An inside job – always!
A friend of mine on Facebook mentioned that her life has been difficult because she was never good enough or pretty enough. Then she said that it would be nice to be happy.
Here was my response:
Happiness is an inside job. You have to love yourself first and foremost. It's nice to be loved and wanted by others, but you have to love and want yourself. When someone says you're not good enough or pretty enough (For what? By what standards?), you have to decide if their assessment is valid. And even if it is valid, you have to have enough love and confidence in yourself to say, "Well, it's too bad they feel that way, but they don't get to define me. I do."
Then set about doing what makes YOU happy and increases your love of yourself and of life. In other words, you cannot leave the meaning of who you are or what your life is in another's hands. You cannot control situations or people for the most part, but you CAN control your reaction, your decisions, your attitude about yourself, and your life.
I agree that trials and difficulties in life CAN make you a tougher, more dimensional person. I grew up with a ton of dysfunction in the home. I was also adopted. I am also the survivor of sexual abuse. I was married to an alcoholic. You know how my first husband died, too. And there are more things I can list. My psychiatrist remarked that he was surprised I didn't end up an alcoholic or a drug abuser.
So yes, life HAS been hard, but it is for most people in some way or another. And many people have had terrifying/horrific lives that make mine pale in comparison. The past doesn't equal the future, and although I can be cynical, I am a die-hard optimist deep down inside. Or maybe I'm incredibly stubborn (or hardheaded, as my mom always told me).
I'm flawed, but I love myself and respect myself to keep going. I was put here for a reason. I'm not sure what the entire reason is, but I'm running an individual application in this overall, incomprehensible program called life, and I'm here to stay until my work here is done. And I don't plan to finish up until decades from now if I have any say in it!
Keep on keeping on. Don't let the bastards win. They might be able to get out the utensils, but they can't eat you unless you let them. Don't let them. EVER.