Happiness Is An Inside Job

Happiness is Family. From L to R, sister Cally, Mom, Me, sister Mary

Happiness is Family. From L to R, sister Cally, Mom, Me, sister Mary

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Abraham Lincoln

I was reading the paper this morning and the news is depressing and discouraging. Some of us are unhappy and miserable; worse yet, we are taking our anger out on other people.

Companies expect more and more from their employees. Boundary issues creep up when you want to keep your job but more and more is dumped upon you. What’s a person to do besides chuck it all and head for the hills?

Deep down inside of me there is a little voice that will sometimes cry in the wilderness. If the forest gets too thick, I don’t hear the voice. When I go for a walk with myself, I walk towards the voice. As it gets closer and closer, I slowly regain my sense of self.

What does the voice say to me? It will sometimes say “You are a good person” when really, I am not feeling so good about myself. It will also say “You need to slow down a bit, stop and smell the roses.” Ah, that is a good one. It will also say “You are eating too many mini Snickers left over from Easter.” To that one, I usually laugh and we have a good chuckle together.

I finally consider myself good company. There was a time when I spent no time with me because I was too busy, buried in responsibilities and other mind consuming functions. Rarely did I stop and listen to myself. I sometimes didn’t like what my own inner voice said to me.

Truth is, when I am tired and stressed, my thoughts are not calm. They can be hurtful, toxic and mean. A good night’s sleep and simple food can sometimes restore them. Getting out for a walk or being among nature almost always restores my center.

Happiness is an inside job. Since I cannot change others, I can only change myself. The responsibility to create a happy life is mine and mine alone. So I can either change my thoughts or reposition my own life. Stress management techniques can help us center ourselves better. It is not a sign of weakness to reach out for help. It is a sign of strength.

I bring with me the tools I learned in the past to help me cope with the present. Sometimes I need more tools in my happiness toolkit. These tools I find in great books, awesome people and spiritual encounters. It takes a bit of humility to open myself to a different way of thinking but it is worth it. I am in charge of my own happiness.

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15 thoughts on “Happiness Is An Inside Job

  1. Cathy McElhaney

    Happiness has been alluding me for a bit…but contentment is with me at the moment. I feel things are as they should be, for this day, for this time. I have days when I feel extreme sadness at what has become of people I love because of the choices they have made, but for this moment, I am content. I can be happy when my addicts are in recovery. For now I have to settle for contentment that they are not actively using and my grand children are safe. That is all I have.

    Reply
  2. cindy

    Hi Joanne, With yesterday being the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Getteysburg Address, I have seen & read his quote about happiness several times over the past few days! I really enjoyed reading this inspiring post on finding & maintaining happiness♥♥ I find using the tools of my recovery program are quite helpful, especially living “one day at a time”. That is most helpful for me, however it was something that took a lot of work to learn & live. I also try to remember…..”Do not do unto yourself, what you would not do unto others!” I think that is a great quote to put into action when our thoughts become hurtful. Life seems to be just a long lesson in humility if we are able to open ourselves up to different ways of thinking ! As you said, ” It is worth it!” Thanks for sharing such great thoughts.

    Reply
    1. Joanne Jamis Cain

      Hi Cindy!
      I like the quote “Do not do unto yourself….”. That is good advice to live by. 🙂
      At a meeting the other night we all said that what we give we will receive in return. Love and kindness, respect, will all come to us if that is what we strive to put out there.
      Thank you for your lovely comments and for stopping by!
      xo Joanne

      Reply
  3. Sunday's Child (trying to be full of grace).

    Hi friend,
    I stopped by for a good read with my morning coffee. Little did I know, that I would leave bathed in the Grace of Happiness.
    You have a lovely way of weaving a tale and bringing to mind wonderful, glorious mind pictures that help paint your story.
    It was a pleasure to stop by today.
    Here’s to a happy day ahead.
    Hugs from the Left Coast.
    Daleen

    Reply
    1. Joanne Jamis Cain

      I had a flashback just this moment to when I first read your blog. Bathed in Grace (I think!) was mentioned then, probably in a reply to me or in your actual post.
      I picture sparkles all over me when you say that Ms. Daleen. It is truly your phrase and it makes me smile every time. Thank you for stopping by for a visit!
      xo Joanne

      Reply
  4. Marianne

    So true, Joanne. At the moment I’m making my own happiness with my thoughts, words, and deeds, but it’s like swimming upstream while the store job and the people there, both customers and managers, expect so much and are so bitter if you don’t provide more and more and more. I had a customer blast me the other day…I felt like a deer in the headlights, she took me by surprise. It unsettled me for the rest of the day. Healing body and mind is not possible unless you are surrounded by peace, and less stress. But on the bright side, God is still on my side, and I am going from faith to shining faith. So I’m always expecting His best and His blessings…and they do arrive.

    I like what you said about considering yourself good company – nice. And I know what you mean about stress, because my body is so overloaded with it, that even when good thins happen the body can’t even take the good stress 😉 But my expectation is that soon I will have the leisure time to relax, heal, and create in joy – doing the work of my joy.

    Well, the only answer is to continue with our affirmative words, thoughts and deeds, and leave all the details to The One can get the job done in the best way.

    Blessings for less stress for us all,
    Marianne xo

    Reply
    1. Joanne Jamis Cain

      Marianne,
      I can relate to your experience. I have worked in stores and people are not always nice. It’s sad. Usually I would just try and remain calm but it always shook me up.
      I wish for you to have less stress this holiday season. I’m headed over to your site now- I missed your post the other day and want to catch up!
      🙂 Love, Joanne

      Reply

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