May 26, 2015
Recently, I had a falling out with a friend. Sunshine (not her real name) had been a lifelong friend. She was the person I turned to for help every time I fell. And believe you me, I fell more than a dozen times in as many years. She was my rock, my steady friend, my sunshine. However, I have since come to realize that she was my friend only when I was down and out; once I was able to stand on my own two feet, Sunshine’s friendship would disappear.
Over the years, I have told Sunshine my deepest, darkest fears, my most outlandish aspirations, and every little thing that makes me tick. I was under the misguided assumption that she would hold my secrets close to her heart, just as I did to hers. Sadly, I was mistaken. I will never make that mistake again.
Over the past three years, and with Sunshine’s help, I have found my happiness. It is through no small feat that I am able to look at myself in the mirror and smile. I am proud of who I am and what I have accomplished. I have come a long way. Conversely, I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed at how low I sank in recent years. I had just come to a point in my life where I had forgiven myself my past mistakes. In other words, I was happy.
On the outside, I appear really put together. I’m independent, smart, tough, and sometimes even funny. Very few people know that on the inside I am more than a little unsteady. In fact, I am a scared little girl on the inside. Sunshine was one of the few people who knew of my insecurities. She was also the last person I thought would exploit those insecurities. But not only did she exploit those insecurities, she chewed them up and spit them back into my face like so many before her, that I was this close to believing all of the vile things she said to me and about me. Little did she know that I would take a piece of advice she recently gave me, and use it to keep my wits about me, whereas usually, I would crumple.
In the past few months, I had begun to confide in Sunshine how very happy I was. Sometimes, unable to contain how happy I was, a smile would break across my face and a giggle would escape from my lips. I could be as giddy as a schoolgirl. My happiness came from a place that I believe few people I know have ever experienced. I had survived an almost certain death; not only survived, but walked away from. After shaking my head in disbelief for a couple of months, I have accepted that I survived because I have so much more to give. This realization was the catalyst for my happiness. So, of course I was giddy! I mean, who wouldn’t be, right? And I almost let it all slip away because of a few well-placed barbs spewed from a would-be friend.
After a vile and disgusting exchange of words from both myself and Sunshine, she left me with these words, “Where’s your happiness now?” It almost shook me to my core. But now, I have an answer for her:
My happiness resides in a place no one can touch. My happiness belongs to me and me alone, so that only I can make myself unhappy. My happiness is with me when I wake up in the morning and with me when I close my eyes at night. My happiness is knowing that not only am I a good person, but that I am a person worthy of being loved. My happiness is knowing that I am highly blessed and Divinely favored. My happiness is right here, right where it belongs.
Sunshine once told me that I needed to get rid of all of the people in my life who were toxic. And although it will create a hole in my heart, I fear I must take her advice. Goodbye Sunshine, I wish you well. Peace, ~v.