You can create happiness for yourself by following these three simple steps.  Though they are simple, they’re still important and can take you on an incredible journey if you choose.

Back in 2016 our family consisted of just three little children.  Our family lived no closer than 6 hours away.  Often, that weighed me down being so far from these people I grew up with and trusted.  I regret all of this, but I definitely let myself go down a gloomy path and I was feeling sorry for myself quite a bit.  Something needed to happen to help me find the “reset button.”

I had trouble keeping my patience in check;  I was easily aggravated with my husband for things he did years ago.  There was no desire to do anything but have a negative attitude about him, about my situation, about it all, every hour of the day.  Doesn’t that sound pathetic?  It’s a poor lifestyle choice, but many of us choose to feel that way everyday.

During that same time we were gearing up to go visit family in our hometown.  It was so refreshing, and yet it all had to come to an end eventually.  I was literally dreading getting back in the car to drive to our Tulsa home.  How was I going to survive?

People will tell you when you’re down, “You have nothing to be unhappy about.  You’re living a life most people long for in their lives.  How can you be sad? You have children when other women aren’t able.  Staying home with your kids is a blessing instead of feeling obligated to work.  You are literally living someone else’s dream.”  Though this is true, these words do not help anyone feel better.  In fact, it can make someone like me feel worse.  I get the feeling people aren’t understanding my struggle, or perhaps they think I’m just whining.

How to Pick Yourself Up Out of the Gutter.

I sat down in the driver’s seat of my car and closed the door.  We were all packed up and everyone was buckled.  Turning the key I took a deep breath and quickly made a vow.  I mad a vow to myself  not to feel lonely when I’m with my sweet little Tulsa family.  I didn’t want to go down that crummy path again.  Easier said than done, I know, but my family means more to me than I imagined was possible.  I have this little family and others long for “this” without a granted wish.  Can my kids please just remember their Momma laughing and having a big ol’ smile on her face nearly everyday?  I’d like to be the optimist, that others want to be around.

You see being happy is a choice.  While motherhood is very rewarding, it can also be very trying.  There are more moments of doubt, worry, etc. than I could have ever guessed.  I could choose to wallow in those feelings of self-pity (no matter how legitimate it all felt), or I could choose happiness.  If you want to pick yourself up out of the gutter then you need to choose to do so.  You have to decide, as I did, to work at happiness.

How Do I Create Happiness for Myself?

The actions I took next were all very deliberate.  I had to make my own happiness instead of relying on others.  No matter how close you are to your friends, they still aren’t comfortable being near you when all you do is complain about something or someone every single time you meet.  I’m beginning to realize how rude I have been to some of my dearest friends.  This can be very difficult for some and may take years to master.

1. Fake it ‘Til You Make it.   The very first thing I did, was fake it!  I smiled ridiculously all day long, telling myself I was so happy; I even let out a few over exaggerated chuckles at my children out of the blue, which surprisingly ignited a fun play experience.  It help tremendously when I decided to become more genuinely concerned with others and what they had going on with their families.  It feels great to feel something authentic for anyone else.  This idea turned my thoughts towards a new question.

How can I create happiness for others?

Well, that same year we hosted a huge gathering at our house the first weekend of October and two years later I can still remember most things very clearly as it brought me true happiness.  It wasn’t overwhelming at all, just relaxing.  The best part for my husband and me was watching friends come together under our roof, and enjoying themselves thoroughly.  Picture the end of a feel good movie, when the camera is in slow motion, and everyone is laughing, or smiling, or hugging one another… That feeling you feel when you see that image is exactly what I felt, and I thank God.

2. Find a Hobby or Project.  I next turned to my photography.   I already knew I wanted to do lifestyle work, or life inspired photo sessions, because that exact happiness I was beginning to feel needed to be captured for others in their home settings.  My images have changed drastically in an emotional way and I started clicking the camera shutter in my own home more than usual and not just with my phone.  The Wehde Family Lifestyle is still my current passion project and it fills my heart!

Now that lifestyle photography work has turned into a lifestyle blog.  I made such a change for myself I decided to share it with the world.  I still have some “dog days” but they’re fewer and farther in between.  Writing blog posts, photographing our life, interviewing women for the “Women of Grace” piece, cooking, and playing with my children all help me press the “reset button” now.  I have chosen joy in the mundane through photography and ultimately this beautiful blog.

3. Give Yourself Grace.  Patience and grace will be your best friends.  I can’t tell you how many times I make mistakes; how many times I don’t choose joy.  As mentioned before it is still far less than back in early 2016.  When I mess up, and when I look at what I’ve done by wallowing in sorrow and self-pity, I have the courage to stand up, brush off, and then move forward to make things better.  Sometimes making things better isn’t much more than bettering the situation but by 1%.  Though 1% can grow over time.

Finding happiness in myself became a way for me to provide joy for other families, other individuals, and this story is just beginning.  Through my journey to find more laughter and more emotion throughout my life, I intend to do God’s work by including more ways in my life to choose joy, share joy, and make joy.

Why am I telling you this?

The purpose of this post is to remind myself I have the power to pull myself out of the slump.  It took a lot of effort, and it definitely took ignoring my inner selfish thoughts.  Probably one of the most important take away concepts is it will take me working on it day after day, month after month, year after year, etc.  Hopefully it gets easier, but even if it doesn’t, its worth it and I’m grateful to know this feeling!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy this free ebook: Building a Life Worth Nurturing

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Posted by:stmarthaslens