I'm the happiest I've ever been because....
..... I lit a torch to every feeling that wasn't serving me well. I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that I felt kind of directionless. Other people's lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Remarkable things began to happen when I implemented rock solid boundaries.
But ohhh...the greatest gift I gained was dropping the need to defend myself. I DO NOT defend myself to anyone. I am whatever you say I am.
Them: You're so mean!
Me: I'm an acquired taste!
Them: You're immature
Them: You're not a good mother
Me: Thank you, Jesus!
I win 100% of the arguments I don't engage in. The version of me others keep in their mind is not my responsibility! As a rule, there are two groups of people that I typically don't argue with: the uneducated and the unhealed. The reason for this is because these people are not typically looking to change. They're looking to feel relief, often by releasing their pain for someone else to take on.
Healing cannot happen if you're on the defense or on the attack because both postures are positioned in survival mode. Therefore, engaging someone on their personal battlefield places you in the war with you against them. Engagement is a CHOICE. You cannot be a casualty of war without choosing to enter onto the battlefield.
I've always been pretty upfront and lived in my truth. I don't act like I'm perfect. I don't pretend that I've never lied or talked about people. I'm sure at one point or another I was a bad friend. I have done things I'm not proud of. I own it all! I may not walk around with all my imperfections tatted on my face (cause Lil Duval said "Don't sell yo soul for the sake of trying to be transparent"), but I don't run from the truth of who I was and am becoming.
Living by my own rules truly enhanced my happiness. You can truly benefit from redefining success. Success for me does not include the constant defense of who I am. It includes simply being who I am. The off-the-rack understanding of success in popular culture(s) includes grades in school, income, number or measurements of sexual "conquests", and a host of other pointless or self-destructive pursuits. I made a great decision to pursue things which actually matter to me. When you put your finger on what truly is important to you, you will have helped secure happiness for the rest of your life. And your/their/her/his opinion of me, has nothing to so with my success. Onward...