I’m going on a diet.

Most of you read that sentence and are probably thinking “Oh my gosh, shut up, you’re fine.” But don’t worry, I’m not talking about a physical diet. I’m talking about an emotional diet. My body has developed a dangerous appetite for, and addiction to, depression and sadness. “Some of us have been unhappy for so long, with only rare moments of happiness, that unhappiness has become a habit, a natural condition.” (Prentiss, 69) This is not something new I have realized. I have been aware of my gloomy moods for a while now, but they were never something I felt I could control. I thought it was the fault of other things and people that caused me to be upset, but I have finally and truly realized that it is me and my state of mind that caused these moods. I have hurt a lot of people because of it and I have held myself back because of it, but not anymore. It is time for me cut sadness out of my system and let more happiness into my life.

There was a recent event in my life that was kind of the last straw for me. It was the final wake-up call that made me realize I need to work on myself now and I can’t keep putting it off. I wish this could have happened in another way, but I realize that not everyone in my life is going to stick by my side through these tough times. Not everyone is going to understand what I’m going through and they’ll take it the wrong way and leave. That’s fine. Nobody should HAVE to deal with my issues, although I do believe a true friend would be able to understand a bit better.

The good thing that came out of that unfortunate situation I went through is that I now have more drive to focus on bettering myself. Luckily, to help start my new journey, an amazing person told me about this book he has read before that always makes him feel happy and motivated afterward. I told him about my recent troubles and he let me borrow it because he thought it would help me (and he was right). I must say I was nervous to read the book. I tried reading a “happiness” book before and it was filled with way too much cheesy bullshit so I stopped reading less than halfway through. However, as he explained the book more I knew it would be different. It seemed it would be based on Buddhist philosophies, which is something I have really wanted to learn more about, so already I was captivated.

The book is called Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss. I decided it was short enough for me to read on my plane ride back to California so I brought it with me. I began reading and by the second chapter I was hooked. Everything Prentiss said made so much sense to me. Everything he said provided me with the tools to master my happiness. By chapter 5 I had to put the book down and start writing, I couldn’t wait (I even teared up a few times because everything was so clear to me, the world seemed so different. Already I felt an immense weight lifted off my shoulders). I have a new perspective on my life and I understand that everything that has happened to me is the best thing that could have happened to me. Yes, even the terrible things. Although there are still some events I’m not completely content with, I know that as I continue to practice this thought process I will be able to understand those events better and become content with them.

This isn’t going to be a quick and easy process and sometimes I might lose sight of this new understanding, but from now on I am going to try to live in happiness. I guess you can say that’s my 2015 Resolution, to just try to be happier. To accept that everything that happens to me is the best thing that can happen to me and if I just apply the right mindset to it then I will ultimately be happy at the end. I want to take the time now to thank those people who have stuck with me through this process and who continue to stick with me. Those people who let me know when I’m in one of those moods but are willing to work through it with me. Those people who I may have hurt but refuse to leave my side because they know I truly love them. Thank you. If it wasn’t for you never giving up on me then I wouldn’t have the hope I have now.

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