Have you noticed how happy people attract happy people?
Have you noticed how the "moaners" of the world seem to congregate together?
Have you noticed the huddles of those who have "victim syndrome" around the tea machine.
Who are you surrounded with? Are people happy or complaining when they are around you. Are they looking at life with love and joy or with fear and distrust?
I'll be honest, in 2016 to 2017 I'd got to a point of no return of being in a negative spiral. In fact I set up a Facebook Group of my friends to support me on my "Happiness Quest", it became a coping mechanism for me. Some friends really understood why I'd done it, others couldn't get their head around the concept.
You see I realised that for me my natural form of escapism has been books, movies and stories in all their forms. The Magic Faraway Tree as a child got me through childhood traumas, untimely deaths, seriously ill friends and relatives, etc. Even up until my late 30's when I was feeling bad I'd curl up and read it, a safe place to go where I could dream of eating pop biscuits with MoonFace and Silky in his little round room with the slide going to the bottom of the tree.
I longed for fairies to come and take me away, of vampires kidnapping me to a better life, of becoming a real life witch with the power of invisibility. Even as an adult I'd dream this could happen, that I could freeze time like Piper from Charmed. Always dreaming my form of a "white knight, on a charger" coming to "rescue me". Knowing full well I already had all these powers within me, if I'd only trust myself.
By having this Happiness Quest group I decided to use it as a place to write stories. I'd turn people I was having conflict with into characters - the Red Queen, The Weasel, the vampire, the slippery toad etc. I'd rant and rave, I'd vent but in a story form. My friends were amazing, offering words of advice in story narrative. Things like "I challenge these fiends to a duel" from one friend, another saying how they'd beat up me enemy's, though admittedly only up to their knees. It may seem silly, but oh my it made me laugh. It made me take tiny steps out of the dark place, I was to see a slither of light in the distance.By turning my "aggressors" into fictitious characters they became less threatening. In meetings in the real world, I'd imagine them as the characters and they became less intimidating to me. I started to recognise who they were under the masks, the RED Queen a hippy, dippy chick who had lost herself to power and fortune. Yet, she was so unhappy, her subjects miserable and hating her. And I could see the same was happening to me.
No longer was I Sunshine with sparkly eyes, now I walked with head bent and rounded shoulders, my eyes dull, the magic gone. I was turning into a whinging old hag, feeling sorry for myself, feeling trapped and the more I allowed myself to become a victim, the more miserable I became and the more I attracted other victims to me and more people complaining to me.
When I resigned from my job I realised I didn't like who I was becoming and who the people I spent most of my time with, were becoming. Perhaps they were becoming that because of me?
The day I resigned I went skipping and spinning down the promenade at Llandudno before going to see the Shires in concert. I cried to every song as my heart felt like it had been released from a cage that had been constricting it for so long. Every lyric felt like it was written just for me. I still remember my husband saying "I've got my girl back" and I knew that this was the right decision to make. Yet I had no idea how far I'd still got to go.
Working my notice period I went from being ecstatic to despair. I'd get my head around leaving and people would try and persuade me to stay. Yet I'd started to change. A couple of people resigned, like me with no job to go to. Others started looking for other jobs, 1 even said they'd been inspired by me doing it and ironically left before I did.
Every day was a rollercoaster of emotions, yet I also noticed a difference. People were begging me to make time to go for lunch, for tea - people I'd hardly spoken with before. I remember saying to my husband - "if this had happened before, I might have stayed" - yet it wasn't really them, it was me. I'd changed and I was the person they'd met 7 years previous and was the person they wanted to be around again.
i saw a colleague from another company 6 weeks after I'd left I still remember there words "Wow, look at you!" I asked what they meant and they explained how I'd been wearing darker clothes, walking more stooped every time they'd seen me, but now I walked with my head held high. I'd allowed myself to become something I wasn't and I'd been too fearful to jump and do what my heart was trying to tell me to do.
It's almost 12 months since I left and now most people around me seem different, more positive and appreciative of the world, no longer being victim's or moaners. The same people who last year were saying they hated their jobs, they now love them. Is it them. No, it's probably just me. In the past I was down and "hated" my job so people empathise and "hate their jobs too" . Now I love my life they empathise and "love their lives too".
I'd, unknowingly created that miserable world by not nurturing my passions, not caring for my mojo and not caring for me.
Now I am top of my list, I'm the director of my own story and creating the future that I want and I deserve. I am my own superhero and have the power within me to do whatever I want in life.
Thank you to Psychologies June edition for inspiring me to tell you this story.