Are you Unhappy? Read This For Motivation

Are you Unhappy? Read This For Motivation

It’s so consuming, isn’t it? Like a dark gas that fills up your entire body and makes you wonder if you’ll ever feel normal again.

Sometimes it lasts for a day. Sometimes, two. Sometimes it’s a bad month or a bad year. Sometimes it’s because someone broke your heart. Sometimes it’s just because it’s winter and it’s dark all the time. Sometimes it’s because your friend just got promoted at work or experienced an incredible success in one way or another, and you’re still just sitting here, being plain old you, wanting to feel happy for them but instead feeling panicky about how much worse this makes you feel, and then feeling even more awful because what kind of person are you if you can’t even be happy for your friend?

But whether it’s because of a friend’s success or because of your own broken heart or because you miss the long and warm days of summer or because of no reason at all – and whether it lasts for a day or three days or 246 days, you’re not the first person to feel this way and you won’t be the last.

I wish I could write you a list. A step-by-step guide of exactly what you need to do to stop feeling unhappy. But I can’t, because that’s not how unhappiness works. There are certainly things you can do to try to brighten your days a little bit – to make your home cozier and to do things that make you feel less alone and to find ways to help you keep your head above water until you can climb out of this hole. But there’s no trick to simply get rid of unhappiness, to wet your fingers and extinguish the flame in an instant.

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But what you can do, in the meantime, is be kind to yourself. And being kind to yourself means a lot of different things. It means being gentle with yourself, and doing everything in your control to keep yourself comfortable and healthy – getting enough sleep, taking time to rest when you need it, going for walks, eating well, leaning on loved ones when things are really hard.

But being kind to yourself, especially when you’re unhappy, can also mean being hard on yourself. Refusing to let yourself wallow. Getting out of bed and making yourself go to work, no matter how cold or dark it is outside, or how sad you feel internally. Forcing yourself to exercise, even if it’s the last thing you want to do, even if all it means is walking outdoors for twelve minutes. Taking your friends up on their offer to spend time with you, even when all you feel like doing is hiding under the covers and being alone – because you know, deep down, no matter what you feel like doing on the surface, that what you really need is to be in the company of people who love you.

You have to do these things, these harder things, when you’re unhappy. You have to be strong, you have to take care of yourself. You have to tell yourself you are tough, repeatedly, every single day, even if you don’t believe it. You have to keep moving, you have to keep going.

The people who got out of these dark times before you weren’t better than you, or stronger than you, or less burdened than you. They felt weak and sad and like they were barely hanging on – just like you. BUT, they kept going.

You’re not wrong for being unhappy. You’re not a freak or a failure. You’re not lazy or seeking attention. What you are is a person. And when you’re a person, sometimes you experience painful, almost-crippling bouts of unhappiness. Sometimes there is a reason for it, sometimes not.

But all you need to remember is that you’re human, you’re okay, you’re not wrong for feeling this way. You have to be kind to yourself, you have to be kind enough to be hard on yourself. And most of all, you have to remember you’re not alone, you’re never alone, and this is exactly what connects you to every other person in this world.

Written by Kim Quindlen

(with permission)

This article was originally published in

Here’s The Kind Of Love You Should Settle For In 2017.

Here’s The Kind Of Love You Should Settle For In 2017.

Settle for the kind of love that’s extraordinary in all of its ordinariness. Find the person who makes you feel excited to spend Saturday doing nothing, as long as you’re doing nothing with them.

Settle for the kind of love that makes you unbelievably happy to sit there and spend your Sunday night sending work emails, or folding your clothes after pulling them out of the dryer, or chopping up vegetables while you make your meals for the week – as long as they are sitting next to you and keeping you company. Because no matter what you’re doing, no matter how boring the task, it’s still so wonderful if you get to be near them while you do it.

Settle for the kind of love where you feel like you can just talk to them. Like you don’t have to be funny or clever or entertaining enough to ‘earn’ their attention. You can just talk to them and say the things that are on your mind and admit if you’re stressed about work or that you’re missing your mom – and you won’t worry about boring them or chasing them away with your uneventfulness, because the two of you have formed the kind of bond that strips away all expectations of being interesting and fascinating and cool all the time, and instead just lets you be your damn selves.

Settle for the kind of love that simultaneously makes you feel accepted for who you are but also makes you want to be a better person.
Find someone who encourages you and supports you and loves you for you. But also, find someone whom you admire so much and respect so much and like so much that you instinctively just want to be a better person, every day, because you feel safe and supported enough to try for it, even if you fail.

Find someone who looks at you and sees you. Someone who puts their phone down, not just when you’re upset, but even just when you’re there, in front of them, and they want to show you that you matter more to them than a bunch of things happening inside of a little rectangle that will still be there in five minutes from now. Find someone who looks you in the eye and makes you feel seen and hears you but also listens to you. Find someone who makes you want to do the same for them.

Settle for the kind of love that is hard, and challenging, and so worth every ounce of effort and sacrifice and joy that you put into it. Settle for the kind of love that is rare in its everyday sense of happiness and contentment, the kind of love that grows out of little, tiny moments of affection and thoughtfulness and tenderness and warmth. Settle for that kind of love, and you won’t be settling for anything.

Written by Kim Quindlen

(with permission)

This article was originally published in


They Will Not Make You Feel Less

They Will Not Make You Feel Less

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. — Bob Marley


You weren’t too much for him. He was never enough for you.

You weren’t too much for him. He was never enough for you.

You always felt you were too much for him, with your spirited heart and vibrant laugh, your reflective mind and unabashed emotion.

Him, who liked to keep things simple, uncomplicated. Nothing serious, nothing deep, nothing complex. Nothing that would make him think or feel. 

Scared to frighten him away, you did what you always do.

You made yourself less.

Piece by piece, you tore off the parts of you that you thought would be more than he could handle. You lay them out thinly between pages of the tattered book you keep—the one that hides all the parts of yourself you’ve been afraid to show the world.


You made yourself more manageable, more palatable, easier to handle. Because if this is what it would take for him to accept you, want you, maybe one day even love you, then you would do it. It would be worth it, for him.

For a long time you pretended you were happy. Maybe sometimes you even thought you were. But sometimes those torn-off parts called out to you, and your body ached to have them back, to be complete again. No, you told them. You are too much, you’ll only frighten him away, as you pressed the pages together once more.



You tried to convince yourself you could survive this way, as a silhouette—no substance, no soul. But you were empty, hollow, wasted away. Weightless, you struggled to hold yourself up any longer. You needed those parts of yourself back, the ones that held you together, the ones that made you whole.

And so, one piece at a time, you began to restore yourself. Slowly, quietly. Maybe he wouldn’t notice. Or maybe if he did, he would somehow learn to love those extra parts of you anyway.

The more complete you became, the harder it was to fight the truth of you. You began to share your mind, speak your thoughts. To laugh with abandon, to allow joy, sadness, anger, enthusiasm, fear, confidence, love—all emotion—to flow from you like water, like the tears he always told you not to cry. You embraced your imagination, passion, creativity, intellect, complexity, intuition, your wild spirit and ferocious heart.

You became who you were always meant to be.

And then, he left.

You became too much.

You blamed yourself, as if you had done something wrong. If only you had stayed small, less. If only you had kept those parts of yourself hidden, like they had always been. If only you hadn’t scared him away.

No, dear heart.

You weren’t too much for him.

He was never enough for you.

You need more than a silly boy who scares easily. A boy who is only willing to dip his toes in shallow water for fear of the deep. A boy who has no interest beyond the surface of your skin—to the beautiful enigma beneath.

You need a man with the heart of a warrior, brave and loyal and fearless and strong. Deep and passionate and as filled with the complexities of the universe as you are.

Maybe you will find him. Maybe you won’t. Either way, it does’t matter.

For he is not the hero of this story.

You are.

Because you are enough. And all you will ever need is within you.

Within your goddamn glorious, wondrous too much. 


Author: Kathy Parker

This article was orginally published in the Elephant Journal: