52 Weeks of Happiness: Week Six-What Are Blocks To Your Happiness?
Welcome to week six of the book “52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance, and Joy” by Moorea Seal. I believe everything happens in divine order. The journal prompt this week is to list the things from your past and present that feel like blockades in the way of your happiness.
Visibility is my word for 2017 and I’m really wanting to find ways to put myself out there more. A few weeks ago, I posted a written message in a facebook group about the one secret, the one thing that I didn’t want anyone to know about me. We all have that deep, dark something we really don’t want anyone to know about us.
I shared this secret in a sacred space. As I shared, I thought, “Oh, this is cool. I’m releasing and letting it go,” but I didn’t realize until that moment that I needed to release it. I didn’t realize that not sharing my deepest, darkest secret, and the thing that I didn’t want anyone to know about me was blocking my vulnerability…my ability to really step out and stand out as a leader. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to share this on a larger scale. I just kept thinking about this “thing” that happened decades ago and wondering why I felt so compelled to share it now.
As I shared, I got a lot of private messages from people… from women that thanked me for sharing, and shared how my courage in sharing is helping them to dust off things that they didn’t want anybody to know about them either, and having the vulnerability and the courage to share that. I thought about different things from my past that I felt could be blockades to my happiness. I’ve really done a lot of work on and for myself. Yet, the one thing, the one thing that I shared in this group, this very sacred, loving group – gave me the courage to share this secret with you now.
Interestingly, this #52HappyLists prompt of listing the things that felt like blockades in the way of my happiness was the next prompt after I shared this ‘secret’. I didn’t realize until I shared it that it was blocking my happiness. I’ll tell you what the secret is and then I’ll tell you what I’ve gained from this sharing experience.
My Deepest, Darkest Secret Revealed
When I was 17, I had an abortion. Yes, I typed that “out loud.” If you know me, you know that I have three amazing kids. They’ve grown up to be just terrific adults, yet, there hasn’t been a day that has gone by in 31 years, that I haven’t thought about that baby. I had so much shame and guilt around having that abortion. At the time, I thought, this is the “easy way out.” I ended up marrying the man I was pregnant with and we had three amazing kids together and were married for 10 years.
I was 17 and we never know what we’re going to do until we’re faced with a situation. There were a lot of reasons that I didn’t want that shame, that story, that knowing to come out for a lot of reasons. One, I used to be involved in a youth organization as an adult leader, and I didn’t want people to know that about my past. I thought people would judge me. I thought people would call me all kinds of horrible things.
Let the Healing Begin
Abortion can be such an emotionally-charged topic and I was afraid that people would judge me. I was afraid that people would respect me less, think less of me, all that ‘stupid’ stuff. There were two things that helped me heal from that decision I made when I was 17 years old. Years later, I had already had Amanda and Sarah. I was driving home from somewhere late at night. Suddenly, I was overcome with grief about this baby. I kept thinking I robbed my kids of having an older sibling. I did something that so many women around the world sometimes struggle to have a baby, and conceive and there was so much shame around that. Why did I do that? As a mother, I also felt guilt because I thought, “Well, what if this baby … ” I would think about where I would be, where we would be, how that baby would impact our lives, etc…
I was crying so hard, I literally couldn’t drive anymore. I pulled off to the side of the road and I just bawled my eyes out. I screamed. I was hitting the steering wheel. I was crying. I was apologizing. I was so emotionally a wreck, because I had developed as a mother and I developed spiritually, so it made that decision extremely difficult as I moved forward in my life. I felt so much better after that release.
The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear. ~ Gandhi
Fast forward probably 10 or 15 years, I was part of a healing group workshop. In my mind’s eye, I saw my grandma who had passed away several years prior. She was holding the hand of this little boy and I knew that this little boy was my baby. She said that she was taking care of him, and it was okay. Then, I heard that the soul of this baby would come through one of my grandchildren. When I got that message, it really helped me in a profound way.The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear. ~ Gandhi Click To Tweet
Stepping Into My Greatness
I really want to stand up, step out, and be the most transparent leader that I can be. In order for me to do that, I need to be in full self-acceptance, in full self-love, in full self-compassion. I needed to really fully forgive myself for that decision when I was 17 years old. I decided today was the day to share. I have a lot of respect for people that feel and believe differently. I’m no longer afraid of being judged. Most importantly, I have worked through self-forgiveness, self-compassion, and self-love that was long overdue. This has been the best gift.
Remember, Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong. Click To Tweet
Remember, Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.
Stepping Into Your Leadership Greatness
I believe that it’s one of our biggest responsibilities as leaders, whether we’re leading a nation, a team, our families or ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to look at where past or current decisions are blocking us from abundance, health, happiness, love and peace. It’s time to let it go!
If you are reading this and thinking, I would never want anybody to know (insert scary thing here) about me, I challenge you to share it! Maybe it’s emotional eating or divorce, or being a victim of domestic violence. It can be a thousand different things and it’s different for each of us. We’re all walking our own journey.
The freedom that comes from making it real… from writing it down… or even going on a live video and sharing is SO healing. I’ve done a lot of work on myself over the decades, and still, there was that one thing that was keeping me blocked.
I would love to know what is on your list, past or present, that are potential blockades to your happiness. My hope and prayer is that you release that, and let it go, so that you can move through, and choose happiness and self-love, because that’s what we all deserve.We all deserve happiness, abundance, peace and freedom. Click To Tweet