To be happy in spite of everything…

To be happy in spite of everything

This past year has been a bit of a whirlwind. I feel like my life is lived in a series of highs and lows. Over the past few weeks, it finally feels like I am coming out of the fog. Things have been confusing, but I am happy. I have faced a lot of resistance to writing. But here I am, on my computer, writing once more.

I recently started my third year of veterinary school and had one of the best summers of my life. This past summer, I traveled with my family, did an externship in Paris, visited my friend in Norway. Two precious (crazy) baby kittens became my fosters and will go to their forever homes at the end of this week. And my social media platform turned into a business.

After listening to my last podcast, I realized that I had lost a bit of myself through my breakup at the end of last year. The me that said all of those things had been shattered. I found myself truly alone for the first time in six years. Although I harbored a lot of resentment and anger towards him, I recently realized that if it weren’t him, it would have been someone else. Maybe that someone else wouldn’t have had the strength to end our relationship. I might not have been able to travel to Europe unhindered, to build beautiful strong friendships, to have supported my friends and family during difficult times.

Maybe, just maybe, God has a plan after all.

I am in the phase of my life now where I need to be single. I need to be alone and learn these lessons. It is kind of liberating to be in a position where I can make decisions without worrying about another person. I have gotten closer to God and inadvertently to myself. This summer while journaling, I realized that I am fortunate enough to not have just one, but two heavenly Fathers. Although I have never had a strong faith, it is comforting to go back to my Christian roots as a foundation for my spirituality. I realized that no human being alive can fill the void that my father left in his passing. It has to come from above, and within. After all, according to most faiths God lives within us. Whether that is the heavenly Spirit or Brahma, we are God’s masterpiece.

To have struggled and overcome that struggle – that is the greatest gift of all. I have found inner contentment that I carry with me through this life. It is okay to not be okay. It is okay to have hard times, to fall into pits of anxiety, to experience sadness. The trick is that you have to be able to pick yourself back up.

And that is exactly what I have done. I picked myself back up.  And though I was shattered for a few months, it was a necessary event. In place of what was once “me” is a beautiful new creation. It’s amazing how we can allow people to manipulate our thoughts and emotions. We get trapped in a cycle and can’t figure out how to stop. That is why it is so important to pay attention to the signs that the Universe (or God) gives you. In times of stress, it becomes more challenging to see these signs. Luckily for me, I got out.

So, what is next?

My friendships are better than ever, my personal development practice is WAY more consistent, school is going very well. I am getting stronger physically, mentally and spiritually. I teach yoga regularly and I absolutely love sharing my practice. And I am creating a platform that truly helps people.  Veterinary school is hard. I am starting to plan externships and clinical rotations for the next year and a half of my life. It is hard to believe that I only have a few months left of class until I am basically working as a vet. Yes, I know, clinics are NOT the same as actually working as a veterinarian. But it will definitely feel more like being a vet than sitting in a classroom all day.

I guess what I am trying to say is that life is never easy. It is not supposed to be. We struggle so that we can appreciate the light when it comes.

“In the end, enjoying life’s experiences is the only rational thing to do. You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience. You’re going to die anyway. Things are going to happen anyway. Why shouldn’t you be happy?” – Untethered Soul.

I am not saying it will be easy…

Everything that is worth anything in life takes hard work. In my next post, I will detail my personal development practice. Maybe these tools will help you as much as they have helped me. The trick is to be consistent. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Even in good times, stay consistent. That way, when the bad times inevitably happen, you are strong enough to hold onto the seed of inner contentedness you have created and let go of control. I guess that is the scary part for most people to realize. We really don’t have much control over what happens to us. All we can do is choose to be happy. Every single day. Choose happiness in the face of hardship. We have a short time to live on this planet. Choose happiness.

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With so much love and light,

Shelby

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