On February 11th 2020, I had what I guess could be described as a near death experience, even though I wasn't physically hurt in any way, it was a split second where I realised I had a 50/50 chance of potentially being seriously hurt or worst case scenario - dead.
As I was driving along in a 2 lane road, I heard an incredibly loud screeching of wheels, it felt so close, and as I looked to the left, the car parallel next me, I saw the man turn to look at me, who was hearing the same thing, then I watched his car plummet forward as the car behind him went full speed into the back of him - that guy behind him hit the windscreen, I continued driving and saw the guy in the car in front (the car that was next to me initially), he was alive, but in complete shock... I could only think the worst about the guy in the car behind him.
UNDER THE REALISATION
In the aftermath I continued to drive home, and a thought came into my head as I was driving - I was under the realisation that that could of easily been me, if the car behind me had chosen the right lane, which I was in, instead of the left one.
Then I had what I could only describe as my life flashing before me...
And I realised just how important the pursuit of happiness really is, not a destructive kind of happiness where you s**t all over people to get what you want, but the kind where you go inward and ask from the universe what you truly want, to feel like you always took the steps forward to living, what you consider, a wonderful life.
THE BIG ROADBLOCK
But there's often a block in the flow of these thoughts like - "I can't do that, what will people think?" I even had a conversation with a close family member recently about this, she said to me in a nutshell, "Michelle, I don't think you should do that, what will people think?" I wasn't hurting anyone in the process, and it actually was something that personally made me feel so happy, after a pretty rough patch in my life.
So here are my thoughts, after this experience...
FACE THE FACTS
If people think bad about you, or judge you, remember their thoughts can’t hurt you, so if people say bad things behind your back their words can’t hurt you, if people say bad things to you - they can hurt you, but only if you allow them to.
Do you care more about words, than what makes you truly happy?
You can’t control what others think, say behind you, or say to you, however you can control how you choose to react to all of this.
I admit I’ve done things, and not done things in my life which I wasn’t happy with because I was afraid of standing out, not being normal, not doing what would be approved of by the majority, and I’ve also done things in my life where I’ve put my happiness first, gone completely in my own direction despite objections and there have been no regrets, so without apology your happiness should supersede the opinions of people who aren’t walking in your shoes, who don’t feel your joy, or your pain, or your fear - or any other emotions you have.
IN THE END
When the end comes in this short life, will your final words be, ‘I wish I sacrificed more of my own happiness and been miserable to please other people.’ OR, will you wish you did more of what made you happy... took that trip, followed your heart, changed your career? Whatever...
When your life flashes before your eyes will you be happy that you followed everyone else’s ideals, which are often based on fears of experiencing life outside the boundaries of those ideals?
Will you be happy you went to law school because your parents wanted that for you (when you wanted to become a magician), where you spent a majority of your life waiting for the weekend or that week holiday, instead of spending every single day making magic and doing something you love that you're filled with excitement about?
Success isn't about how much money is in your bank account, how many cars you have, the size of your home, the clothes in your wardrobe or the bling you wear on your body...
Success is written on your face, it's behind your eyes, it's the measure of how much you smile and laugh and love, it's how you feel, it's your soul food.
I come to you to say, please, there's nothing wrong with showing the world you're happy, in any conventional or unconventional way, just like there's no shame in showing the world you're sad, or made a mistake, and in the case of sharing your happiness, for everyone who's ready to judge you or think bad about you, there will be many more people who will be happy for you, and feel inspired by you, and-maybe-just-maybe feel motivated to say, well, if he / she can be bold enough to do it, then maybe I can too…
Life is short, whether you live to a hundred, or live a day, it’s all about now.
So, do yourself a favour, and be unapologetically happy!
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY 2020.