Have you ever woken up and decided, “Something has to change?” Maybe it was your diet, your lack of exercise, the mess in your closet, the mess at work or even in your marriage. You KNEW what was going on wasn’t what you wanted, and it wasn’t in your best interest. You got up and started thinking of things that needed to be different. And then… the little voice in the back of your mind said, “Yeah, but…” You may have even begun making a few changes here and there and were met with resistance, from others in your life, or “that voice.” In the end, you just went back to the way things were and told yourself, “Those things are for other people. “Other people don’t have the same problems I have to deal with. I’m just not strong enough to make those changes.” Or even, “I don’t deserve” that.

We’ve all been there, overwhelmed by the effort that it takes to overcome old habits and mindsets, especially when the people around us are happy with the way things are. Those are the times we begin to doubt our worthiness for happiness, “especially at the expense of those we love.” If you were raised like so many of us, a woman’s job is to be sure everyone around her is happy. If everyone else is happy, surely we should be happy. “Why aren’t I happy? What’s wrong with me?”

I was there once. I had everything I was supposed to have, a house, a car, a child, a husband, a job, plenty to eat and clothes to wear. And I was miserable. I remember stopping at a traffic light on the way home from work one afternoon thinking, “I SHOULD be happy.” I have everything I’m supposed to have to be happy. But my soul kept saying, “There has to be a better way.” Having no idea what the better way was, I sobbed all the way home.

After that day my life began to change. Doors opened and I walked through them. I didn’t have a plan; I didn’t even know what the better way was. I just knew I wanted to be happy. Books I needed to read showed up in my life. New friends and job opportunities came my way. The change wasn’t easy, but in the end I divorced the man whose idea of a happy life was not the same as my idea of a happy life. I found a new job that challenged me and provided me the income I needed to support my daughter and me. I even met the right man, a man who supported my version of a happy life and wanted to share it with me.

I didn’t make these changes alone. The right people came my way when each new step needed to be taken. Some of those people became a permanent part of my life, some of them were there when I needed them and then drifted off. Making change, real, life-altering change, is hard. We aren’t meant to make those changes alone. Sometimes the people who help us aren’t related to us and have no vested interest in the outcomes. They are in our lives to hold our hands and listen to us while we work things out.

Through the past 20 years I have learned so much about being ME, the ME I was meant to be. I’ve struggled with all of the usual woman issues, weight, exercise, and the BIG one, worthiness. I understand the struggle and, I’m here to say there is another way, a way that makes you happy. If you KNOW there is a better way and are ready to find it, I’m here to hold your hand, ask the right questions and listen to you. In the end, you will be doing the deciding, and you will be doing the work, because there is NO one way and there is NO magic bullet. We each have different lives of happiness and different paths to get there. What we all do need is each other.