My Dear Friend-
You have the right to be unhappy. You have the right to hate. You have the right to wallow in your misery and wrap yourself in a cocoon of immobilization. Blame your job, your spouse, your parents, your past, and your circumstances for the way you feel and behave. Go ahead! Seek a path that continues to fuel your woe. Make bad choices and rage against the injustices life has meted out. Grieve, mourn, these are your rights. Don’t let anyone take them away from you.
However, rights come with responsibilities. There comes a point when you are responsible for your unhappiness. You are responsible for your hate. You are responsible for wallowing in your misery and for immobilizing yourself. You’re even responsible for the path you seek and for fueling your feelings of woe. Bad things may have happened, poor choices may have been made, and you are responsible for where you’re at now. That’s a hard message to hear.
Many will rage against this message and hate the implications. That is their right, but let’s be clear. I am not suggesting we are responsible for tragedy that befalls us, nor are we responsible for acts of violence committed against us. However, as much as I resisted this notion, we are responsible for how we move forward and we are culpable for things we might have done in response or retaliation.
If only he hadn’t…, if only she would…, if only we could reinvent the past and control everyone around us. I wish life worked that way. It doesn’t, and he did, and she won’t, so now what? Now, there’s a choice to make. We can continue to cling to our unhappiness, or we can flip the coin over and look at the other side.
You have the right to be happy. You have the right to love and be loved. You have the right to embrace positivity and move forward in life. Seek a path that fuels your passion. Make choices that bring about change and growth. It is your right, but I know it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Taking responsibility for your emotions, your perceptions, and reactions is no easy task, especially if you’ve been mired in unhappiness for a long time. Flipping the coin over means accepting what happened, accepting responsibility for how you feel, and accepting responsibility for the path you’ve continued down. Flipping the coin means you’re done grieving and ready to make a choice to let go of your anger and unhappiness.
Anger is a buffer, it keeps you safe. If you’re angry, you don’t have to accept your circumstances. You don’t have to go through the pain of healing or make the hard choices to reconstruct your life. It’s so easy to hold on to what we know and continue to be the victim. I wish it hadn’t happened. I wish it hadn’t affected me and I could pretend my life was still the same, but at some point, we have let go. Holding on to the anger and unhappiness does more damage than what originally caused it.
Yes, you have the right to be unhappy. You have the right to stay exactly where you are, but you also have the right to be happy and live a rewarding and joy filled life. Don’t let anyone take that away from you, not even yourself.
With all my love-
Excellent letter, Elaina! Something I need to work on 😀
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Fab advice, Elaina. I wish I could have convinced my mom of this. Abe Lincoln’s quote helped me through some tough times, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
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