Happiness is up to me?

Opportunities for happiness.happiness

“Happiness is an inside job” reminds me that happiness is up to me. But, sometimes happiness seems so fleeting. Something “bad” happens and my good feelings are gone again and I have to really work to get them back.

A change of attitude really helps. If I can think of “bad” things as opportunities to learn and grow or as opportunities to show my commitment to being happy, then cheerfulness returns more quickly.

Change takes time and constant reminders. I can be gentle with myself when I slip back into old ways, instead of being my own worst enemy. I can stop and gently return to the better habits I am developing. I do see changes in myself when I look back over time. I am happier now than I used to be. Being gentle with myself and others helps me to be happy.

I am overwhelmed

overwhelmedOverwhelmed.

I am overwhelmed by house cleaning tasks, large to-do lists, callings and responsibilities. Often I am stuck looking at a task and end up doing nothing.

Cooking for dinner one evening, I spilled some milk on the counter. I took a cloth and wiped it up. As I stepped back I noticed the now clean area on my counter. I saw how this related to “one day at a time”. I don’t have to look at a task and do it all at once. When I see a large task and break it down into steps, I get it done one step at a time. As I do one small step at a time I can get things done!

When I find myself being overwhelmed by how much there is to get done, I will stop and remember to take one day, one moment, one task, one step at a time. I accomplish so much when I remember and apply “one day at a time” to each part of my life.

I can’t change anyone?!

changeIf only my loved ones would change…

I came to support groups hoping to learn how to get my loved ones to stop their addictive behaviors and change so I could be happy. I was surprised when the topic was never about my loved ones. The topic was always about me!

I learned that “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it”. When I apply steps and principles to my own life I gain sanity, peace, growth and happiness whether or not my loved ones choose to be free of addictions. I learned to put the focus on myself.

I do not like it when others try to control me or impose their will on me. Why would I expect that I could control anyone else? Why have I tried to impose my will on others? I can control only me and I am responsible for me. I am the only one who can make my life happy, full and beautiful.

My life is a soap opera!

soapSoap Opera.

Sometimes when I tell stories of my life I make my life sound like a soap opera. I am the victim of all these stories and have no control over my life. When I do this I often wallow in self-pity and resentment.

I heard someone say that you can learn from the past, but you should not stare because you can get stuck in the past and miss the adventure of living in the present. That made me realize that not only am I getting stuck in the past, but my self-pity and resentment are leading me to create new chapters in my soap opera.

I do have control over my life and my attitudes and thoughts. I don’t have to be a victim. As I work on living in the present I can enjoy each moment. I can look for the beauty around me and see the good in others. My life has been good and I have grown and learned so much. I can look at the past, not to wallow in self-pity or place blame, but to learn from it. Everyone has trials and troubles. I can take mine and find out what God wants me to learn. My life is not a soap opera, it is a beautiful adventure!

“Experience is not what happens to you. Experience is what you do with what happens to you”.

Trapped and helpless!

Trapped.trapped

I once felt trapped by my circumstances and my fear. My dreams were full of dangerous people and danger all around me and left me feeling helpless and hopeless.

Sometimes I slip back into feeling trapped and helpless by life and my current challenges. But, I know that God is here beside me and supports me. He will help me with my problems and help me take risks. I still hesitate and hope for a miracle and for my circumstances to change. But, the real miracle is in knowing that God is here beside me and will guide and lead me forward if I let Him. He will help me with my fears. He will lead me to find new solutions to my problems. I am free to take an action or not, to move forward, to make a choice that feels right.

It takes courage to do things outside of my comfort range. Courage is a gift from God as I learn to trust Him. “Courage is fear that has said its prayers”.