Have you ever wondered what the snowball effect of your unhappiness is to those around you and love you the most? Your family, friends and children. Asking yourself the hard questions can be a turning point in your happiness but having the strength to answer then honestly may put you down a different path. As Dr John Demartini says: ‘The quality of your life depends on the quality of your questions.’
My book: The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering Independence through Divorce
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Hi, everyone and welcome back to the Divorce Angel Podcast. My name is Tanya Somerton and I’m the divorce angel. I’ve had such a great week and I’m just loving the results that we’re getting for our clients at the moment. You’ve got no idea how inspiring it is to have someone come to your office and be heartbroken and have no idea about what their future looks like and then, a few months later, look at that person and think that they are just someone completely different that you don’t even recognize them anymore. It inspires me every day to get up and think, “Wow, what’s going to happen today? Who’s going to change that much that they’re going to inspire me to make a difference to other people’s lives?” It is truly, truly rewarding and I’m very. very grateful to do the work that I do.
I wanted to talk to you today about the snowball effect of your happiness and I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard this term, but if you think about a snowball, obviously, we’ve all got this picture in our brain of this ball rolling down a mountain and it sort of gets bigger and bigger as it goes. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about and it’s really about if you’re unhappy, how you’re unhappiness can affect everyone else around you and it has a snowball effect on the people that you come into contact with. I didn’t realize how bad I was at hiding my own happiness when I was going through my divorce until– I think I spoke about this in last week’s podcast, until my mom said to me one day, “We just want our Tanya back.” I didn’t realize that I was no longer the Tanya that they knew and loved. I just assumed that I was the same person.
The easiest way I suppose to describe it is the feeling of being solace because when I look back now, I can see that I was so empty and unhappy that I was just, I suppose, existing and I just got up and did what I had to do and went around and did what was expected of me, but really didn’t have a vision for my future. The difference that a vision can make to someone and we can call it a purpose or whatever your term would be is a amazing because when you’re able to wake up every morning and you know what you’ve been put on the Earth to do or you know what you’re expected to do and you jump out a bit rather than lay there under the covers thinking, “I cannot face another day,” that’s when you know that something is wrong.
The easiest way to really start to look at this is– I really love this question that Dr. John Demartini asked and he says, “The quality of your life depends on the quality of your questions.” Let’s just think about that for a minute. If our life isn’t happy, why is it so? Are we not asking ourselves the right questions because simply, we know that we don’t or we’re not going to like the answer. Because we’re not going to like the answer, let’s not even ask the question. It’s funny because when you’re going through this period of time in your life, in a lot of cases, you will feel butterflies in your belly or you will feel a little bit sick to some extent without you even knowing it. Your body will be under stress and it could be that you’re not eating properly, that you might be losing weight. People have even had hair falling out because of the worry but not really realizing it. My issue which become a big problem was I was grinding my teeth. I was grinding my teeth so bad that I was waking up with migraines and a really sore jaw. I had to have acupuncture just to try and release the pressure in my jaw because of the grinding and the stress that I was under.
If you’d ask me at the time was I okay, I would’ve said yes because I didn’t realize subconsciously what was going on within my body. I suppose what I’d like to ask you, are you asking yourself the right questions? Or are you too scared to ask them because you know the answer? So you’re just ignoring it. If you’re not happy, what are you doing to make yourself feel fulfilled? In life, we’ve got these expectations. We all want to feel happiness, fulfillment, security, and we want to feel control. What we spoke about last week, we want a full jelly bean jar. We want our jelly beans overflowing. We want to feel that we are part of something that’s bigger than just us. That’s what a lot of humans- that’s what we want to do. We want to make other people feel good, we want to make sure that everyone around us feels happy and enlightened and the best person that they can possibly be.
When we’re in a position of this snowball effect and not realizing how unhappy we are, what we’re actually doing without knowing is we’re taking everyone down with us. We might be the middle of the snowball. As it’s rolling around, we’re picking up everyone with us. We’re picking up our children and our parents, and our friends, and everyone else because they’re watching our unhappiness. They can see that something’s not right, but really don’t know how to help us get to where we need to go. Everyone has the right intentions and try to help. The truth of the matter is the only person that can get you out of this snowball effect of unhappiness is you.
The best way for me to describe this would be when I’m working with people who are in debt and owe money for instance. If I think of people and this is a big issue especially with females. We spend a lot of money on things to make us feel good. In a lot of cases, we’ll buy empty possessions. They could be things, clothes, shoes, and handbags because we get instant gratification from those purchases, but we’ll buy them without thinking about the ramifications to our financial history. We’ll buy them on our credit card, which really isn’t out money. Paying interest back on that. When I’m looking at someone who is in a position of debt, in a lot of cases, they know the debt. They know damn well that things aren’t right, but they continue to spend and they don’t pay back anything more than the minimum repayment on their credit card.
All this is doing is prolonging the pain. It’s prolonging the term of the debt and it’s increasing how much you owe. I have people that will often say, “This was on special, so I got it for a bargain.” I’m calling BS right there because nothing is a bargain unless you are paying cash for it and nothing is bargain unless you really need it. If you’re using your credit card to purchase something that is a bargain, yet your credit card is not at zero and you’re not paying it down to zero every month, then that purchase is not a bargain. It’s actually costing you something and you could be paying that purchase back over a myriad of years.
The same thing happens in your relationship. If you know that you are unhappy and things aren’t going well, by not addressing it, you’re prolonging the term and you are costing you more money. It’s costing you more time and it’s costing you greater emotions. The best thing to do is to put a plan of attack in place. This is the same when we sit down and we’re looking at helping someone get out of debt. What we want to do is have a plan to pay back that debt as quickly as possible and get them out of the situation. The best way to do it is with our eyes wide open. The same thing happens when you are going through a separation or considering a separation or going through a divorce. Feeling out of control just makes everything so much worse. We want to have a plan and we want to stick to the plan because that will help you feel in control.
Whether it is for a period of 12 months or even longer, at some stage, you’re going to have to look at unhappiness. You’re going to have to address it. It might be that by taking these steps, you will feel worse. But life is about equilibrium and at some stage after you’ve come back down, you’ll turn around and you’ll come back up. It’s at those moments that the greatest growth will happen in your life. When you step outside of your comfort zone because right now, even though you are unhappy, you are sitting inside your comfort zone, because every day, you’re still getting up, you’re still doing the same things, you still probably got a routine that is familiar to you. That familiar routine has become your burden, to be honest. You’re not really becoming the person that you’re meant to be.
Then the other part of the snowball effect is also the consequences of your decision making. What does that mean for the people that you love? If you are unhappy and decide to put steps in place to improve that happiness, you might consider, “I can’t do this because if I do, it’s going to affect my children or it might affect my in-laws or my parents” or even your partner. The care or the love that you feel for those people might be so strong that you just don’t have it in you to take the steps necessary to improve your own happiness. This is often a conversation that I have with clients and my answer to this is, “Why do you think everyone else’s happiness is more important than your own? Because when you’re happy, everyone around you will be happy. If you’re sad and they truly love you and they’re watching you, it will be making them sad as well and that is the snowball effect. Don’t worry about everyone else. Just for a second, close your mind and just think about what it is that would make you happy. If your friends and family truly love you, they will support your decision if you’ve gone through the ramifications of the sequences and you really know deep in your heart that this is a decision that you have to make for your own well-being, your own health, and your own happiness.
If there’s room to improve and you’ve tried counseling, you’ve tried everything else, you’ve had a conversation with your partner, you’ve explained that the feelings that you are carrying are hurting you and nothing is changing, you should not feel remorse for making a decision to move on. Something else that is really important is just making sure that you don’t live with the guilt. Sometimes guilt can be what keeps us where we are because we feel that we need to stay because of all of these other people. The guilt can also also be really, really painful to live with.
What I want you to do now is I want you to consider some of these questions and I want you to answer them as truthfully as possible because as we said at the start, the quality of your life depends on the quality of the questions that you ask. Once again, I ask you, are you asking yourself the right questions or are you just ignoring them because you don’t want to answer them because you know deep in your heart what the answers will be? The questions I would ask you, are you being honest with yourself? Are you okay? Are you happy? Is this the life that you truly want? How long can you continue to ignore unhappiness or the issues in your relationship? What are the consequences of those decisions? If you plan an exit strategy, what needs to be included to allow you to survive comfortably? The biggest question of all, are you prepared to take those steps for happiness?
There’s some really difficult decisions to be made and none of them should be made lightly. You need to really do some soul searching on each and every one of them. But I can also tell you that when I worked with clients, sometimes I see that they are just making excuses for their partner’s bad behaviors and how they are treating them. Or because they just don’t have the courage to ask themselves the right questions. That person’s always been the pleaser in the relationship and always done everything to make their partner feel happy whatever it takes, but then when explaining to them that they’re not happy and that person does not want to change or make their life any better, they’re lumbered with all of these years of patterns where they’ve always made the other person feel worthy, feel loved, filled all their needs but never filled thier own. When I’m talking to that person, I can see that they are just too scared to take the steps required for their own happiness and it’s awful to watch. I don’t want that for anyone because everyone deserves to live a really happy life.
Marriage wasn’t made to be easy and it takes two people to make a successful marriage. Like I talked about last week with the jelly bean jar, it takes two people to make sure that they’re jelly beans are always replenished and that the jelly beans are a priority for both. I want you to ask yourself the questions. I want you to make sure that you are being really honest with yourself and that you can answer them from a place of honesty because I don’t want you to be feeling sick or ill all the time. I don’t want you to have health issues. Life is far too short and next week, we’re going to talk about a book that turned my life around and it’s all about the limiting amount of time that we have in life and why we should not be wasting one minute. This is a really difficult topic and I hope if you’re listening to this and you’re in this position that you have the courage just to ask the questions because even if you don’t do anything about it, but you’ve started to ask the questions, things will start to happen naturally. Things will start to occur, opportunities will arise and decisions will be able to be made that will take you to where you need to go. I’m a big believer that the universe will always look after us and eventually, we will get to where we need to go with the help and support of whoever it is that comes in front of us and maybe you were meant to listen to this podcast just to give you the strengths to know that there’s hope and happiness out there.
Until next week. I hope that you have a great, amazing week and something really awesome happens. I look forward to telling you next week about the book that changed my life. Bye for now.
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