Here’s a not-so-fun fact about Sheesh: I struggled with misinterpreting the possession of tangible objects as the possession of happiness. My idea of happiness was going to Barnes and Nobel after a stressful day and charge $100 on my credit card. It was shopping on Amazon whenever I felt like life was pointless. It was purchasing a box of journaling supplies, even though I had multiple journals and pens and art utensils still secured in their plastic packaging. Materialism at its finest. Very pleasing…yet very, VERY temporary. It wasn’t until the credit card swiping caused more anxiety than excitement that the question “What is happiness?”
It was not until I noticed the increase in my own personal happiness throughout 2017 that I realized the Truth of happiness: the key to happiness is growth!
For me, authentic happiness is not something that is solid and universal… it is not one-size-fits-all. It definitely is not guaranteed, and it sure enough cannot be express shipped to us in an Amazon box tied in a perfect bow. Happiness is unique to each person. It is dependent on one’s choice to taking steps towards being an enhanced and truer version of themselves. It requires taking a leap of Faith and having a Believer’s heart. Taking actions in life that enables you to mature in the areas that are most valuable to you!
“Discovering the value of life is an active choice that requires a leap of Faith and a Believer’s heart” -Shawanna
The thing about growth, however, is that it cannot happen without action. It cannot happen unless one chooses to takes the steps to make it happen. For myself, I realized that the areas in which I needed growth the most were spirituality and self-worth. As a result, I began to take the steps that would enhance my life in those areas: I joined a couple of amazing Faith-based women’s groups (Woman, I am Inc. and Purity + Peace); I found a new church home (New Vision International Ministries); I began to write out my prayers and listen to mostly gospel music; I discovered Christian podcasts that I listen to antidepressants as an extra method of self-care; I traveled more; I said “no” more often; I began to speak up more.
After a while I noticed that I was no longer getting to happy… I was growing into my happy. Of course, with growth comes growing pains. The days where taking that step towards growth seems impossible and where you realize that being comfortable with discomfort may come as a side-effect to growing into your happy. However, nothing worth fighting for floats down from heaven on a silver platter! I do still have moments where I find myself buying a random E-book after an anxiety attack, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t done a drive-by to Barnes and Noble in over a year. Nobody is perfect, and the road to happiness is full of lessons learned. The key to happiness is growth, and growth is an uphill journey worth taking. Let’s make 2018 the Year of Growth and Happiness.
Are you willing to grow into your happy?