“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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