i wrote this HOW TO BE HAPPY HAPPIER guide for Design*Sponge because i had a shitty few weeks earlier this month and i needed some of my own advice to get out of it
an updated version of this post is gonna be in my book THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM! 13 full-color chapters of personal and no-bullshit illustrated essays like this. you can preorder it here for $10 and it comes out october 2017!!!!
to the doormat in me; you have the right to say no. never apologize for your decisions— explain yourself only at your discretion. never feel pressured to defend your choices. you do not need a reason to put you first. let your favors be in love and come from your overflow. do not starve yourself to feed others out of fear of loneliness. serve you everyday. say “no” today. say it again. don’t waste time trying to figure out who feels what about you. you have the right to be the only person you live for. free up your time that was once full of commitments that didn’t honor you. the kind of love worth a favor is counterfeit. do not become bitter when you see the love you gave was not returned to you. continue to love with discernment. you have the right to boundaries that only abide by you, and cause no harm to others. make it a mantra for others to follow. fall in love with having a voice. now fall in love with hearing your voice. become your favorite sound. you have the right to love that won’t exploit you. there are people who are okay with you living for yourself. the love you seek flows freely within you. you have the right to please you. do what makes you smile. you have the right to relationships with those that you won’t ask you to pay with your life to love them. your love belongs where it’s appreciated most, not with the highest bidder.
to the manipulator in me; you have the right to engage in confrontations. you do not always have to concede to psychological warfare. allow people to know your wants, needs and desires in its most natural form— tell them. you do not have to live avoiding altercations. let that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach be a reminder of your release from feeling undeserving. you have the right to ask for what you want directly, confidently. you do not have to plant seeds, use power of suggestion, and create dramatic scenes acting out roles of victim & damsel to access the affection you long for. you have the right to be honest with yourself. you have a duty to remind people how you prefer to be loved. you have a duty to know what to tell people because you know yourself. you have a right to authenticity, and a life void of ulterior motives. you can be yourself and still receive what you need. you will never have to deceive, extort, or exploit others for your needs again because you know there is enough for you. you have the right to ask for more from others. you don’t have accept everything that is given. you have the right to be vulnerable. you have a right to be safe.
to the ugliest parts of me; you have the right to believe beautiful. you deserve to be showered with compliments. accept every kind word you receive without a counter argument. do not second-guess celebrations of yourself. bask in your moments of worship. you are glorious. we will never experience the unique frequency that is you, again. honor your rare existence. you are precious to me. be the best you there is. walk upright, and have compassion stored for the days that you don’t. you have the right to forgive yourself. the love you demand does not rely on successes and failures but on inherent self-worth. you are allowed to be imperfect, and you are allowed to receive love while imperfect. be proud of your work. there is healing in every mistake you made. they have a right to be seen so they can touch others. you are a picture best when shown when complete. find beauty in your own right. join hands with the rest of your existence. i am not complete without you.
use this as a template to create your own boundaries, or you may use this.
people may not use me as their emotional dump. people may not attempt to make me feel less than them. people may not gossip, lie in front of me, or ask me to lie.
people may not invade my space without permission. people may not use my needs to control me. people may not use me or my power to bring harm. people may not be allowed to affect my mood. people may not negotiate me.
i may not be dishonest with myself. i may not please for approval. i may not put down others to feel good. i may not hold on to what doesn’t serve me. i may not use my power to cause harm. i may not settle. i may not compare. i may not neglect my gifts given.
to protect my energy, it is okay to change my mind. to protect my energy, it is okay to cancel a commitment. to protect my energy, it is okay to take a day off. to protect my energy, it is okay to not answer that call. to protect my energy, it is okay to not share myself. to protect my energy, it is okay to do nothing. to protect my energy, it is okay to be alone. to protect my energy, it is okay to sleep in. to protect my energy, it is okay to speak up. to protect my energy, it is okay to move on. to protect my energy, it is okay to let go. to protect my energy, it is okay to change.
Your sun sign represents your pride, ego, and what you like about yourself, as well as what qualities you admire in others. All the planets in our solar system revolve around the sun; this celestial body gives our world structure, stability, life, and light.
When you do things for the right reason, you are more likely to find happiness and success. Your sun sign, the constellation that rules your inner guiding light, indicates what that (right) reason might be.
You should do things…
Aries: for yourself, because you fucking feel like it.
Taurus: because you want to, and only because you want to.
Gemini: because you want to know more about the world around you.
Cancer: because they make you feel safe, cared for, and comfortable.
Leo: because they bring you attention, love, and recognition.
Virgo: because they help you become a better person, and help others too.
Libra: because they bring you inner peace and sate your thirst for justice.
Scorpio: because they make you feel deeply and resonate with your inner truth.
Sagittarius: because they’re fun, and make you smile and laugh.
Capricorn: because they pave the way to your future.
Aquarius: because they help you genuinely feel connected to other people.
Pisces: because they help merge your internal fantasies with external reality.
Example/explanation: If a Sagittarius uses, say, Cancer’s reason as their ‘guiding light,’ they are likely to end up feeling trapped and stuck. With Virgo’s reason, they might feel bored, anxious, and burdened. With Pisces’ reason, they may feel lost. A Sagittarius who does things just for fun, instead of to establish future security (like a Capricorn) or to get attention/recognition (Leo) is more likely to accomplish their chosen goal, and have a good time doing it. Things come to you more naturally if you approach your goals with the correct mentality.
i. go back to the places where you felt safe. examine your feelings, do you still feel safe on your own? become self reliant.
ii. go grocery shopping. select your memories like frozen peas and wonder bread. most you won’t like to remember, some you will be grateful for.
iii. invent new emotions for yourself, like how a tree feels when the wind blows through it. you are an open window.
iv. find words to describe yourself in ways they never would. observe how your eyelashes make tender shadows on your cheek, how the soft fabric of your favorite teeshirt touches your skin. it is enough.
v. fall in love with everything else. become addicted to morning sunlight and the weeds on your lawn. the moths hovering around your porch light are meant to be there. invite them in.