Key Word – CHOOSE to be happy. Many people think that trauma marks you for life. Well, sorry but trauma does not mean your life ends and all hope is lost. This was what I realized and knew I would choose to be happy and move on from all my traumatic experiences.
For those who might be here for the first time, here is a quick synopsis of my life. I was sexually abused between the ages of 7-17 (one of the abusers being my own father). By 17, I was an orphan.
At 25, I was pregnant, unmarried and near homeless until a dear Angel took me in and at various stages of my life I was depressed, suicidal and stuck in addictive behaviours such as pornography and masturbation.
The question I get a lot is how did I move from the abused, depressed, addicted orphan to this happy bubbly woman- people would ask- “how did you find your happiness?” Now let’s talk about those
HOW TO FIND HAPPINESS AFTER TRAUMA
1. PLUGGING INTO THE SOURCE OF JOY
Truth be told, happiness can depend on your circumstance, but you see JOY? It is a state of being. And God is the source of that joy. I recognize this. This sets the foundation for how I moved on from trauma.
The first time I ever felt truly alive was the day I gave my life to Jesus. Mehn it felt like I was floating in the air. That day the negative person in me died and a new person was born. If I could inject this feeling into everyone- trust me I would. But the easiest way is for you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour- it is what I did.
I am smiling just at thought of that moment as I am writing this now. If I truly want to authentically share how I managed to find happiness, purpose, forgiveness and freedom despite ALL I have been through, this is the foundation for all of it.
People are shocked when I tell them I have not been to therapy and the more I think about it, the more I realize- God’s got me and as long as I stay plugged to the source of Joy- the better.
True story- therapist encourage spiritual connections as part of the healing process. See- God helped me stay steps ahead.
2. I made a CHOICE
Remember when I said key word is CHOOSE?! I meant it. Being happy starts with a choice. That in spite of what has happened or will happen, as long as I can do nothing about it, I will not let it ruin my ability to live life fully and abundantly.
I wish I can tell you that once I gave my life to Christ I immediately got happy, but it took a while to figure out I still had a choice to activate that JOY inside me and channel it to being happy.
3. Recognizing that no one is responsible for my happiness but me
Shocker! You mean my husband is not supposed to make me happy? Truth be told I am still grappling with this one too. LOL. But yea, no one single person can make you happy or sad without your stamp of approval or permission.
They can try, but you still need to revert to #1 and even then, it is their CHOICE to contribute to your happiness and yours to accept it.
As a matter of fact, the quickest way to unhappiness and frustration is to place the expectation of your happiness on someone else. Let that sink in!
4. forgive your offenders and yourself
There is no killer of joy and happiness greater than unforgiveness and bitterness. Yes, they hurt you- I get it! But I found out if I truly wanted to FREE to be HAPPY, I needed to LET GO of the anger I felt towards my offenders.
But it is not only your offenders that need forgiving. I realized I held anger towards myself and I needed to forgive myself too.
The same I released others from the offence, I had to release myself from the parts where I felt like I had messed up. Not because I asked to be molested, or made an orphan, but because there were times I used them as excuses for bad choices.
5. practice gratitude
Happy people are grateful people. They give thanks for the seeming mundane things. On the other hand, people who complain alot are grumpy, frustrated and unhappy.
People would naturally gravitate towards and hang around happy people because they give positive vibes that is infectious. And the easiest way to move from grumpy to happy is to give thanks in all things and at all times.
What are you grateful for today? Take a moment now, breathe in and thank God for ONE thing!
6. find purpose in your pain
Living purposefully is one of the most fulfilled things you can do in life. And guess what fulfilled people feel more consistently than others- HAPPINESS!
Remember #1? You can choose to channel that pain into purpose and enjoy the feel of doing something meaningful or choose to wallow all the days of your life in pain. What will it be?
7. don’t be afraid to lean into your emotions
Sometimes to get to that happy place you need to walk through some “valley of the shadow of death”. Running away from your emotions and what you are feeling only prolongs the day of ‘reckoning’, while leaving you with a gloomy feeling.
There are times I felt angry, sad or just plain defeated. I lean in by admitting what I am feeling and where it was coming from. Doing this helps you quickly SEE how to get out too.
I hope you have learnt something out of these. March 20th was world happiness day- a day set by the United Nations to know the value of happiness and create awareness around it. Truth is, everyday should be HAPPINESS DAY and that is God’s intent for us.
So are you happy? Truly happy? If not, start with #1 and #2. The rest naturally flows as long as you stay committed to #s 1 &2.
Which of these resonates the most with you? Share with us in the comments below. Be sure to like this, comment and share with others.
So I talked about my story. If you are wondering what it is about or someone popped into mind to give a copy of my story to- you can get them BELOW