all and focus on changing myself so that I could live the life I wanted.
I have made some really terrible decisions along the way. I’ve made some really great decisions that didn’t end as I’d hoped. And through it all, I wouldn’t change one single thing. Every up and every down I’ve experienced up to this point has been a lesson. Every single moment has made me stronger and wiser. I’ve learned to think before I speak or act. I’ve learned to focus on the right people. I’ve learned to appreciate all of the greatness that I have been blessed with. I’ve learned what I don’t want in life, and what I do want. I’ve learned who I don’t want to be, and who I want to be. I’ve learned to believe in myself. I’ve learned to love myself.
By no means am I ALWAYS sunshines and rainbows. Sometimes I get overwhelmed. Sometimes I get angry. Sometimes I get lazy. Sometimes I lose sight of who I am. Sometimes I bend. But what I can tell you is that I never break. I always bounce back, a little bit stronger and a little bit brighter. Because I force myself to focus on all of the positive things around me, and oh my gosh! There is so much positive! I force myself to put one foot in front of the other, always looking for a new way to grow. I refuse to let darkness win. I refuse to be defeated by myself.
I am not a victim. And neither are you! Whatever you’ve gone through, whatever you’re going through.. don’t let it define you, and quit blaming anyone and anything for your setbacks. The choices you make right now decide whether you stay where you’re at, whether you fall, or whether you rise. Take ownership for your own life. Your story is yours to tell. You only get one chance. Take control and tell it right.
© 2019 Jessy Lee