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How to find your happy when life hurts

There are things that we will go through in life that will literally knock the wind right out of us. You are just going along your day and then in the matter of seconds your life changes forever. That day for me was the day my dad passed. He was a wonderful man. He was my hero even as a grown woman. When the doctor sat my brother and I down, in the midst of a pandemic and said the words, "Unfortunately, we couldn't resuscitate him" the pain was literally unbearable.

What I decided to do is let myself be hurt and devastated. In fact, I coached myself, reminding myself that if I did not allow myself to feel these feels, it would be detrimental to my health. I cried y'all. Man, did I cry. I let go of this super human notion that just because I'm a therapist and I knew the stages of grief that it would somehow be an easier process for me. I let go of the need to be everything for everybody. I gave myself permission to be my own friend and be there for me.

You might be now pondering the happy part, right? How do we get back to the happiness and joy? Well that's the thing, if life is hurting you have to feel the hurt to get to the happy part. It would be great if we could pick and choose which emotions we want to feel. However, the energy it takes to try to do this in my opinion wasted. My tears were so productive. I learned that one of my strengthens was to fully acknowledge how something hurt me deeply, and still get stuff done. I allowed family and friends to be there for me. When someone truly asked me how I was I did not just say good. I pushed myself to be vulnerable when I had the time and mental space to do so. I made myself do things that brought me joy. I knew it wouldn't be the same level of joy before my Dad's passing and that was ok.

Little by little, the joy is coming back. I actually think it never left, I just had to allow the wave of pain from the heartbreak to pass. As it comes and goes, which it will. I'll remember that I can get through this pain. I can cry and then get stuff done. I can be brokenhearted and take time to care for myself. I can tell my family and friends when I need time for myself. While this isn't an easy road to joy, it is worth it.

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