“There is an amazing power getting to know your inner self and learning how to use it and not fight with the world. If you know what makes you happy, your personality, interests, and capabilities, just use them, and everything else flows beautifully.” ~~Juhi Chawla
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment, and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~~Gilda Radner
“So many people waste time waiting for good things to happen to them. But sometimes we need to make good things happen. And when we finally start doing that, we often see there were good things in our lives all along.” ~~Caroline George
#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.
“What makes your insides smile?”
Another 4C woman asked that question on the WFS Online Forum some years ago and it struck me deeply. First off, I could not recall that kind of joy or happiness before sobriety and recovery. Alcohol had altered my thoughts and mind to the point that everything felt like a struggle. I fought against seemingly everything. Statement #3 immediately became a welcome new concept.
Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. understood this need and created Statement #3. In fact, Jean knew this so well that she wrote in our WFS Program booklet “For many years, I was convinced that some people were just naturally happy and others were not. And most of the time, I was not happy. I was too deep into my feeling sorry for myself, waiting for the time when everything in my life would miraculously change, and then instant happiness would follow.”
Happiness is not instant like oatmeal or grits, but it can be created. When I was growing up, the sound of racecars at a local track rumbled through my bedroom window while drifting off to sleep. My brother even raced there for a time. Yet when I became an adult, I waited for race tickets to magically appear. They never did. As my interests continue grow and evolve, I know that thanks to sobriety and Statement #3 in action, I have the greatest ticket there is …. a ticket to my beautiful 4C life!
My first thought was how much can be purchased online these days, how easy and convenient to get practically anything we desire delivered right to our front door. Yet, as Karen describes, we have the ability to obtain, free of charge, no shipping costs, the ticket to creating our own happiness. The big difference is that we have to know what to include in that ticket to happiness.
It can start with the question Karen presented, “What makes your insides smile?” I must admit that what makes my insides smile, in addition to facilitating WFS meetings and writing the Monday Thoughts, is connecting with family and friends in person up North and the hope of eventually seeing my son who moved to CA over 2 years ago. That is not possible for me right now so I have to dig deeper to create that personal ticket to happiness in the present. I believe the pandemic has left many of us questioning how to create happiness in uncertain times. Yet, uncertain times have been around for centuries and I’m sure our ancestors had to cope with this very issue of creating happiness in difficult times.
I researched on the internet for a list of things to make you happy. As I was searching through a myriad of lists, I came across one that had answers from children. It was so authentic, some material things that kids love and others were deeply caring feelings from the heart. So, I was thinking that’s what I need to do; create a list of gratitude for what I have, appreciating those heartfelt and material things. I love my DVR because I can watch my shows whenever I want. Believe it or not, years ago I would stay home to watch a favorite show rather than attend an event. I’m grateful for Zoom and Facebook where I can access people I love, people I have lost contact with. My brother-in-law passed away in April and I was able to virtually attend his funeral in PA through the internet. I wish I could have been there yet what a gift to be a part of it virtually. I wrote a memory letter that was read, watched as my nephew, who is a pastor and conducted the service, walk over to my sister/his mom and asked her if she wanted to dance to one of my brother-in-law’s favorite songs. My sister has Parkinson’s so just seeing that smile on her face as my nephew helped her stand and dance in place is a beautiful memory I will treasure always.
I am grateful for electricity and that became so apparent when we experienced power failure during the 2011 tornadoes. I can’t tell you how many times during the week that I flipped on light switches, the microwave, and tv. I’m also grateful for modern medicine, researchers, and scientists that continue to search for answers to help heal or at least improve people’s health. Most of all, I am grateful for WFS and how it changed my life and has given me the opportunity to share it with so many women over the 33 years I’ve been a part of it. I have support, I’ve given support and the reward is, as they say, “priceless.”
I encourage you to create your list of gratefulness and perhaps as you do so, you’ll uncover what authentically creates happiness in your life, both materially and in the heart. Hopefully, this list will also help you to include more of what brings you joy into your everyday life or add it back in.
Bonded in developing happiness, joy, and gratefulness, Dee
CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
Do you have a particular interest or expertise that you can share with the WFS community during our 2022 Annual Conference?
WFS is planning for our in-person conference and seeking workshop presenters for the event. The conference theme of “Bloom” opens up a very wide range of potential workshop topics related to recovery and emotional and spiritual growth.
Please consider giving back to WFS by designing and presenting a workshop. We have so many talented and knowledgeable women in our community that the possibilities are endless for topics and content.
Proposals for workshop topics are due January 31st, 2022.