I’m often asked about my skincare routine. At 43, I get the “You don’t look your age.” comment a good bit. I try to drink as much water as possible but the true key to my clear worry-free looking (because let’s face it these are stressful times) skin is by following “Detox: The Life Edition”. This is the final step and I’ve loved sharing them with you. It is said that “a smart person learns from their mistakes; a wise person learns from someone else’s.” Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the series, learned from my mistakes, and added some new tools to your “adulting” tool kit.
What makes you happy? It seems like so many don’t know their answer to that question. Yet, everyone knows their answer to this question “If your home is burning down and you can only take 1 item what would it be?” The reply varies by person but we all have an object that has the highest value to us. The item we value has its special place in almost a display style. A safe place for show, but not for play.
What if, we treat our happiness like our must-have takeaway item?
If you apply the same rule to your happiness, you will gain almost a discipline around our joy. You can display your happiness but make sure it is not in the hands of someone else to play with. You will also be at peace with walking away from things, so you as your happiness is intact.
My aunt gave me this rule in one line “PROTECT YOUR HAPPINESS.”, I will never forget it. It absolutely took me some time to really get it, though. But before we can protect something we have to understand what it is and its value.
Happiness is not by chance or external circumstances, it’s a choice. You choose to be happy; it’s an action that is controlled solely by you. Like any gem of value, be prepared to dig deep at times. This is about to be one of those times…
Here’s a messy yet neccessary exercise. Think back to one of the worst times in your adult life. You may have played this scene a million times before in your head but it’s time to change the perspective. The person that previously had the lead role in your nightmare, is now in a supporting role. You, yes you, are now the lead, but instead of being the victim, you are now the villain. (Fix your facial expression and stay with me on this one.)
It was YOU that silenced your inner voice. YOU alone silenced that gut feeling that was telling you something was wrong. Own that YOU failed to trust you. Instead of what you have created in your mind, admit to the active role YOU played*.
If you don’t honor your voice, how do you expect others to?
The same step applies to honesty. Protect your truth. It starts by first being honest with yourself. It’s like a light switch, the moment you stop lying to yourself, you will find that you no longer have to worry about others being dishonest to you. The energy that once screamed “Lie to me!” is now saying “Don’t try me!”. Simply, negative people are lazy and need easy targets so they will leave you alone.
Once you embrace your low points in life and accept that you had the power to change what happened you can move forward. You are not fearful about a similar situation happening again because now you would listen to your gut. You are the expert of you! Feel free to drop the “villain” title, because now you are the “Hero”.
You alone determine your happiness!
Happiness is an action, an ongoing one that requires your attention every waking moment, at first. For me, it starts by saying “Thank you” as soon as my feet hit the ground in the morning. That “Thank you” is said for each step to the bathroom and keeps going as I brush my teeth and for as long as I can in the am without interruption. The more thankful I am, the more things I have to be thankful for.
I know it sounds like work and your plate is already full. Well, it is work. How much do you value your time? If an employer said to you they want you to work 24/7 you simply name your price, what would that be? You’re expensive huh? Take that price and multiply it by 10 and you still wouldn’t get the full value of your happiness.
Now your happiness is looking pretty damn priceless, right?
By viewing your happiness as the most valuable thing you possess, you will guard it with all you have. Think of it this way, if you had a million dollars in cash but had to share a room with thieves, would you want your money in a clear plastic bag or a bank safe?
Always put your happiness in a bank safe.
By “setting the tone” you will be able to sense negative people and limit your interactions with them. Fyi negative people are great actors and often have a ton of questions and seem so interested in all things you. If you find that you are always sharing what’s going on in your life but them not so much, you might have a ‘hater’ on your hands.** You may view it as sharing good news but for them, it becomes something to negatively talk about. If you find yourself downplaying your “wins” when interacting with someone, it’s time to revisit Step 1 – Setting Boundaries.
The envious energy of others is not your weight to carry. Nor is it your problem to solve. Simply leave them right were they got you messed up at.
Revisit all of the steps as often as needed. Even after you have a great team, aka the #teamyou crew, still rely on “labels”. Your life as wonderful as it will be, is still your life, not every detail is meant to be shared. Celebrities often fall into this cycle. The moment they do something outside of how we view them based on what they have posted, things get super nasty. Somehow we feel entitled to every aspect of their lives and judge every move they make. Being concerned about the judgment of others is a huge distraction so avoid it as much as possible. If you find yourself being judgmental, figure out what about yourself is planting that toxic seed.
In my life, there are unique things that I share with each of my relationships. Each interaction has a piece of me, different but equally important. It’s like limbs, although my arms do one thing and my legs another, I need both. The act of valuing each relationship keeps the balance. Long before my “Detox”, I was blessed with a child and after “setting the tone” I attracted my partner. So many times I get the compliment of what a great family bond we have. I also hear the nightmares of when blending a family goes wrong.
From the beginning, there have been things I do or talk about with my partner and things I do only with my girls, things we do as a family, and things they do minus me. Each bond although different is equal and irreplaceable. Yes “tiger mom,” I said equally as I cannot be my best in one without the other, we are a team. When walking away from someone is not even an option, there is a new freedom. Even the most uncomfortable discussions have a space, a safe space. When you know that just like you in the end the other person will still be here, agreeing to disagree is automatic.
Be sure to do the work. There are levels to “Detox: The Life Edition”. You can’t protect your investment, without setting boundaries. You giving it your all won’t inspire a dead beat so if you have one, get rid of them. If you after loving the hell out of yourself, (even the end of the bread crust parts of you), you want a partner, try to avoid old habits. Attract the right one for this (especially if children are involved).
Balance also applies to all relationships. Never place windows where there should be walls. We’ve all been there, told our friends who upset us, and why. We completely forget to share the kiss and makeup, update. Then we end up with someone pissed at someone else because of us. If you need to vent that’s fine but try not the villainize the other person and provide your vent buddy with a follow-up. You will appreciate your new-found peace.
Create your happiness and protect it.
Please keep me posted on the progress!!! As always you can comment below, message me on FB via RoadTrippinWithTheRudes, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet me @RoadRudes …hope to hear from you soon!!!
*There are some cases in which this doesn’t apply such as random acts of violence but I trust you know the difference
** I could do an entire entry about how much I dislike the term “hater” it’s just that being jealous of someone is so foreign to me. I genuinely love seeing people move in their purpose. Wins are infinite and greatness is abundant. There’s never a need to calculate other’s wins, just celebrate them.