Find the things in life that make you happy

The most important relationship we have in this life is with ourselves. Foster it. Nurture it. Go easy with it. So says CATHAL O’REILLY, author and campaigner for greater mental health supports
Find the things in life that make you happy

The most important relationship we have in this life is with ourselves, says Cathal O'Reilly.

MANY of us have lost our passion for life at one point or another. It may be life itself that has caused this loss. Past hurts, traumas and grief.

Although it may be challenging, I invite you to think for a moment, what the very word ‘passion’ means to you.

Maybe it is a hobby or interest, a relationship, your passion for your children, your career or maybe most importantly, the passion you have for the relationship you nurture with yourself. 

Or maybe, there is a nothingness that presents itself. Maybe you have memories of past passions, past hobbies, past relationships, lost loved ones or the lost version of yourself that you deeply miss.

I would suggest that there is a trauma that exists with losing your passion or passions in life. 

To grieve a past role you played in someone else’s life possibly or maybe even your own. There is a loss that exists. Recognising that it is, indeed a loss, is a huge step in the process of finding one self again.

Recognising this may be hurtful. We may relish the times that have passed. The things we feel we may not have the time for anymore or it may not be a feeling but a reality we are succumbed to.

Once we recognise this loss of self, the next step is a process of acceptance. This may not be a quick fix or the flick of a switch so to speak. It may be a long, laborious process where we can tend to dwell on the past and the ‘good times’ that have passed. Is there any way of getting around this?

To say that there is a quick way of doing so, would not honour the space that is needed in this loss. It truly does need the breathing space which is a timely and robust effort. However, once you do this inner work, the pay off is ten fold. Look, things wont ever be ‘the same’ again and to act like they will be would firstly be a lie and secondly delusional. How could they possibly be? Think about it. With all of your experiences to date, how could you go back to a former self? It is simply not possible.

I would suggest that in the present moment we can make better choices that lead to future that leads to fulfilment, joy, happiness and bring us to an even better place.

That is not optimistic, innocence, naivety or wishful thinking. There is a science behind it for starters but also it is common sense.

If you do the same things over and over again and expect a different result or expect things to be like they used to be, you are surely on a road to disappointments and perceived ‘failure’.

If, however, you start to inject small steps into your life where you make time for the endeavours you find most passionate, there is hope If this resonates with you or speaks to you, than i invite you today, not tomorrow or next week, to find time for something you are passionate about. Even if it is five minutes. So what. Time is on your side and this is not a race.

The most important relationship we have in this life is with ourselves. Foster it. Nurture it. Go easy with it (there is plenty of people who will won’t). Tend to the garden of your life. It is too short for endeavours we don’t enjoy. But what about responsibility i hear you say. What about the job i work every day to put food on the table and pay my bills?

Look, we always have choices. Even if it doesn’t seem like it today. There is always another job. There is always another bus. It is up to you which bus to take. By finding time for your true passions you are giving yourself the priceless gift of time, experiences and memories.

When we sit on our death beds and look back at life (which we all will by the way), we will not think about the days we put down in work. Reframe it. Those days give us a chance to create memories with our families, with ourselves. Ever hear the saying “Live today as if you will die tomorrow”. I believe that is BS. 

We need to plan for weeks, months and years ahead. However, it does have merit in that we should enjoy today. Embrace the day or seize the moment - Carpe Diem.

So why wait? Yes, there are challenges ahead. For some, the biggest challenges we may face in our lives. But take these challenges on and remember to make time for yourself in the process. Don’t, ever, lose your passion and zest for life.

So I invite you today, not to forget about the past, the past is a very important part of our lives. I invite you to acknowledge it deeply, to realise the loss of the past but to also realise things will not ‘be the same again’. Embrace today, for its wins, for its losses, either way there is always something to be learned.

I will leave you with a quote from the famous ancient Greek philosopher Socrates who said “The unexamined life is the life not worth living”.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more