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“Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not.”
“If you learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is…an opportunity to get to know YOU, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but YOU for your happiness…you will realize that a little loneliness goes a LONG way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful YOU.”
“Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy.”
#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.
Choice? I have… a…. choice? This was new. For years I was under the assumption that people were born lucky and enjoyed all that there is to life. In my eyes they seemed to have it all yet the cynicism (and alcohol) within kept me from understanding or seeing development and progression of true happiness. WFS and Statement #3 in action changed that.
In the WFS Program booklet our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD writes “Happiness never came to me until I learned the secret of making it for myself, of finding an inner glow that somehow made all other things right.” Paying close attention to how she was feeling, Jean identified where she could choose her reaction and Statement #3 was created.
Last week I put action into Statement #3 when some travel plans were heavily delayed. The old me would have flashed into anger and blame and drank at this sudden and seemingly unlucky event. That didn’t happen. I am a 4C woman and have choices today. Instead of fighting over what was, I accepted, then embraced the changes. Watching others who angrily reacted with yelling, this shift helped maintain balance and perspective. The end result was the same, only delayed. During that time, little gifts came into view, a blanket and first in line for standby and then home safely. Life is what you make it, so why not make it happy!
Dear 4C Women,
I always think of the WFS program as choice and change. I can make a choice and I can make a change through that choice. Happiness is one of those choices. I use to be a very envious person and so I related to Karen’s thoughts about some people being born lucky and I wasn’t one of them. Little did I connect my attitude towards creating my own happiness. What I learned is that life is full of ups and downs, happy times and sad times. I focused way too much on the down times in describing my life. The good, happy times were a fluke and sure enough the other shoe would drop and validate my outlook on life. Alcohol certainly didn’t provide me with insight to see that I had created this lopsided view of happiness, joy in my life. I’ve had some beautiful moments of happiness. Yet, my outlook, my attitude kept me from seeing the balance and learning that I could and needed to work on embracing those happy moments and create more of them by being proactive.
I am a firm believer in acknowledging authentic feelings. It helps me to identify what’s going on in the depth of my heart. It validates those feelings which then becomes a guide for me to work through and understand the sad and angry feelings to create the balance I yearn for. It’s been more challenging over the past two or so years to see the balance. I can’t deny that. I’m not alone either as we all have been experiencing the sad aspects of the pandemic, losing loved ones, being sick ourselves, being unable to visit loved ones, working in isolation from home, learning new ways of coping that for many of us, we were not prepared for such extremes. And now the helpless feeling of the war in Ukraine. When I experience those feelings, I have a coping tool that helps me. I go back to the basics. I make a list of what I am grateful for, the loving people in my life, my support system, appreciating what I do have, what I can still physically do and work on putting needed self-care back into my routine. Doing that creates a sense of balance and hope. My greatest gift in recovery is hope. For me, hope is my foundation. Hope fuels my proactive side. Creating happiness is all part of that. When I read Karen’s experience at the airport and her attitude about the situation, it was and is a powerful example of how our attitude, our thought process can completely change the entire experience.
I do believe that others can provide and add happiness to our lives. The imbalance is when we depend solely on others to do that. Our expectations are too high along with the cost to our relationships. We get disappointed, angry or confused about relationships if that is our only source of joy or happiness. And what an unfair burden to place on someone. So, this week, perhaps make a concerted effort, a plan, to create happiness in your life. It can be as simple as calling someone you’ve been missing, reconnecting with enthusiasm, doing something you love by volunteering, sending a “thinking of you” card to brighten up someone’s day, be spontaneous and say yes to an unexpected invitation, turn on your favorite music and sing along (no judgment on your singing abilities!), dance with abandon around the room and discover or rediscover what brings a smile to your face and share the experience!
Bonded in creating balance, practicing self-care, being authentic and proactive in experiencing joy and happiness, Dee