You Can Do ‘The Thing’ And You Don’t Have To Be Happy To Do It!
Being happy is important. We all want happiness, and we can’t, or at least don’t, always have it.
But lately it feels like there is a huge pressure on people to maintain a certain level of happiness and positivity, remaining mindful and productive even in the face of mental ill health and personal dramas.
Most of us have experienced it at some point, that feeling of everything coming to a total halt. A standstill in life, because we floundered, or maybe even fell.
Suddenly everything stops and it’s all downhill from there, because you had this persona, this strong, successful, together, in-control persona.
And even though it doesn’t exist, even though it never existed really and was more of a temporary version of yourself that was merely passing through, you feel the need to maintain it for others so that some semblance of that happy, successful, shiny version of you can continue to exist.
Screw this idea that is thrown around that you aren’t good enough unless you are happy, positive, grateful, and feeling blessed.
Screw the messed up notion that to succeed you have to have nailed this Law of Attraction thing, be positive 100%, and have a clean mental health record.
Most of us don’t.
Most of us are super messed up, pretending otherwise by regularly posting pictures of ourselves eating kale salads under the slumber filter on Instagram, quoting inspirational messages so people think we have our shit together.
Most of us are struggling through our own sh*t whilst trying desperately to look like we have it together so that people will respect us and take us seriously, all the while looking at everyone else’s seemingly shiny profiles on social media and wondering where we went wrong.
Can I tell you a little secret?
I made gluten-free avocado crème pasta last night with chicken and cherry tomatoes to garnish.
And it was f*cking horrible! It tasted like a*s.
It tasted like the a*s of some poor defenseless roadkill that got squashed by the van delivering the pizza I ordered after I realized how disgusting my pasta was.
And do you know what?
I posted a picture of the pasta on Instagram whilst eating that pizza and I copied the recipe down in the caption in case anyone wanted to try my a*s-pasta.
I gave it the cleaneating hashtag and the foodporn hashtag, and all the other hashtags you use when you’re a super spiritual gluten-free-food-eating goddess.
And I covered my pizza in extra cheese before I ate it because I didn’t think it was greasy enough to fulfill my carnal carbohydrate-fueled desires on its own.
Does this make me less spiritual? No.
Does it make me less likely to succeed? No.
Does it make me less likely to be a Victoria’s Secret Model? Well, maybe.
I look at my social media profile sometimes and think, God, who is this person?
She looks awesome!
She looks like she has her life together!
She looks happy!
She looks like she eats salad!
Well, guess what?
She also has mental health problems, a zit on her nose, a sink full (okay, I lie, a kitchen full) of dirty dishes, health worries, work worries, money worries, house worries, garden weed worries, landlady worries, future worries, family worries, an overflowing laundry basket, a weird thing growing in a corner of the shower, a growing to-do list, a not-growing done-list, and I’m pretty sure that she also has a polyamorous cat, and by polyamorous, I mean cheating on her with three other families who probably feed her nicer food than she does…
… and by she, I mean me.
My cat is cheating on me. And also the rest of it.
And yet, I did climb a mountain less than a month ago.
A real-life, snow-topped, peeking-out-over-the-cloud-cover mountain.
I stepped out of my house with a backpack and a stash of Maoams in my pocket, left my reservations at the door, and went out to climb a mountain.
Granted it was a small-sized mountain, all things considered, but I climbed a mountain nonetheless, and it was wonderful.
I didn’t miraculously ditch all my worries, I didn’t suddenly become a particularly uber-fit person, and I didn’t have an epiphany before breakfast and leave with top-notch mental well-being.
I just did it. I just did the Thing one day, one Saturday, and came home on Sunday after having climbed a mountain.
Never doubt yourselves, please, not even once.
This life thing is hard, and being here, being present… being a person, it takes courage.
Feeling fully, loving fully… surrendering to all those possibilities, possible successes and potential failures, that takes guts, and it’s scary.
Sometimes climbing a mountain is easier than making that phone call or doing the Thing.
The world is a big place, and sometimes you feel teeny tiny and small. I feel teeny tiny more often than not.
But you can climb mountains, literally! You can do the Thing, whatever the Thing is.
You don’t have to do it well; you don’t have to do it joyfully. You don’t have to shout about it and be positive and post photos on Instagram in a field of flowers smiling with an inspirational quote underneath.
You can do the Thing covered in your child’s upchuck, you can do it wearing no makeup, you can do it tear-stained and smelly with a sink full of dirty dishes.
You can do the Thing scared, feeling small… teeny tiny. You can do it tired; you can do it in pain. You can do the Thing broke and depressed and lost and lonely.
Doing the Thing does not require you to be pretty, happy, excited, confident, eager, cheerful, or to have a positive mindset.
All you actually need to have to do that dreaded Thing is a few seconds of stubbornness, enough stubbornness to try, to make a little teeny tiny small and smelly promise to yourself that you will try, that you’re open to it not working and looking stupid and feeling small.
Whatever the Thing is, it is possible and you don’t need to be a positive inspirational Instagramming goddess to do it.
You just need good old stubborn you.
Esther De La Ford is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and Doula, and qualified at practitioner level in Stress Resilience training, Reiki and Seichem, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). She uses these tools, and others she has gathered along the way, to create writing that introduces the idea that every woman has all the tools they need to begin their healing work already within themselves. Her deepest wish is for every woman to have the strength to step back into their power, to re-learn how to trust in their bodies and the deep-knowing we call intuition, and to know the full extent of everything they deserve and everything they can be. Her core philosophy, and what fuels her writing and her work, is that a woman empowered has the ability to empower others and so a woman standing in her power has the power to change the world. You could contact Esther via Facebook or Instagram.